There’s a Bay Area neighborhood—in San Francisco of all places—where you can escape to the woods, and the houses and storefronts virtually disappear. Here, you and the kids will forget you are in the middle of a busy city as you lose yourselves amid towering Eucalyptus trees, monkey flowers, lizards, and ferns while soaring raptors hover above you. To the kids’ delight, you may even come across a herd of grazing goats.
Where is this urban haven, you ask? In the quaint neighborhood of Glen Park, known for its mom-and-pop shops, hilly streets, and of course, the 70-acre city park filled with small trails, board-walked paths, rock outcrops overlooking a vast canyon, and a naturally occurring stream. Weave your way through willows, oaks, poppies, and blackberry bushes or chill out at the recreation facilities at the southern end of the park, where the kids will enjoy playgrounds and playing fields.
There are several small entrances to Glen Canyon Park from the neighborhood, which is bordered by Noe Valley to the north and Bernal Heights to the east. Glen Park is an easy stop on Muni and BART. Before or after you hit the walking paths, consider a visit to the Glen Park Public Library, known for a terrific kids’ section, with Baby Rhyme and Playtime on Tuesdays. Tyger’s on Diamond Street has yummy comfort food for brunch, Destination Baking on Chenery Street will supply you with snacks, and when you’re ready for lunch, La Corneta Taqueria on Diamond will hit the spot for hungry hikers of all ages.