Tucked away in a tranquil neighborhood of Eureka Valley is a pair of slides that will get the adrenaline pumping for the whole family, not to mention a garden that features one of the best collections of California native plants in the city.
Start your exploring at Corwin Street Community Garden (at Corwin and Douglass Streets along Acme Alley), where you’ll find buckeye trees, succulents, and other native flora in a hilly residential setting that attracts “in-the-know” local residents and gardeners. A sign at the entrance of the garden lists native birds and butterflies that come to visit, and most plants are labeled with details as well. Spend an afternoon with the kids in this mini-natural habitat lab learning about the local flora and fauna—you might just have a future horticulturalist in the family!
Next, follow the garden path downhill where you’ll make your way to Seward Street and the top of the infamous Seward Street Slides, a hidden treat for over 40 years! The side-by-side cement slides are steep, curvy, and fast – only for daring kids and adults. Bring an old cardboard box to ride on and you’ll go even faster! The slides are between open 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, a new schedule by the SF Recreation & Parks Department to respect the neighbors’ privacy. Warning: These slides may induce squealing and anxiety-releasing laughter!
If you haven’t had enough, end the day with amazing views of the city at nearby Kite Hill Park. Trek back up towards Corwin Street and the garden, and then take the Acme Alley stairway to Grand View Avenue. Turn right heading west where you’ll hit Market and Stanton Streets. Head down Stanton and walk through what looks like a dead-end where a path will lead you to Kite Hill Park. There’s not much at the park itself but two benches, but the short walk is well worth the views of San Francisco all the way to downtown. As the name suggests, bring a kite to fly if it’s a windy day!
—Sarah K. Choi