Happy Valentine’s from Rec and Park!

Valentine's Day Photo Contest

Valentine’s Day Contest: Like us on Facebook and receive a chance to win a couple’s photo shoot at one of our top romantic park spots, to be scheduled at a later date. The winning couple will also receive a framed 16”x16” stretched canvas photo from the photo shoot. Three runners up will each receive complimentary passes to the Japanese Tea Garden for two. Remember, like us on Facebook for your chance to win. See our video of the week featuring romantic park vistas.

San Francisco’s Top Ten Romantic Park Sites

1.  Shakespeare’s Garden in Golden Gate Park— What could be more romantic than a garden named after The Bard himself, William Shakespeare?  Founded in 1928 by the California Spring Blossom and Wildflower Association, the Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park features many of the flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s works and is the perfect spot for a first date or for reigniting old flames.

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2.  Palace of Fine Arts– Don’t forget your camera on your visit to the iconic Palace of Fine Arts, one of the most photographed sites in the City that has also been featured in numerous film and TV productions. It’s also a popular wedding location and dazzling performance venue, as well as a wonderful place for a stroll through the Greco-Roman style rotunda and colonnades along the Palace lagoon.  Ah me.

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3. Fay Park– Just a block from “the world’s crookedest street,” this tiny ¼-acre park on the northeast slope of Russian Hill is a hidden gem. The garden’s three terraces, connected by stairs and ramps, climb the hillside for half a city block, lined with stone balustrades and retaining walls, ornamental planting beds, and boxwood hedges. At the top are two latticed wooden gazebos and an overlook with views of the San Francisco Bay. Open to the public since 2006, it has become a popular spot for weddings and romantic strolls.

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4.  Coit Tower– Coit Tower has arguably been the most recognizable icon along the San Francisco skyline since its completion in 1933. Its observation deck, reached by elevator (tickets can be purchased in the gift shop), provides breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and bay, including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.

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5.  Buena Vista Park– Buena Vista Park, located in the heart of the city, is named for the spectacular views from its upper slopes. The oldest park in San Francisco, it features secluded, winding trails and one of the city’s few remaining coast live oak groves.  A definite stop on your list of must-sees.

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6.  Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden in Golden Gate Park—In full bloom in early spring, this fabulous collection of tulips and the adjacent Dutch Windmill provide a picturesque backdrop for a fabulous wedding or a little smooch in the park.

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7.  Mt. Davidson– At 938 feet, Mt. Davidson is the highest natural point in San Francisco.  It’s a given then, that some of the most spectacular views of the city can be found here.   Take a stroll with your loved ones and enjoy the sight of grasslands, wildflowers and forest.

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8.  Twin Peaks– At 922 feet in elevation, Twin Peaks is second only to Mt. Davidson in height and offers spectacular views of the Bay Area. Originally called “Los Pechos de la Choca” (Breasts of the Maiden) by early Spanish settlers, these two adjacent peaks provide postcard views and a treasure trove of animal and plant diversity. Most visitors to Twin Peaks drive (or take a tourist bus) to the north peak parking lot to enjoy 180-degree views of the Bay Area.

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9.  Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park– We’re certainly promising you a rose garden and more, right here in Golden Gate Park, featuring hundreds of types of roses that are in bloom year-round, with the most spectacular display occurring during the summer. (But remember, no flower picking allowed.)

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10.  Lake Merced– Lake Merced, a large freshwater lake in San Francisco’s southwestern corner, is the heart of a 614-acre park that is popular with boaters, hikers, bicyclists and birdwatchers. A 4.5-mile paved trail circles the lake’s perimeter, and the park’s facilities include picturesque picnic spots and a pier.

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