Best Route When Crossing the City on Foot

San Francisco is one of the tinier cities extant -- 49 square miles -- with neatly delineated aquatic borders, so traversing its seven-mile girth is not only feasible, it offers a saline-to-saline sense of geometric order and accomplishment. Begin at Pier 17 (Front and Filbert) and climb west up the lovely (if taxing) Filbert Steps. Head downhill to Washington Square, go three blocks south to Vallejo, and turn west again, up the equally verdant and debilitating Vallejo Steps to Leavenworth, from which intersection, on a clear day, you'll be able to see your ultimate destination. Walk one block south to Broadway and continue west, enjoying the mansions and vistas of Pacific Heights, until you hit the Presidio at Lyon. Go a block south to Pacific and follow the southern, country road-like edge of the Presidio to the golf course at Arguello. Enter the Presidio and head west through the parking lot, around Mountain Lake, under Park Boulevard, past the hospital, and through the good-smelling forests and meadows. Cross Lincoln Boulevard and there it is: the biggest gosh-darned ocean in the world. Tumble down to Baker Beach, kick off your shoes, and celebrate.

 
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