Sigmund Stern Grove is nestled into the southwest corner of San Francisco’s Sunset District. Its 63 acres are comprised of meadows, lush forests, and Pine Lake, one of only three natural lakes in San Francisco.
The Greene family, a family of early homesteaders, staked out the land in 1847 and began farming, but not without challenges. Shifting sands and property disputes with armed and aggressive neighbors were commonplace for settlers in the largely untamed region.
Following the Gold Rush and a long legal battle to keep their land, the Greenes opened The Trocadero Inn on the property and played host to ruffians and celebrities of the day. North Pole explorer Dr. Frederick Cook was a resident of the inn, which closed during prohibition but still stands today.
In 1931, the land was purchased by the wife of the late Sigmund Stern and gifted to the city as a park shortly thereafter. Free summer performances of music and dance have taken place at the grove’s natural eucalyptus amphitheater and outdoor stage since 1938. World-class artists grace the Stern Grove Festival stage every Sunday in the summer. The events are free of charge, and donations can be made at the gates.
Trails interlaced through the park are popular with runners and walkers. The park features tennis courts, picnic tables, and a children’s playground. A large off-leash dog area rests between the concert meadow and Pine Lake. Coyotes and other wildlife call Stern Grove home, so please observe leash regulations and stay on the trails.
Street parking is easy on the surrounding residential streets near the park's multiple entrances. Much of the park is handicap accessible from the entrance at Vale Avenue and Crestlake Drive. The L, K, M and 28 Muni lines stop within a few blocks of the entrance on 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard.