Thursday, September 20, 2012

San Francisco - A (Literal) Playground for Adults

When I refer to San Francisco as a playground for adults, I mean it in the most innocent of ways. While standard playgrounds are designed strictly with children in mind, scattered throughout the city are the unofficial playgrounds of slides and swings where kids of all ages can relive their childhoods. Here's how to find them:

1) According to the SF City Guides, The Seward Street slides were born in 1973 when then 14-year-old Kim Clark won a contest to design the lower part of the Seward Mini Park. The slides are centrally located, and you can walk to them easily from the Mission or Castro. I've loved these slides in the past, but have been slightly turned off of late by a grumpy neighbor who occasionally threatens to call the police on visitors. You can read the Yelp reviews for more information on that situation.

2) I recently learned about the Bernal Heights Mini Park slides through one of my urban hikers (thanks Anita!). On Yelp, the first picture alone makes me want to run over there! These slides are located right next to Bernal Hill, so you could visit both spots easily on the same walk. These slides look so fun that I may have to create a new urban hiking route to add to my route portfolio.

1) Located in Glen Park, Billy Goat Hill gives you a downtown and southern city view, and can be reached via the Church Street MUNI lines or Glen Park BART. As you walk toward the top of the park, you'll find a rope swing hanging from a tree. The swing has two loops for your feet, and when you hop on, you'll feel like you're flying high over the city even though the ground is safely within reach.

2)  Golden Gate Heights Park in the Inner Sunset boasts a simple, but lovely tree swing. While this neighborhood isn't the most central location for many, the park and swing are worth a visit if you're in the area. Or, if need an extra reason to make the trek, head a little north to check out Grand View Park and the ever-amazing 16th and Moraga mosaic steps.

Do you know of any other city slides or swings that fit for adults? If so, I'd love to add them to my list. You can reach me at