NFT San Francisco SFSU / Park Merced

SFSU / Park Merced

San Francisco State University, Lake Merced (great for running, biking, and boating), and the renovated Harding Park Golf Course dominate this area. Fort Funston is also nearby; take your puppy for play dates above the beach and watch the hang gliders. Aside from college parties, the area is quiet at night.

It's common to find backpackers hanging out at SFSU. The activist-happy campus is an oasis of green amid beige surroundings. Cheap eats, including a pub, can be found inside the Cesar Chavez Student Center and around campus.


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Posted By:  Jennifer Anthony
Photo:  Jennifer Anthony

TPC Harding Park
I dipped into Harding Park this weekend because of the sheer number of times I've driven by it and made a mental note to take a closer look. With its meandering paths along Lake Merced, its graceful Monterey Cypress trees, and the picnic benches for that occasional sunny day, it offers a nice little refuge. Golfers aficionados already know about its course. But newbies might appreciate the fact that the San Francisco Golf Resident card allows SF residents to make advance reservations for golf play through the Recreation and Park Department's Golf Reservation System. (Cardholders are also entitled to discounted golf fees when they present the card to the starter at the golf course.)  The San Francisco Golf Resident card is for San Francisco residents or property owners only and is valid at Golden Gate Park, Fleming Park, Harding Park, Lincoln Park, and Sharp Park. After a long day of sporting (or relaxing), visitors can pop into the on-site Cypress Grill for food and libations.

Posted By:  Jennifer Anthony
Photo:  Jennifer Anthony

Fort Funston
Perhaps you're not loaded down with money right now (and if you are--probably not cool to carry on and on about it). Just south of Ocean Beach lies a national park with a name that just promises good times. Fort Funston has it all: heaps of free parking and no entrance fee. Hiking trails for bipeds and (gasp!) off-leash quadrupeds. Fabulous conditions for hang gliding. And for those days when you're feeling less than athletic, you can simply sit back and watch the parade of dogs, the air show, and/or the coastline. It's a gamble as to who's the happiest group at the park--the dogs or the humans. Even the crows shed their usual dour attitudes and swirl around in the air in eager attempts to remind the hang gliders which species flew first.

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