When it comes to working out, San Francisco has something for everyone. Whether you already have a consistent workout routine, or you’re hammering out those New Year’s resolutions, take a look at our list to get some inspiration!
1. Find a new route for hiking, running, or walking
If you’re trying to get moving in SF, it starts with simply walking out the door. SF has plenty of amazing views and places to explore, and there are always opportunities to up the ante on a hilly route. Below are some of our favorite routes and hills to climb, but check out our roundups of local hikes and places to walk for more.
- Ina Coolbrith Park: This small, unassuming park in Russian Hill is really a hidden gem when you’re looking for great city views. Climb the steps all the way to the top for a spectacular sunset reward.
- Buena Vista Park: Find lovely grassy hills and city views at the oldest park in San Francisco.
- Lands End: Located on the northwest tip of San Francisco, this spot offers gorgeous views of the Sutro Baths and the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a family-friendly hike that isn’t too strenuous.
- Mount Davidson: This loop trail may be short, but it’s worth a visit to see the highest point in the city, topped with an enormous cross. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the geographic center of San Francisco.
- Lyon Street Steps: This magnificent staircase is found in the swanky neighborhood of Pacific Heights. Admire pristine landscaping and views of multi-million dollar homes on the way up, as well as a great view of the city when you reach the top.
Here are some groups and organizations to check out if you’re looking for some encouragement:
- SF Runs
- SF Road Runners Club
- Golden Gate Running Club
- SF FrontRunners (LGBTQIA+)
- Urban Hiking & Happy Hour
- Super Fabulicious Hiking and Outdoor Adventure Group
- San Francisco Hiking Club LGBTQ+ Friends
2. Go for a bike ride
San Francisco has some pretty stellar infrastructure for cyclists! The city’s parks are totally bikeable, and the addition of bike lanes and slow streets makes for more accessible bike networks. You can see our roundup of places to go cycling for ideas, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Presidio: Start at Crissy Field or the Golden Gate Promenade for some nice park views, and then bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. You can come back the way you came or hop on a ferry back to the city.
- Golden Gate Park: At 1,017 acres, Golden Gate Park is one of the largest public parks in the world. Consider hopping on a bike so as to zip between attractions or simply admire the beautiful green space. Most of this park is car-free, and it’s a popular meet-up point for local bike groups.
- Angel Island: Take the ferry from Pier 41 and bike around the perimeter of the island for great views of the Bay, Mt. Tamalpais, and more. The Angel Island Perimeter Loop is 5.9 miles long and pretty flat, save for a few inclines.
- Fort Funston: Take the Great Highway trail, which starts at Fulton Street, and bike down through the park. You can stop to watch the hang gliders, loop around Lake Merced, and breathe in some fresh sea air.
Want to make some new friends? Consider joining one of these groups:
3. Join an outdoor gym or bootcamp
If you really want to get your blood moving in the great outdoors, a bootcamp or outdoor gym might be the place for you. Here are a few gems.
- LuxFit: An outdoor gym with open gym, group classes, and personal trainer options. Find it in Hayes Valley and at their new location at The Crossing at East Cut.
- National Fitness Campaign: A publicly-accessible circuit training course at 415 Jackson St.
- The Boombox Bootcamp: Weekly outdoor bootcamp sessions at the Ferry Building and Dolores Park.
- Social Fit Club at District Six: Rotating classes include yoga, bootcamps, and more.
- Workout on the Hill: Group exercise classes with a dose of personal training in Bernal Heights.
4. Find your zen at an outdoor yoga class
Yoga is one of the most accessible ways to care for your mind and body. Grab a mat and follow your own practice in your favorite park, or consider joining these groups.
- Outdoor Yoga SF: Silent disco yoga classes at Hellman Hollow, Baker Beach, Crissy Field, and more.
- Golden Gate Park: Sunday morning Vinyasa-style clases by Divine Yoga Studio at Sunbathers Meadow in Golden Gate Park.
- Yoga in the Garden: 45-minute Vinyasa yoga on the first Thursday of the month at SF Botanical Garden.
5. Register for seasonal programming from SF Rec & Parks
Each season, SF Rec & Parks puts out a fantastic catalog of community classes for adults and children with everything from ceramics and photography to yoga and kayaking. If you want to meet some new people and learn a new a new skill, make sure you keep an eye on their website for registration dates and new classes.
As of January 2022, most classes for the winter session have filled up, but you can still shoot your shot on the waitlist. See the 2022 winter catalog here.
6. Try something new!
Of course, there are plenty of other fun ways to get moving outdoors! Here are some lesser-known activities to consider if you’re looking to shake up your workout routine.
- Lindy in the Park: A free swing dance party every Sunday 11am-2pm in Golden Gate Park.
- Golden Gate Park Roller Disco Party: Free roller skating party Sundays from 1pm-5pm at Skatin’ Place.
- Pickleball: This fun and accessible sport is a mix between tennis, badminton, and ping pong, and it’s growing exponentially in popularity! SF Rec & Parks even installed more pickleball courts to keep up with the demand.
Featured image: Ricardo Canino via Shutterstock