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Cover of the spring 2003 SFSU magazine. Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and students tour of San Francisco's Western Addition.


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Max Kirkeberg's Favorite
San Francisco Spots

The Top of Bernal Hill
Less crowded than Twin Peaks, the Bernal Heights hilltop park offers amazing 360-degree views, easy parking, and sunshine when other parts of the city are fogged in. It's a good place to walk your dog or fly a kite.

The St. Francis Fountain and Candy Store
Enjoy a milkshake at the oldest soda fountain in the city on 24th at York in the Mission.

Land's End
Walk from Sea Cliff to the Cliff House and get great views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. An interesting stop is the Legion of Honor museum.

Coit Tower
Don't miss the murals inside the lobby and the view from the top. Walk down the nearby Filbert Steps and you'll find the Grace Marchand Gardens and Napier Lane. Alistair Cooke once described this area as "my favorite place in America." As you walk around the eastern slope of Telegraph Hill, you may happen upon a flock of wild parrots.

Levi's Plaza
Located at the foot of Telegraph Hill on Battery Street at Union, this is one of the nicest little parks in the city. There's a fountain and four acres of well-manicured green space.

Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
Next to 3Com Park, this is the perfect place to fish or picnic on a warm, sunny day. Windharp Hill features wind chimes and harps that fill the air with music on breezy days.

Crissy Field Restoration Area
On the shoreline of the Presidio, southeast of the Golden Gate Bridge, you'll find an open space surrounded by a paved path that's great for walking or biking. Check out the pet cemetery on a small patch of land under the bridge off ramp.

The Bocce Ball Courts at Aquatic Park
On the weekends these courts near Ghirardelli Square are a great place to watch the city's Italian community let the good times roll.

The Russian Hill Summit
Russian Hill is a fun place with lots of alleyways and interesting architecture. Start at the top at the corner of Jones and Vallejo streets and take the Vallejo Steps down to Ina Coolbrith Park.

Spreckles Lake, Golden Gate Park
Just opposite 36th Avenue in Golden Gate Park, this is a great place to watch model-yacht sailing on the weekends.

The landscaping is spectacular. The Garden of Remembrance, the Memorial Grove, and all the new places to eat outside on weekdays make it well worth a stroll.

Return to Max Kirkeberg story.


A nighttime view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands. Photo by Jason Doiy.

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Last modified October 16, 2003, by the Office of Publications