Best Little-Known Vistas

Corona Heights

Imagine sipping a martini at the Twin Peaks at Castro and Market, and then one (undeniably vigorous) 10-minute hike later perching among wild foxglove and geologic outcroppings 510 feet above sea level, drinking in one of the city's finest 360-degree panoramas. Ascending Corona Heights is a workout, but atop a series of increasingly treacherous trails is a forest of climbable rock affording several sweeping yet intimate vistas. (Corona's many stone formations were created and rubbed smooth by earthquakes from a long-dormant fault directly, if distantly, beneath it.) To the south and west are the terraced streets of Diamond Heights and the Castro tumbling down from Mount Sutro and Mount Olympus. Eastward is the Mission Dolores basilica and the SOMA flatlands beyond. Just to the north is the impressive foliage of Buena Vista Park, and over its eastern shoulder are the spires of Downtown S.F. Scrambling down from this vertiginous perch is a lot easier than climbing up it, especially if you have another martini waiting for you at the bar.

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