Today I had to visit the doctor, but then had plans to have brunch with my friend and her boyfriend in the Haight. I’d wandered up Pacific Street past Van Ness and back down (or UP! as the case may be) towards the Mission a few times, but was interested in venturing further, so I decided to walk the whole way. After a few weeks of walking, setting off on longer ones starts to feel exciting. The body that’s spent so much time sitting at a desk looks forward to sweating and working it’s muscles.

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Pacific Heights is beautiful. It’s pristine, and the buildings, even the apartments, are ornate and regal and clean and tidy. There are houses interspersed between the tall apartment complexes, and I can’t even begin to imagine how much they must cost. The Mission is definitely has it’s beautiful streets, but they don’t feel as manicured as these. I’m not here to talk about politics, so I’ll just say that having lived in the Mission and spent most of my time there and downtown, etc., the contrast between parts of the city like this and most of the others is startling. Makes one think…

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I would love to see the view of the bay from the roof (or you know, fancy balcony) of one of these residences… All of the streets running down from Pacific have ridiculously gorgeous views like these, and you can’t help but gasp, “Wowwwww….” and stop to marvel at how amazing the geography of the bay area is:

view from Pacific Heights of the San Francisco Bay

yellow flowers in Pacific Heights

ornate apartment building in Pacific Heights

Traveling through Pac Heights and the Fillmore, it was challenging to keep from getting distracted by all of the things to check out along the way and make good time over to the Haight for brunch. These neighborhoods are relatively unexplored for me, so… noted for future reference! Cut through Golden Gate Park’s panhandle for some green and shade, and on to some good eats.

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I think I see a tourist taking a photo of this string of houses on Central Avenue every time I walk past them… (ahem, tourist-in-my-own-city):

brightly painted houses on Central Avenue in the Haight-Ashbury district

Catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while was great, and on the way home I decided to hike up (Mount) Buena Vista, because… why not? I think the last time I ventured up the hilly paths through the park was almost ten (?!) years ago, which is ridiculous—how do you have a park like this in your backyard, and not make sure to enjoy it every now and then? So stunning, especially on a clear, sunny day, and with those great views of the city all around…

view of the city from Buena Vista Park

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Buena Vista Park

Buena Vista Park

panoramic view of Buena Vista Park trail

(click me to expand and zoom and scroll)

bright sun shining through a lacework of tree branches in Buena Vista Park

trail in Buena Vista Park

view of the Haight from the top of Buena Vista Park

Recommended, five stars. So much more to explore here.

Must come back more often…

Where should I go tomorrow?

  • MILES WALKED: about 9
  • ELEVATION: about 600 feet
  • NEIGHBORHOODS: Civic Center, Russian Hill, Pacific Heights, Fillmore, Haight-Ashbury, Mission