What it is:
Dolores Park is a distinctly urban green space in the Mission shaded by palm trees and affording stunning vistas of the San Francisco skyline. The park is named after Mission Dolores, established by Spanish missionaries in 1776 (It’s located across the street from the park and well worth a visit.) Dolores Park was established in 1905 and served as a refugee camp for more than 1,600 families left homeless after the 1906 earthquake and fires. Frequented by families and colorful characters alike, Dolores Park comprises about 2 square city blocks. The park fills up on the weekends with youthful sunbathers, picnicking families and tennis players.
The park is bounded by 18th and 20th streets to the North and South and Dolores and Church streets to the East and West.
What to Do:
On a sunny day, Dolores Park is a great place to sunbathe, picnic, or take in magnificent city views. Stop at nearby Tartine or Buy Rite (3639 18th St.; 415-241-9760) to pick up lunch provisions. You can also avail yourself of one of the several free tennis courts (mid-day, mid-week are the least busy times). From here, stroll further into the Mission to see the neighborhood’s colorful murals and one-of-a-kind-shops.
Take the J Church train or # 14 Mission bus to 18th street.