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San Francisco's Top 10 : Outdoor Activities - Top 10 Spectator Sports

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You can rent in-line skates from Skates on Haight, at

1818 Haight Street
; tel. 415 752 8375.

Hot-air balloon flights in the Napa Valley, followed by a champagne brunch, are available; tel. 1 800 464 6824 for details.


  1. Swimming

    The icy waters of the Bay are an option only if you’re a polar bear or an indomitable surfer. Most visitors will want to head for a pool – try the Embarcadero YMCA.

    Embarcadero YMCA

  2. Hiking

    The Bay Area is replete with magnificent hiking trails for every type of nature-lover. Land’s End offers some wild terrain to scramble over , and Mount Tamalpais is criss-crossed with trails. But just scaling the city’s hills is enough hiking for most people.

  3. In-line Skating

    Golden Gate Park and in-line skaters make a perfect match, especially on Sundays, when the main street in the park is closed to cars. Or try the path that runs along Marina Green for smoothly paved surfaces.

  4. Skateboarding

    Skateboard ramps are wherever you make them in this city – along Market Street in the Financial District, in one of the dozens of parks, or on any plaza. Protection against the inevitable vagaries of flying around on wheels means you should gear up appropriately.

    DLX

    • 1831 Market St

    FTC Skateboarding

    • 622 Shrader St

  5. Running

    Now that Crissy Field’s restoration is complete, the Golden Gate Promenade  is an inspiring run. And, of course, Golden Gate Park offers endless opportunities for jogging. If organized running is your thing, try the Bay to Breakers or the San Francisco Marathon.

    Bay to Breakers

    San Francisco Marathon

    Joggers in Golden Gate Park
  6. Tennis

    Free public tennis courts abound in the city. Contact the Recreation and Park Department for the one nearest you. Golden Gate Park has 21 courts, for which a small fee is charged, but you can book in advance. Most public outdoor courts are open from sunrise to sunset. Indoor courts are the purview of private tennis clubs, with membership required.

    San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

    • 415 831 2700

    Golden Gate Park

    • 415 753 7001

  7. Golf

    The Lincoln Park 18-hole course overlooks Land’s End, and Golden Gate Park has a challenging 9-hole course. The newest addition to the scene, the Presidio Golf Course, is considered one of the country’s best.

    Lincoln Park

    • 415 221 9911

    Golden Gate Park

    • 415 751 8987

    Presidio Golf Course

    • 415 561 4661

    Lincoln Park Golf Course
  8. Boating

    Sailing, rowing and kayaking are all great here, although far from a cakewalk on the Bay’s unpredictable waters and sometimes ferocious prevailing winds. Play it nice and easy by taking a boat out on Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park .

  9. Extreme Sports

    Surfing here requires great fortitude and is not for beginners. The same goes for wind­surfing on the Bay. Hang-gliding can be tackled by novices under guidance.

    San Francisco Hang-Gliding Center

    • 510 528 2300

    Surfers
  10. Biking

    Although the hills’ amazing grades overwhelm all but those with legs of steel, bicycling is very big in San Francisco. Rent bikes from City Cycle.

    City Cycle

Top 10 Spectator Sports

  1. SF 49ers

    The National Football League team strut their stuff from September to January.

    Monster Park

    • 415 656 4900

  2. SF Giants

    The city’s baseball team plays from April to October.

    AT&T Park

    • 24 Willie Mays Plaza

    • 415 972 2000

  3. Golden State Warriors

    An NBA basketball team.

    The Arena in Oakland

    • 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland

    • 510 986 2222

  4. Oakland Athletics

    Members of the American Football League, and historic winners in the 1970s.

  5. Oakland Raiders

    Members of the American Football League.

  6. Golden Gate Fields

    The East Bay venue for horse-racing.

    • 1100 Eastshore Highway, Albany

    • 510 559 7300

  7. Bay Meadows Racecourse

    Take the CalTrain to this seasonal racetrack.

    • 2600 S Delaware St, San Mateo

    • 650 574 7223

  8. Infineon Raceway

    Auto-racing.

    • Hwys 37 & 121, Sonoma

    • 707 938 8448

  9. San Jose Sharks

    Fast-paced ice hockey.

    HP Pavilion

    • 525 West Santa Clara St, San Jose

    • 1 800 888 2736

  10. Sacramento Monarchs

    Women’s basketball team.

    Arco Arena

    • 1 Sports Parkway, Sacramento

    • 916 928 0000

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