Best Trails for a Picnic Day in San Francisco

Picnic spots and cafés along these family-friendly trails make them ideal for spending most of the day outdoors.

Hiking, Road Biking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

The Sutro Baths
The Sutro Baths Photo: Matthew Dillon

Description

In San Francisco, warm and sunny days are not always easy to come by, so you’ll want to make the most of them when they occur. To spend the whole day outside, you should plan for a picnic or a café convenient to the trails. Luckily, San Francisco has many possibilities for meals on the go with great views.

At Lands End, mellow footpaths lead to clifftop benches in view of the Golden Gate, plus the famous Cliff House Restaurant over the ocean.

Take a stroll with unbeatable views of the bridge on the Golden Gate Promenade, pause for a picnic on the lawn or the beach at Crissy Field, then have a hot drink at the Warming Hut Bookstore & Cafe near the wharf.

The Presidio Cafe sits right on the Bay Area Ridge trail, and makes a convenient starting point for a hike or bike ride through the urban forests and seascapes of the Presidio.

Biking or walking through Golden Gate Park, you’ll find grassy lawns and secluded picnic areas, as well as the Japanese tea house with its lovely gardens, and the Beach Chalet restaurant right on the coast.

Hike to the summit of Angel Island, in San Francisco Bay, then refuel with a picnic or specialty meal at Angel Island Café.

Battery Wallace, near Point Bonita Lighthouse in Marin Headlands, has “one of the parklands’ most scenic picnic spots,” according the the National Park Service.

On Cataract Falls Trail, have a picnic by the creek at Laurel Dell before retracing your steps downhill past all the mossy waterfalls.

Hike the strenuous Steep Ravine and Matt Davis Loop, starting or finishing at the laid-back but ever-popular Siren Canteen in Stinson Beach.

Routes included

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