Best Little-Known Vistas - 2006
Grand View Park
Geologists tell us that if it wasn't for all that ocean sand filling in its valleys and crevasses, the Avenues would be every bit as hilly as eastern S.F. The little-known anomaly that is Grand View Park is a case in point: It's the highest sand dune in the city at 400 feet above sea level, with sheer, clifflike approaches to rival the crags of Telegraph Hill. Its unique geographic placement only two miles from the seashore makes it singularly valuable to us vista-lovers: While the ocean view from the Cliff House is perfectly respectable, the sweeping Pacific panorama from the top of Grand View Park is spectacular. The peak's sandy slopes are a challenge, involving a good half-dozen flights of steps after you've made your way uphill from 18th Avenue and Lawton via Lomita, Aloha, and a precarious stretch of 15th Avenue, but this aerial tableau is memorable.