Visit a Local Park
The San Francisco area features several state and national parks/recreation areas. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) encompasses a variety of different locations, including Alcatraz, Muir Woods National Monument, Marin Headlands, Presidio of San Francisco, NIKE Missile Site and many others. Each of these areas offers opportunities to explore the area's natural and human history. GGNRA has four campgrounds; the Kirby Cove Campground & Picnic Area requires reservations.
The city of San Francisco also maintains a number of city parks. Consider taking a stroll through the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum or visit the animals at the San Francisco Zoo.
Take a Walking Tour
One of the best ways to see a city is by walking its streets, and San Francisco is no exception. One option is to take a tour with the San Francisco City Guides, which offers free walking tours focusing on different neighborhoods in the city. Tours typically last between one and one-and-a-half hours. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared for walking some hills.
San Francisco City Guides
The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society also offers a self-guided or professionally guided tour along the Barbary Coast Trail. These tours take visitors to various historical sites located in the city. These nearly four-mile walking tours begin at the Old U.S. Mint in downtown San Francisco and conclude at the Aquatic Park; both locations are accessible via cable car.
Barbary Coast Trail
Go for A Run
Though the city is famous for its brutal hills, if such a thing doesn't daunt you, consider exploring the city by going for a run. The San Francisco Road Runners Club suggests several routes starting in downtown San Francisco ranging from three to ten miles in length. These routes (see References section) take runners from Union Square around to points in the city including the waterside Embarcadero roadway and AT&T Ballpark.
Rent a Bike
Another way to explore the city is by bike. Several companies offer bike rentals in the city. Many have locations at Fisherman's Wharf, a major tourist attraction. Bikes available for rent include road bikes, mountain bikes and tandem bikes. If there are any small children in your group, you can also rent child trailers to pull them along.
Bay City Bike
Bike and Roll
San Francisco's waterfront location makes it an excellent destination for those who love water sports. One activity you can partake in at the San Francisco Bay is kayaking. City Kayak offers a sea kayaking class (Sundays at 10:30 a.m.) and sunset kayaking (Saturdays at 6 p.m.). Sea Trek Kayak, located in nearby Sausalito, offers sit-on-top kayak rentals and traditional kayak rentals (class required).
Sea Trek Kayak