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Stern Grove I ©Shelly Prevost/Flickr
Stern Grove I ©Shelly Prevost/Flickr
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The Top Dog Walking Spots In San Francisco

Picture of Natalie Garnett
Updated: 21 December 2016
Looking for a new spot to roam with your fluffy friend in the City by the Bay? Check out Culture Trip’s list of the top dog walks in San Francisco.
Baker Beach I ©Lisa Williams/Flickr
Baker Beach I | ©Lisa Williams/Flickr
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Baker Beach

A mile south of Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach has claim to one of the best views in San Francisco. Dogs are allowed off leash north of Lobos Creek, where there is over a mile stretch of sand to stroll. Be wary of the north end — it’s a nude beach, and sunbathers take advantage.

Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA

Fort Funston I ©Fido Factor/Flickr

Fort Funston I ©Fido Factor/Flickr

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Fort Funston

Off of Skyline Boulevard in southwest San Francisco, Fort Funston National Park is a dog’s paradise. There are miles of oceanfront trails where off-leash walking is permitted and sand dunes for extra play space. While strolling, keep your eyes out for hang-gliders — this is a favorite spot for those into the sport.

Fort Funston National Park, Fort Funston Rd, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 561 4700

Golden Gate Park I ©Daniel Ramirez/Flickr

Golden Gate Park I ©Daniel Ramirez/Flickr

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Golden Gate Park

With food trucks, lush gardens, and museums, Golden Gate Park is as exciting for you as it is your fluffy friend. Most of the park is leash-enforced, though there are four small off-leash runs for dogs to peruse. Grab a cone at Twirl and Dip and take Rover for a cross-park adventure.

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 831 2700

Ocean Beach I ©Takashi Hososhima/Flickr

Ocean Beach I ©Takashi Hososhima/Flickr

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Ocean Beach

San Francisco’s longest stretch of accessible beach, Ocean Beach offers miles of sniff spots for your dog and gorgeous ocean views for you. If you’re looking for off-leash walking, head north of Beach Chalet. This beach is notoriously gloomy, so pick up a cup o’ joe at Trouble Coffee Company before starting off.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA

Stern Grove I ©Shelly Prevost/Flickr

Stern Grove I ©Shelly Prevost/Flickr

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Stern Grove

A little inland from Fort Funston, Stern Grove‘s walking trails are nicely sheltered from the elements. In addition to the paths, the Grove also contains Pine Lake Park, a large glade perfect for tossing a ball. Off-leash walking is permitted on the north side of the park.

Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove, Sloat Blvd, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 242 5200

Mount Davidson I ©Daniel Ramirez/Flickr

Mount Davidson I ©Daniel Ramirez/Flickr

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Mount Davidson

If you and your dog are looking to escape the bustle of the city for a few hours, head to Mount Davidson. Davidson’s peak stands at 928 ft — the highest natural point in San Francisco. Several trails and a fire-road, all sheltered by Eucalyptus groves, will lead you to the top. Aim to go on a clear day, as the city views are stunning.

Mount Davidson Park, San Francisco, CA, USA

Presidio I ©Timothy Vollmer/Flickr

Presidio I ©Timothy Vollmer/Flickr

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The Presidio

At 1,491 acres with an abundance of trails, The Presidio holds endless possibilities for you and your dog. Whether you’re looking for an untouched woodland hike or busier ocean trails, The Presidio has it all. This is a great spot for trail running with your dog, though most of the areas do require leashes.

The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA

Alta Plaza I ©Tanel Teemusk/Flickr

Alta Plaza I ©Tanel Teemusk/Flickr

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Alta Plaza Park

At the top of Pacific Heights, Alta Plaza is a blessing for dog owners in the city. The terraced, grassy area is all off-leash and contains open spaces that are perfect for doggy play. Home to the first ‘Pug Sunday,’ this park is teeming with the little canines the first Sunday of every month.

Alta Plaza Park, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 831 5500

Dog Park I ©Don DeBold/Flickr

Dog Park I ©Don DeBold/Flickr

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Upper Douglass Dog Park

Between Noe Valley and Glen Park, Upper Douglass Dog Park is fenced in, meaning your dog can play freely with little worry on your end. It’s a quaint meadow surrounded by large pines and is frequented by local dog owners who are always ready for a chat. Bring a ball or frisbee — this spot is the perfect area for your furry friend to run wild.

Upper Douglass Dog Park, Douglass St and 27th St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 831 2700

John McLaren Park I ©Marcin Wichary/Flickr

John McLaren Park I ©Marcin Wichary/Flickr

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John McLaren Park

At over 300 acres, John McLaren Park hosts two large areas where dogs can roam free. For wooded trails, take to the Shelley Loop, which will eventually lead you to a lake for water play and relaxation. On occasion there’s a free performance at the Jerry Garcia bandstand — a great excuse to relax after a brisk stroll.

John McLaren Park, 100 John F Shelley Dr, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 831 2700