Ocean Beach runs along the Pacific Ocean shoreline, but is not suitable for swimming because the waters off the coast are cold and have deadly rip currents.
Baker Beach occupies a picturesque setting just west of the Golden Gate Bridge and is where one of the few existing colonies of Hesperolinon congestum, the threatened Marin Dwarf Flax, can be found.
The biggest and best-known park is Golden Gate Park, stretching from the center of the city to the Pacific Ocean.
Once covered only in grass and sand dunes, the park is planted with thousands of non-native trees and plants and is rich with attractions including the Conservatory of Flowers, the Japanese Tea Garden, and Strybing Arboretum.
The Presidio, a former military base, and its Crissy Field section, restored to its natural salt marsh condition, are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes Alcatraz, and other regional parks.
Buena Vista Park is the city's oldest, established in 1867. Lake Merced is a fresh-water lake surrounded by parkland.
The most prominent of the parks include:
* Alamo Square
* Alta Plaza
* San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
* Balboa Park * Buena Vista Park
* Corona Heights Park
* Dolores Park
* Glen Canyon Park
* Golden Gate National Recreation Area
* Golden Gate Park
* Golden Gate Heights Park
* Grand View Park
* Lincoln Park
* Lake Merced
* McLaren Park
* Mountain Lake Park
* The Panhandle
* Pioneer Park, site of Coit Tower.
* The Presidio
* Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove
* South Park
* Sutro Heights Park
* Washington Square Park
* Yerba Buena Gardens
Lincoln Blvd and Bowley St, San Francisco, CA
Sea Cliff Ave, San Francisco, CA
Hwy 1 and Pacific Way, Muir Beach, CA
Great Hwy and Fulton St, San Francisco, CA
Point Reyes Beach
79 Bear Valley Rd, Olema, CA
Hwy 1, Stinson Beach, CA
Ocean Beach is a beach that runs along the west coast of San Francisco, California, United States, at the Pacific Ocean.
It is adjacent to Golden Gate Park, the Richmond District and the Sunset District. The Great Highway runs alongside of the beach, and the Cliff House and the site of the former Sutro Baths sit at the northern end.
The beach is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and operated by the National Park Service. The beach throughout the late spring and summer is almost always enveloped in San Francisco's characteristic foggy weather leaving average temperatures there at 50-55F (9-12C), thus scaring away many tourists and beach goers.
Conversely, the beach is popular with surfers, campers and bonfire parties. More beach-friendly weather occurs in late fall and early spring, when the fog dissipates.
The water at Ocean Beach is noteworthy for its strong currents and fierce waves, which makes it popular among many serious surfers.
The water is also quite cold, due to a process known as upwelling, in which frigid water from below the ocean surface rises up to replace the surface water that moves away from the beach as a result of the Coriolis effect.
The rapid rip currents and cold water make the ocean dangerous for casual swimmers or even for those who simply want to set foot in it, and many swimmers have been swept away and drowned as a result. Nevertheless, this still attracts many surfers, making it one of the bay area's top surfing spots. Surfers and other swimmers have died at Ocean Beach; as of May 2006, the most recent death is documented here with the next-previous death taking place in January of 2006. Prior to that, it had been about four years since anyone died at Ocean Beach. In 1998, a record seven people lost their lives here.
The Ocean Beach surfing community is equipped with four of their own surf shops, several popular beach-themed cafes, as well as scores of local surfers devoted to its cold water and dangerous break. Seal Rock is a prominent local feature of the area.