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Off-the-beaten-path walks for every district in San Francisco

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Now’s the time to take the road less traveled in your neighborhood

Attention walkers! This is the time to take the road less traveled. Stay away from potentially crowded areas, and seek out something special in your part of the city that is within walking distance from your front door.
In this post, I suggest lesser-known destinations in each district of the city. The fun will be finding your own route and possibly discovering something you’ve never noticed before. Share your walks with #IWalkSF.

District 1 (Richmond, Laurel Heights)

  • Old style pedestrian paths between Funston and Park Presidio from Fulton to Lake Street. With the decrease in traffic, you can enjoy the lovely homes on 14th and Funston.
  • Unique garden block of 23rd Ave between Funston and Cabrillo.

District 2 (Marina, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow)

  • Car-free steepest blocks of Broderick and Baker between Vallejo and Broadway.
  • Corner of Larkin and Francisco by the old reservoir.

District 3 (Chinatown, North Beach, Russian Hill, Nob Hill)

  • Fern Alley at Polk, newly redesigned.
  • Any street in the temporarily quiet financial district.

District 4 (Sunset)

  • Sunset Boulevard, between 36 and 37th. Similar to Park Presidio, with old style pedestrian paths you can enjoy without traffic.
  • Fairytale blocks of 34th and 35th between Kirkham and Lawton.

District 5 (Hayes Valley, Western Addition, Fillmore, Japantown, Lower Haight, Cole Valley, Duboce Triangle, Haight Ashbury)

  • Bush and Pine between Broderick and Octavia. Take this opportunity to check out the grand Victorians along this traffic corridors.
  • Quiet Biedemen Alley and Wilmot Alley. Short blocks, but little treasures.

District 6 (SoMa, Tenderloin, Mission Bay, South Beach)

  • Soma Alleys: Check out Lafayette Street (quaint) and Ringold Alley (gay history plaques).
  • Brannan and Townsend between 7th and 11th. These former traffic corridors are being transformed with bike lanes and new development.

District 7 (Ingleside, St. Francis Wood, Park Merced, Parkside)

  • Urbano Circle and the large sundial on Estrada Court.
  • Westwood Park Circle. Walk both the inner and outer circles.

District 8 (Castro, Noe Valley, Glen Park)

  • Duncan/Castro Open Space.
  • Clipper and Grandview. Try a sunset walk here – it’s called Grandview for a reason!

District 9 (Mission, Bernal Heights, Portola)

  • The bell-shaped neighborhood by St. Mary’s Park (College and Genebern).
  • San Francisco’s steepest block on Bradford above Tompkins.

District 10 (Bayview, Potrero Hill, Visitacion Valley)

  • Alemany Island Project’s beautiful mural panels on San Bruno as it dips down under the 280 / 101 interchange.
  • Castle house at Newhall and Quesada. (No, this is NOT the famed Albion Castle.)

District 11 (Excelsior, OMI, Crocker Amazon)

  • Cayuga Street to Cayuga Park and its carved sculptures.
  • Itching to travel to foreign lands? Head to the intersection of Paris and France or pick the intersection of a country and city of your choice in the Excelsior. Get good some selfies by the street signs of the Excelsior.
This article was written by Nancy Botkin, with lots of help from Julianna Gallin and inspiration from fellow Walk Lab members Marilyn Adamson, Andrew Greenberg, Cole Brennan, Eric Chase, and Karen Rhodes. Walk Lab researches routes for Walk SF, and we’re so grateful for their ideas during shelter-in-place.