Muir Woods near San Francisco I Loews Regency San Francisco
San Francisco

One of my favorite things about San Francisco is how you can get the ‘best of both worlds’ when it comes to urban experiences and an escape to the great outdoors. Do you love the art, architecture, dining and density of things to do in a big city? But you also enjoy a hike or great expanse of green and fresh air? San Francisco can satisfy both your cravings.  After all, a trip to the West Coast wouldn’t be complete without enjoying its natural beauty.

Try our three suggestions for a San Francisco itinerary that embraces the area’s parks, trails and natural wonders.

Lands End Trail

The name itself inspires a sense of adventure in me. Following the city’s rugged northwest coastline, the Lands End Trail is an incredibly beautiful area of “urban wilderness” as the National Park Service calls it, full of “rugged cliffs, windblown forests, tiny beaches, and endless breakers rolling in from the Pacific.” There are breathtaking views all along the way, from the crashing surf to the wildflowers and hillsides of cypress. Exciting sights to plan for on your hike include old shipwrecks, the ruins of the Sutro Baths, and the Labyrinth.  It’s also fairly dog-friendly, so feel free to take your pup on this adventure, and don’t forget Loews Regency San Francisco is pet-friendly too.

Sutro Baths Lands End Trail I Loews Regency San Francisco

The Sutro Baths and rugged coastline along Lands End

Bay Area Parks

How much time do you have? With the vastness of Golden Gate Park (at 1,017 acres), you could spend days just in this one place. This city oasis is the country’s fourth oldest major urban public park featuring 680 acres of forest, 33 acres of lakes and much more. With limited time we recommend prioritizing the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, and the Bison Paddock where you can watch bison browsing in a meadow.  Still, there are even more parks peppered throughout the city that I have to recommend for a sunny day picnic. Some of my favorites include Dolores Park, Alamo Square (home to the famous Painted Ladies), Washington Square Park, and the Presidio.

Conservatory of Flowers San Francisco I Loews Regency San Francisco

Conservatory of Flowers at Golden Gate Park

Muir Woods and Point Bonita

If you’re like me, and a walk through our country’s historic redwood forest sounds like the ideal setting for a peaceful dream, then a trip to Muir Woods is a must. This primeval forest, protected as a National Monument since 1908, stretches out north of the city just across the Golden Gate Bridge. The redwoods are the big stars here, but you’ll be enveloped by nature and experience all kinds of flora and fauna while in Muir Woods. As you cross over the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll be in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and if you have enough time, factor in a visit to Point Bonita Lighthouse on your way to Muir Woods. The third lighthouse ever built on the West Coast, back in 1855, Point Bonita is still active today and can be reached by a half mile trail (tip: it’s quite steep at times). Battery Wallace near the Point Bonita trailhead offers picnic spots overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Point Bonita Lighthouse I Loews Regency San Francisco

Point Bonita Lighthouse

When you return from your adventures, Loews Regency San Francisco offers a haven in the clouds to rest and relax.

Loews Hotels & Co.