When the urge hits to leave the city without actually leaving the city, hop on over to Presidio Heights for a peaceful and quiet escape. While the tony neighborhood spans just seven blocks east to west, the picturesque area packs in the fun. With three playgrounds, a cafe with a play space and a shop called Stroller Spa (yep, it’s a spa for your wheels), Presidio Heights is the home away from home you’ve been looking for.

Parks & Playgrounds

julius kahn playground

photo: Amber Guetebier

Julius Kahn Playground
This playground and park some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay, and Marin Headlands, assuming you visit on a fog-free day. Beyond the sweet views, the playground includes a large fenced-in area with separate play structures for the little and big kids, free parking and bathrooms (score!). Julius Kahn (or JK as it’s referred to by the neighbors) also has a large adjacent grassy expanse, basketball court, tennis courts and baseball field.

Find It: West Pacific Ave. & Spruce St., San Francisco, Ca


photo: Mindy W via Yelp

Presidio Heights Playground
A hidden gem, this quaint park feels like you’re in someone’s (amazing) back yard. Features include a toddler play area with big sand pit, slides, swings, and a climbing structure. There’s also a full length basketball court that serves as a roadway for the many riding toys donated by local parents. Bonus: a clubhouse with restrooms that you can rent out for birthday parties.

Find It: Clay & Walnut St., San Francisco, Ca


photo: Venus S via flickr

Laurel Hill Playground
Off of Euclid Avenue behind Laurel Shopping Center this playground is not visible from the street, which means it’s often less crowded. This hidden neighborhood gem includes a baseball field, tennis court, basketball court and playground. While the playground hasn’t been renovated in awhile, it’s charming, sunny and a great spot for less crowded outdoor play.

Good to know: since the playground and park is set back from the street you need to walk in and it’s an incline to reach the play area.

Find It: 301 Euclid Avenue, San Francisco, Ca

Fun Pit Stops: Shops, Resources & More


photo: Erin Lem

Stroller Spa
Give your wheels a much needed cleaning and repair at Stroller Spa, a store in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights neighborhood, that’s dedicated to making your stroller shine and run like new (even after baby #3). And for you, there’s a mani-pedi salon just down the block. It’s a win-win for everyone.

3566 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, Ca
Online: strollerspa.com


photo: Day One Baby

Day One Baby
Once you see those two pink lines, the planning, shopping, and decorating frenzy begins. Let DayOne Baby–a retail and community center in Presidio Heights–help you navigate your way through pregnancy and beyond. Their sparkling space features educational seminars, fitness opportunities, a lending library, retail store, and more for expectant and new parents.

3548 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, Ca 94118
Online: dayonebaby.com


photo: Erin Lem

Serena & Lily Design Shop
Whether you want to revamp your play room or need ideas for baby’s first nursery, Serena & Lily’s chic new outpost will give you what your Pinterest board can’t—helpful guidance by friendly staff, inspiration, and a ton of paint swatches and textile samples to look at, feel, and take home.

3457 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, Ca
Online: serenaandlily.com/designshop


photo: Victor G via Yelp

San Francisco Public Library, Presidio Branch
This neighborhood library underwent a renovation a couple of years back and the facelift made the interior brighter and more welcoming. Each week features an array of children’s programs like toddler tales and playtime and baby rhyme time. After hanging out in the designated children’s area, head outside and picnic on the grass or the sunny steps.

3150 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, Ca 94115
Online: sfpl.org/index.php?pg=0100002801


photo: gracewong via flickr

Jewish Community Center
Whether you’re on the hunt for an after school enrichment program, looking to try out a new class like ballet and hip hop or hope to learn more about the Jewish faith, the JCC offers programs and services for every age and interest. As the oldest Jewish center on the West Coast, this hulking building houses tons of great resources and is open to all.

3200 California St
San Francisco, Ca
Online: jccsf.org


photo: Yelp

Dottie Doolittle
This small boutique on Sacramento Street has been dressing Presidio Heights kids in classy American and European styles for close to 40 years. The store carries chic and timeless duds (think outfits for weddings and special occasions) for children infants through 16 years old. You can even create a baby registry here.

3680 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, Ca
Online: dottiedoolittle.com/aboutus.asp


photo: jessicafm via flickr

Right Start
For products for infants through toddlers pay a visit to Right Start. Whether you’re a seasoned pro on baby number three or a newbie on your first, this storefront carries everything you’ll need including strollers, car seats, bath products, nursery furniture and more.

3435 Sacramento St
San Francisco, Ca
Online: rightstart.com

The main hub where you’ll find eat–both sit-down and take out–is at Laurel Village. Located on California Street between Spruce and Laurel Streets, this shopping center is a hub for locals visiting the pharmacy, selecting cuts of meat at the butcher and visiting the bank. For a full list of shops and restaurants click here. Some of our favorite kid-friendly eateries at Laurel Village and beyond are listed below.


photo: William R. via Yelp

Rigolo Cafe
If you’re craving a real meal out with entertainment for the kids, dining at Rigolo Cafe is a must. The modern French bistro serves up delicious fare from morning until night (they’re open 7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday) and includes a kids play area with toys and a chalkboard, clean restrooms, a kids menu, balloons and more. Park in the back of Laurel Village for non-metered spots.

3465 California Street
San Francisco, Ca
Online: rigolocafe.com


photo: Antonio C. via Yelp

Come here for brunch, but get there early as neighbors know that this corner restaurant gets crowded fast. The restaurant serves up American comfort food. Must-trys? The fresh squeezed orange juice, buttermilk pancakes and chicken hash.

500 Presidio Street
San Francisco, Ca
Online: ellassanfrancisco.com


photo: Liz S. via Yelp

Picnix Bistro
This small cafe is off the beaten path but certainly worth the few block walk away from the main shops on Sacramento Street. A favorite of neighbors and hospital workers, the cafe features an array of soups, salads and sandwiches. There are a few tables and chairs set up outside, which are nice on a sunny day. Closed Sunday.

3872 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, Ca
Online: picnixsf.com

Date Night Picks: If you book a sitter, beeline it back to Presidio Heights for a proper date night. Favorite spots are: Spruce (3640 Sacramento Street), Sociale (3665 Sacramento Street) and Nico (3665 Sacramento Street).

Coffee Shops


photo: Zoey S. via yelp

Swank at the Laurel Inn
By night Swank is a cocktail lounge, but by day it’s a coffee bar. Head here to get your Blue Bottle fix and pick up locally-made pastries to get your day started right.

444 Presidio Avenue
San Francisco, Ca
Online: jdvhotels.com/restaurants/the-laurel-inn/swank-cocktail-coffee-club

Coffee & a Bagel
Even in a small enclave like Presidio Heights you can’t escape the Peet’s Coffee, Noah’s Bagel, Starbucks trifecta. Find each at Laurel Village where you can grab a cuppa, nosh on a bagel and then peruse the stores.


photo: lwy via flickr

Noah’s Bagel
3519 California
San Francisco, Ca

Peet’s Coffee & Tea
3419 California Street
San Francisco, Ca

What’s your ideal day in Presidio Heights? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Erin Lem