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10 San Francisco Bay Area Parks to Enjoy the Outdoors

Updated on May 5, 2013

Golden gate Park in SF

The Japanese Tea Garden located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.  Just one of the beautiful places to enjoy outdoors in the Bay Area.
The Japanese Tea Garden located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. Just one of the beautiful places to enjoy outdoors in the Bay Area. | Source

10 Great Park Around SF Bay Area

There are many great parks around the San Francisco Bay Area from within San Francisco itself to Oakland in the East Bay and San Jose in the South Bay and many places in between the options for recreational activities are endless in the bay area parks. This is not the best 10 parks list cause that is just a personal opinion depending on the type of activities you are into. However the bay offers parks for everyone and this is an attempt to represent that there is something for everyone at the parks around the San Francisco Bay. The parks in the bay area offer many activities from boating and fishing to hiking and mountain bike riding, to more casual activities like a perfect picnic in the park, or just relaxing in the shade on a park bench reading a book, regardless of what you enjoy to do when spending time at a local park you will find it in the San Francisco bay area.

10 Great Parks to Check Out in SF Bay Area

show route and directions
A markerPearson-Arastradero Preserve -
1530 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
get directions

Hike in the foothills rolling savanna grassland hills. Mountain biking is a favorite activity here.

B markerCrissy Field Center -
1199 E Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
get directions

(415) 561-7690 ‎ crissyfield.org

C markerGolden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA -
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
get directions

http://www.golden-gate-park.com

D markerLake Chabot Regional Park - East Bay -
17600 Lake Chabot Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94546, USA
get directions

http://www.ebparks.org/parks/lake_chabot

E markerSugarloaf Mountain - San Mateo -
3741 Glendora Dr, San Mateo, CA 94403, USA
get directions

Hiking trailheads for great walks through the hills http://www.ci.sanmateo.ca.us/exploreourparks/Parks/SUGARLOAF/sugarloaf.html

F markerCardoza Park Milpitas, CA 95035 -
Cardoza Park, Milpitas, CA 95035, USA
get directions

Kennedy Drive at North Park Victoria. More Milpitas Parks here: http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/government/recreation/parks.asp

G markerCentral Park -
909 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051, USA
get directions

http://santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=1455#central a 52 acre park including international swimcenter

H markerLake Del Valle Regional Park -
7000 Del Valle Rd, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
get directions

http://www.ebparks.org/parks/del_valle enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and much more at this massive park and lake.

I markerCalero County Park - Lake Calero -
23205 McKean Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, USA
get directions

Calero County Park 23205 McKean Rd. San Jose, CA 95120 Phone: (408) 268-3883

J markerBerkeley Skate Park -
5th St & Harrison St, Berkeley, CA 94710, USA
get directions

Berkeley Skate Park http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=5688

San Francisco Bay Area - Outdoor Living

Favorite Bay Area Outdoor Spot

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Additional Information About 10 Bay Area Parks

Pearson Arasradero Preserve
1530 Arastradero Road, 1/4 mile north of Page Mill Road
Phone: 650-329-2423.
Wildlife abounds on the preserve and it is not uncommon to see deer, bobcats, coyotes, and many varieties of birds. Each area of the preserve has something different to offer, whether it is a view of the bay, a quiet walk through the grasslands, or a snooze by the lake.
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/depts/csd/parks_and_open_space/preserves_and_open_spaces/pearson_arastradero.asp


Crissy Fields
Crissy Field is a park in San Francisco. Crissy Field was originally an airfield, part of the United States' Presidio Army Base. The Presidio ceased all military operations and the base became part of the federal Golden Gate National Recreation Area under the Base Closure Act, in the 1990s.

Golden Gate Park
Created in 1870 for the people of San Francisco the park is home to many San Francisco treasures as well as lots of open space to walk through and enjoy the outdoors in the crowded city. Things to see are the deYoung Museum, Conservatory of Flowers, California Academy of Sciences, Japanense Tea Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden. http://www.golden-gate-park.com

Lake Chabot Regional Park - East Bay
Lake Chabot Reservoir was built in 1874-75 as a primary source of water for the East Bay. The 315-acre lake was closed to recreation for 91 years. Legislation passed in the 1960s opened the lake for controlled recreational uses. Currently, the lake serves as a standby emergency water supply. For this reason, visitors are asked to observe certain necessary regulations to keep the waters pure. The 315-acre Lake Chabot is stocked with trout and catfish. There are also bass, crappie, and other fish. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/lake_chabot

Sugarloaf Mountain in San Mateo
This park is a spacious open space park that is adjacent to Laurelwood Park. Lots of wildlife to enjoy while walking through the hills trails.
http://www.ci.sanmateo.ca.us/exploreourparks/Parks/SUGARLOAF/sugarloaf.html

Cardoza Park is an excellent destination for families that want to enjoy a day at the park. With 10 acres of space which does include a lighted ball field, horse shoe playing area, volley ball court and an outdoor amphitheater. There is usually some hustle and bustle at this park making it a nice destination for an outdoor destination in Milpitas.

Central Park in Santa Clara is the perfect destination for parents with kids. There are many activities available including an amazing public library next door and the international swim center so if you need to split the kids up or drop one off for a class at the library or a swim lesson there is plenty of things to enjoy in the park for the others. This park has many paths that go around the ponds with ducks and the large outdoor amphitheater with a living growing roof.

Lake Del Valle Regional Park is a large park located 10 miles outside of Livermore, Ca. The lake is nearly 5 miles long and surrounded by about 5k acres of amazing California full of trails for hiking and horseback riding. The lake is routinely stocked with fish and the marina has boats available for rent as well as a launch ramp that allows you to launch your own water craft to get off the bank and catch fish. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/del_valle

Lake Calero is a great lake just south of San Jose, Ca and is the perfect destination to drop your boat in for a few hours if you live in the South Bay and want to get on the water. There is also lots of places to hike around the lake if you are looking for a unique park to go and enjoy Calero is close and a special little place. Due to recent invasive mussel species launching a boat has become tougher in the south bay and it is best to call before going to know what the rules are going to be. There is an awesome tackle shop nearby Coyote Bait and Tackle that can put you on the fish and answer any basic questions you may have about the lake.

Berkeley Skate Park is a great place for skaters to skate in the city of Berkeley. With a bowl and lots of other obstacles and ramps in the 18,000 square foot park. http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=5688

An extra one for those that are dog lovers dont worry there are several dog focused parks around the bay including this one in Oakland, CA.

Hardy Dog Park is perfect for Dog owners in the Oakland area this fenced in park, allows dogs to run with their leashes off. This park covers 2.6 acres giving you plenty of space and room to play with your dog. http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/opr/s/Parks/OAK029768

View from Dolores Park

Dolores Park in San Francisco
Dolores Park in San Francisco | Source

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