Summer Fun in the Bay Area

Our favorite summer activities in the Bay Area, from horseback riding to volleyball. Plus, our tips on the best spots to watch the sunset in SF.

Summer Fun in the Bay Area

Summer is almost here, kids are out of school and it’s time to enjoy the (even if sometimes cold) San Francisco summer. Here’s our list of some of our favorite activities to do in the SF area in the summer, from our team to yours :).

Sunset Hikes

The sweeping landscapes of the Bay Area are a perfect canvas for epic California sunsets. One of our favorites includes Marshall's Beach; after a short hike down the wooden stairs, and you'll get a stunning view that includes sandy beaches, the coastline around the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also head up the highest natural peak in SF, Mount Davidson, for a great view of the sunset. Sitting at 927 feet, Mount Davidson offers a network of trails and a nice vantage point to see the sunset.

There's also Mile Rock Beach, a 1+ mile hike from the visitor center, which features three shipwrecks (visible at low tide), Lands End Labyrinth with views of the bridge and a boulder-covered beach along the rocky bluffs.

Rodeo Beach is just a short jaunt over the Bridge. Nestled in the Marin Headlands, there are countless trails of any length to get some exercise, watch the sunset and have a picnic.

For anyone willing to travel a bit further, Mt. Tamalpais State Park offers some of the most epic sunsets. Overlooking Stinson Beach and with views of San Francisco, it's a great place to hike and enjoy the wonders of the Bay Area landscape. Be sure to check the weather, though. Summer months can mean fog and wind at the top of Tam. Bonus: Check out these six dog-friendly trails in the Bay Area.

Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail 

Want to up your hiking adventure? Check out the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, a three day backpacking trip, featuring incredible scenery, redwood groves and a waterfall before finishing at Waddell Beach. It's one of the most popular backpacking destinations in the Bay Area, and with each day on the trail better than the last, you'll quickly see why. See more backpacking destinations in the Bay Area.

Beach Camping

Destinations like Bodega Bay, Half Moon Bay and Big Sur (Kirk Creek Campground) have some outstanding beach camping options. Check out more options for beach camping here

Beach Volleyball 

Nothing says summer like a round of beach volleyball. If you have your own net, Baker Beach offers a fantastic beach with great views. Sometimes, you can find nets and pick-up games at Ocean Beach. Or, head over to SOMA’s Mission Bay Creek at Berry for courts already set up. If you’re in the East Bay, there’s a great beach volleyball setup at Berkley’s Clark Kerr Campus. For grass, you can find courts at Peacock Meadows in Golden Gate Park.

Horseback riding - on the beach!

You don't have to venture far to ride horses - on the beach! There's quite a few local destinations. For example, from Mar Vista Stables, located off of Skyline Boulevard, just south of Fort Funston, you can ride horseback down to Ocean beach through rolling hills and along the Pacific Ocean. Get some sun, and embrace California’s western roots. Learn More

Lawn Games and BBQ

Looking to keep it simple? Set up camp in your backyard or head to a local park for lawn games and BBQ. Badminton, petanque, volleyball, ping pong are just some of our favorites lawn games.


One of our partners, Sea Surf & Fun, located in Half Moon Bay, about 30 minutes south of SF, will help you learn how to surf while having a blast. Their fun-first programming, available in either French or English, teaches basic skills and emphasizes just getting out in the waves. Sea Surf and Fun hold regular surf classes throughout the year, and also yoga+surf, team building, and summer surf camps. Vive le Surf! Learn more about our Surf School Partner


There’s a number of swim programs around the city. Whether you’re looking to swim a few laps, do water aerobics, or conquer the waterslides at Hamilton, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department offers a wide variety of community-focused aquatic centers. Find a pool

Mountain Biking

Marin County is the birthplace of the mountain bike. Needless to say, the trails in Marin County and the surrounding areas are incredible for mountain biking. Whatever your level, there is a trail to ride. Some of our favorites are China Camp State Park and the Coast View Trail. Get more info here


Our Decathlon SF team loves soccer so much that we joined a soccer league through SF Social, but there’s lots of places to kick around a ball and have some fun. Whether in Golden Gate Park, in the Presidio, the Marina or spots like Franklin Square, there's so many places to play. Find a local group  


Golf is a fun summer activity, whether you’re looking for a full round of to hit some balls at the driving range. Here is a list of how to make golf more affordable in the Bay Area. Also, if you're looking for a different style of golf, check out where to go miniature golfing in the Bay Area (via Bay Area Parent).


There’s a number of community tennis courts throughout the Bay Area. Some of our favorites are in Golden Gate Park, Alice Marble courts (it can get windy there sometimes, though!), Delores Park and Dupont. Check out SF Recreation and Park's full list of community tennis courts in the city. 

Roll, Skate or Scoot

Whether you want to watch or participate, there are quite a few places to rollerblade or skate. There's a spot in Golden Gate Park called "Skatin' Place" - which is also the spot for Sunday's Roller Disco Party each week. Learn more (Pictured: Quad 5 Roller Skates; See More)

Paddleboarding or Canoeing

Looking for some water sport fun? Look no further than Sausalito or Golden Gate Park for some options to cool off and enjoy the water. 

Local Favorites: Corgi Con, Flower Piano and more

Corgi Con is this weekend! Love dogs (Corgi's + costumes!) and the beach? This is an event for you. Another dog-friendly event is the World Dog Surfing Championships in Pacifica this August.

Another favorite of ours coming up in July is Flower Piano: For twelve days (July 5-16), 12 pianos are set up in the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, and everyone is invited to play (anything from chopsticks to Chopin) and listen. Visitors will find pianos tucked away in the flower-filled garden, along a pond or in a grove of trees. On weekend days, professional pianists and other musicians will perform throughout the Garden as well. Don't forget to pack a picnic! Learn More

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