San Francisco’s oldest official park, Buena Vista Park occupies a forested hill top between the Buena Vista Heights and Haight-Ashbury neighborhoods. With a summit lawn sitting at nearly 600 feet, the park’s name is truly fitting: tree-framed views of San Francisco are afforded in nearly ever direction.
Buena Vista’s wooded hillsides enable a quick escape from busy city life into a verdant urban forest. Monterey cypress, coast redwoods, and eucalyptus cloak a network of trails that climb hillsides and traverse the park at different elevations. Beyond the views, trees and flowers are Buena Vista's noteworthy assets. The park has one of the few remaining coastal live oak groves in San Francisco.
Hills and trails make Buena Vista a great place to get exercise. Dog walkers enjoy Buena Vista’s off leash allowance as well as the dog run area located on the lower west slope. A tennis court with a city view and a playground are located above Haight Street. Vista points and ideal picnicking locations are found throughout the park.
In the middle of the day, parking is fairly easy to find; parking becomes more difficult after work hours as the park abuts residential neighborhoods on all sides. The eastern side of the park on Buena Vista Ave E is a good starting point.
For a longer walk, run, or for just a more in-depth tour, consider combining your trip with a visit to Corona Heights Park, which also boasts outstanding views. Corona Heights park is located directly east, less than a quarter mile away.