The weather is currently stunning, which usually would mean heading to Dolores Park for some picnicking and people-watching. But with big swathes of the park out of commission for construction and renovation, you may be in need of some other park options. Luckily, there are lots of other parks not too far from Dolores that offer everything from views to cafes to tennis courts. We put together a selection of our five favorite alternatives to Dolores Park for your sunbathing pleasure:
1) Precita Park
Where It Is: Bernal Heights, bounded by Folsom and Alabama streets to the east/west and Precita Avenue both north and south
Details: This two-acre patch of grass at the base of Bernal Hill is our number-one pick. It’s basically a flatter, less crazy version of Dolores, with picnicking hipsters everywhere and slackliners set up on the trees that surround the park. There’s a butterfly garden at one end alongside a children’s playground. When you get hungry, head to Precita Park Cafe, Dolores Park Cafe’s very similar sister spot.
2) Walter Haas Park
Where It Is: Glen Park, bounded by Diamond Heights Boulevard, Addison Street and Beacon Street
Details: If you thought that the views out over the city from Dolores were stunning, head up to Walter Haas Park for some real jaw-droppers. You’ll have to make your way up to the border of Diamond Heights and Glen Park to enjoy this park, but the views make the trip worthwhile. Bring your own snacks because there isn’t much nearby in the way of food or drink. Dogs are very welcome.
3) Duboce Park
Where It Is: Along Duboce Avenue, bounded by Scott and Steiner streets
Details: Although it covers less than two square blocks, Duboce Park sits at a prime location near the Lower Haight and Duboce Triangle. The Scott Street Labyrinth in the park was designed to be used for yoga, meditation and relaxation. There is an extensive dog area, as well as areas designated just for humans. Nearby is Duboce Park Cafe, another relation of Dolores Park Cafe.
4) Alamo Square
Where It Is: In Alamo Square, bounded by Fulton, Steiner, Scott and Hayes streets
Details: If it’s a sunny day and you’re after some Bi-Rite ice cream followed by lounging in the grass, Alamo Square is now your spot. You’ll have to share the views of the Painted Ladies with hundreds of picture-snapping tourists, but at least exhaust-spewing tour buses are now banned within several blocks of the park. Renovations are also scheduled for Alamo Square later this year, so this may be a short-lived alternative.
5) Holly Park
Where It Is: Bernal Heights, Entrances at Highland Ave, Appleton Ave, Murray Street, Bocana Street
Details: High above the city in Bernal Heights is the oval-shaped Holly Park. It recently underwent $2 million worth of renovations, so will be completely open for business during Dolores’ makeover. The views are divine and gated picnic and barbecue areas are available, as are tennis courts.