By Chef Corso
Not all hikes are deep in the woods. Come along as I urban hike around the city of San Francisco on a beautiful late fall day.
Crissy Field-Russian Hill – Financial District – Market Street – Mission District Haight Ashbury – Golden Gate Park – Pacific Ocean – Crissy Fields –11.5 Miles
I’ve been to San Francisco many times before, often multiple times per year in my pervious profession. It’s a great city all around, with great food, vistas, culture, style and architecture.
If you have visited before, you already know this…damn they have some hills.
I think most of the time when we visit new cities, we find the sights we want to see, maybe take a couple short walks, then take an uber or public transit back to the hotel or airbnb.
For me, it’s about going on a couple long walks, 2-4 hours at least to really see the city and enjoy a perspective that not many tourists get to see.
Just because it’s covered in concrete, curbs and pavement doesn’t it make it less of an adventure.
The thing that I absolutely love about urban hikes, is you get to see it all and experience a city as the locals do. Walking by the markets, neighborhood walk-ups, mini-parks, different views and so many surprises.
We don’t often think about a city as an outdoor place to explore, but any city can turn into an outdoor playground to get in some miles and see it all on foot.
I know I cook a lot outdoors but there are some days where you need put the stove away and snack about town. My route for the day was general. Main targets: Burrito in the mission, croissant at Tartine and try to walk all the way across Golden Gate Park.
Bright blue skies, with a light crispy cali breeze in the air.
Parked and just started walking toward the center of town.
I started my route at Crissy Fields at 9am.
Made my way up (south) to Little Italy for a late morning bite.
As I meandered along market street toward the mission and through Union Square, I have to tell you…it was weird. Walking through a city during a pandemic was quite the experience. Just a few people out and about, shops closed or boarded up and just a level of energy that wasn’t there. Also, with SF being a big tourist city, not the normal crowds of tourists as the usually jammin spots.
If you haven’t had a true burrito made in California (not to be confused with a CaliBurrtio with is classically carne asada and fries) or a true Mission burrito, please but it on your food bucket list. They just know how to do it. Better flavored meats, vibrant salsas and complete build of all of the components that consistently hit it higher than other place. (Burritos are one of my favorite things, so I could go on for hours about the attributes of excellent burrito builds). I was able to get a solid one (although not as great as I remembered) and ate it in Mission Delores Park in the sunshine. Great mid day break!
Quick stop at Tartine for a few pastries for later (belly full of burrito).
My route took me up to through Noe Valley and Haight Ashbury, then over to the Eastern entrance of Golden Gate Park. GGP in itself would be a good urban hike. So many great paths and pockets to explore. I traveled across the whole thing and ended at the pacific ocean in the late afternoon.
At this point, my feet and legs were pretty tired after 6 hours walking so I took a quick uber back to my car, finished at Crissy Fields for golden hour.
A big ole, beautiful loop around SF.
Get out there and explore your city!