In late May, after a year’s closure for improvements, Alamo Square Park welcomed the public to its undulating knolls once again. Also known as “Painted Ladies park,” due to the row of colorful, iconic Victorian houses gracing Steiner Street with the cityscape at their backs, it’s a popular selfie destination for tourists and locals (its starring role in Full House doesn’t hurt either). Could this picture perfect park get even prettier? Why yes, it could. Read on for all the details.

Changes, Big and Small
A new all-gender, ADA compliant restroom next to the park’s playground is super convenient and—bonus!—includes a changing table. Men’s and women’s restrooms are up the hill, too. (A HUGE improvement on the icky bathrooms that were here, and often closed, before) On the landscape front, over 100 new trees call the square home. Pollinators and people will enjoy drought-tolerant and native plants attractive to bees, butterflies and shutterbugs. Lush fescue grass, which doesn’t require mowing, blankets the park’s perimeter. What most visitors might not notice—but are sure to appreciate—is the new irrigation system that should save 2.5 million gallons of water annually.

Families Will Be Flocking
Wide paths have been repaired and smoothed out—perfect for strollers and toddlers to roam. The north side along Fulton Street is an off-leash dog play area, but the rest of the park is an on-leash zone. Visitors might notice new benches, up to five picnic tables and fresh garbage/recycling cans, to be installed this summer. The tennis court is slated to be resurfaced by September. For now, it’s pulling duty as a plant nursery. The playground is the same beloved one that has been here for a few years, but thanks to the new picnic tables and bathrooms, we are betting it will be far more popular now with the birthday party set.

Nearby Nom Noms
When it’s time to lure the kids away from the swings and slides, or from rolling down grassy slopes, head a couple of blocks west on Hayes Street to Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero Street. There you’ll find all kinds of fixings for a snack, lunch or dinner—and of course they serve up their small-batch, handmade ice cream in cones, sundaes and cookie sandwiches. Want to sit a spell? Cross the street to Bean Bag Cafe, known for its yummy crepes, salads, pastries and coffee drinks. If the kids demand pizza, try the old-school pies at Seniore’s. For some juicy, juicy ribs, brisket and more, head to 4505 Burgers and BBQ, where you can dine al fresco.

Alamo Square Park
Steiner Street
San Francisco, Ca
Open 5 a.m. to midnight

Have you visited the newly renovated Alamo Square Park? Let us know what you think!

—Olivia Boler

Photos courtesy of the author.