Buena Vista Park
Perched on a hilltop above Haight Ashbury is the small residential nabe, Buena Vista Park. Buena Vista Park is made up of stately, architecturally notable homes (one was featured in Hitchcock's Vertigo) and a lush, wooded park (the oldest official park in San Francisco!). The Victorians and the unique views seen from this hilltop steal the show in Buena Vista Park, while the Upper Haight and Lower Haight are just a colorful stroll away.
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– Buena Vista Park is really great. It’s overlooked a lot by residents, but it is a really great place to just go and veg out on a sunnny day
– I already kinda alluded to it, but it’s one of the sunnier parts of the city because it’s on a hill
– Really close to the Haight, if you like that part of town. Literally, like, a 5-to-10 minute walk
– Totally quiet. A lot of compacted, multi-room apartment complexes and homes line the quiet street. Residents usually seem really happy, sitting on their front steps during the day and taking in the comfortable quiet of their blocks.
– The hill can get ya. I mean, I’m not 20 years old or anything, but I know a couple of folks who have parents that live in this area and they say they complain about how difficult it’s getting to get up and down that hill
– Sometimes, you’ll just see people sleeping on the sidewalk outside or the park. The neighborhood if close to the Haight, so, you’re gonna get your homeless hippies looking for sanctuary. The close-by, beautiful park is definitely the place for them to go. I can totally understand that, I guess. If I were homeless I’d stake out here. Ha.
When translated from Spanish, Buena Vista means “Good Sight” or “Good View.” So, the first thing I did was check out the famous views from the hilltop park. Even though it was a sort of foggy day, they were still spectacular; beautiful views of the city from all around. Then, I met my first local, a big, smiley golden retriever puppy who frolicked over to say hi, wagging her tail. I proceeded to pet the puppy and have a nice chat with her owners, who made one thing really clear about living in and around Buena Vista Park; this nabe is tightly knit. Neighbors are friends with neighbors, and everyone is friendly with each other. This nabe has a big sense of community. The locals are diverse and progressive, without all being members of one demographic. Also, Buena Vista Park is pretty walkable (as long as you don’t mind some hills) and the location is great. The Haight is a short walk away, and several other nabes beyond that. And Buena Vista Park is doggie friendly! Doggie friendly AND friendly doggies.What's awesome
The tight sense of community, the stupendous views, the parks, the location.What's not so awesome
The hills can be a pain to walk up and down, I imagine especially after a long day at work. Plus side: awesome calves.
Buena Vista Park – One of the city's gems
As I walked through Buena Vista Park I kept thinking that I would encounter more people. Sure, the walk was uphill, but the park was just so beautiful I figured more people would be there. About a month ago, I went on a 30 mile walk through San Francisco (yes, 30 miles) and I discovered some amazing neighborhoods (nabes) during my eight and a half hour walk, but one of my absolute favorites was Buena Vista Park.
Located just past the Haight-Ashbury District, Buena Vista Park can be easily overlooked; it has a small entrance and the entire park is on a hill (and a decently steep one at that). However, if you make the effort to get up the hill, you’ll be treated to some of the most gorgeous views of the city, with vistas ranging from the Golden Gate Bridge all the way over to the Bay Bridge and the downtown core.
The park has multiple tennis courts and even a small playground, not too far from the entrance. As I continued to walk through the park, I noticed just how quiet and peaceful it was. As I mentioned, I went on an eight and a half hour walk through the city, touching many of its different nabes, but one of my favorite places was Buena Vista Park.
It’s not nearly as well known as Golden Gate or Dolores Park, but I find that to be endearing. It’s an area of the city not many people explore, but one that more should. I would highly recommend a trek to Buena Vista Park the next time a sunny day rolls around.
Yeah, Buena Vista is a pretty park but it feels really seedy. There are always sketchy people loitering around and I wonder what goes on here? Basically, it’s fine during the day but I’d avoid strolling through the park at night.