Are you looking for the perfect place in San Francisco to host a picnic? Here are some picnic venue ideas for your outdoor gathering.
Alta Plaza Park
This hillside park in the Pacific Heights neighborhood boasts great views of both the city and the bay. Alta Plaza is not as crowded as some of the other San Francisco parks, so this is a great option for your large gathering. There are lots of trees, so you can picnic in the shade, if desired. After your meal, work off those calories with a game of basketball or a tennis match. Kids will enjoy the large playground with equipment for both little kids and big kids. There is also an off-leash dog play area, and the park hosts pug meet ups on Sundays.
Parking is difficult, so consider taking public transportation or carpooling. It can be chilly and windy at times, so bring a jacket or dress in layers.
Another hilly park in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, Lafayette Park is a beautiful destination for your picnic. It has a designated picnic area with tables available for reservation. Enjoy stunning views of the marina and relax. You can pick up provisions for your picnic at the Whole Foods just one block away. There is a play structure for the kids and you can even bring your dog to enjoy the off leash dog area.
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is the third most visited park in the United States, but don’t let this scare you off. There is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a picnic with your large group. And if you get a little bored, there are activities for everyone in your group, such as: playgrounds, gardens, lakes, trails, a carousel, museums, gardens, and bike rentals. There are several picnic groves to choose from.
However, even though there is plenty of parking available, the park has problems with car break-ins. So make sure you don’t leave anything visible in your car.
West Bluff Picnic Area at Crissy Field Park
This park boasts great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, large picnic tables and BBQ pits. There is plenty of room for your whole party on the large grassy field. However, it can get windy and a little cool at times. So dress in layers and bring a jacket.
Washington Street Park
Established in 1847, this park in the North Beach neighborhood is an ideal spot for a large picnic. It has both green lawns and shaded areas with trees. There is a playground for children. This park has a similar vibe to Delores Park, but is less crowded. Try it out for a more peaceful picnic experience.
Sigmund Stern Grove
This park often features live concerts that are popular with local residents. It also has a great area for picnics including picnic tables. There are other activities such as a dog park, athletic fields, tennis courts, and a playground. One word of caution, it can become quite swampy during the rainy season.
Marina Green Park
Marina Green Park is a great choice for waterside dining. It also boasts incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. There is a nearby Safeway to pick up food and drinks. The parking and the people watching are both good. If you bring young children, keep an eye on them. There is no railing along the waterside promenade.
Buena Vista Park
Although Buena Vista is a hillside park, there are great picnic areas on the grassy slopes near the bottom. After eating, hike to the top and enjoy great views of city. Visitors describe this park as a “hidden gem”. Parking can be difficult, so consider taking public transportation.
Strawberry Hill is a unique, hidden feature in the midst of Golden Gate Park. It is an easy, scenic hike to the top where you’ll find picnic tables. Your group can enjoy a meal and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Strawberry Hill is situated in the middle of Stow Lake. You can also rent row boats or paddle boats.