Best Place to Walk Your Dog - 2004
Buena Vista Park
When you want to give Cujo (and yourself) a canine-worthy workout, head for this little bit of Alpine greensward smack in the middle of the Haight. Rising 569 feet above sea level, the park offers a pleasant sense of solitude despite the teeming masses just down the hill. Buena Vista was officially designated a city park in 1870, the same year as Golden Gate Park, but the planting of trees and shrubs in its sandy soil didn't begin in earnest until a century later. Now there are oak, redwood, madrone, pine, buckeye, holly, cedar, laurel, spruce, maple, and Monterey cypress aplenty for your dog to sniff, as well as squirrels to bark at and the occasional fellow canine to become acquainted with. A variety of trails meander beside stone walls, up wooden staircases, and between shrubs and wildflowers, and bipeds will be dazzled by the buena vistas of Mount Tam, the Pacific, the East Bay hills, and downtown S.F. You'll also want to check out the lovely homes encircling the park, including the Spreckels Mansion at 737 Buena Vista West, one-time abode of Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, and the Sugar King himself.