Buena Vista Park
Since Buena Vista Park (Haight Street and Buena Vista East) is an easy two-block walk from my house, I have no excuse to ever skip a workout. Located in the famed Haight-Ashbury district, Buena Vista is San Francisco's oldest park; it boasts spectacular views and feels a bit like a forest escape in the middle of the city. On days where I really need to move, I like to run up and down the park's stairs for a good hour and finish it off with a mini strength-training circuit at the top.
Whether you decide to take one of the many staircases or dirt trails, make sure to stop at the vista points along the way to the top. After making it to the hill's peak — 575 feet! — enjoy the view of the city before heading back down. And don't overlook the park's perimeter; if you're a fan of Hitchcock's Vertigo, then one of the buildings will look especially familiar. There's also a great example of a Cass Calder Smith modernist home. — Michele Foley, associate editor