Some of the best things about San Francisco are the beautiful views. So when friends and family come to visit, the first thing I want to do is take them on a hike: it’s the best way to show off the Bay Area. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to pack sturdy sneakers, let along hiking shoes! So if sightseeing from the car (or double-decker bus) isn’t your thing, there are still some great trails you can hit that don’t require much technical gear.
The first is Lands End: an easy car (or bus) ride away. Just head west along Geary Blvd. towards the ocean, about as far as you can go and you’ll see the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center. Park here and find the trail above Sutro Baths. This is one of the most scenic hikes you’ll ever do—you’ll almost forget you’re still in the city. And aside from some sand, you won’t ruin your city shoes.
P.S.: Don’t miss the hidden trail which brings you to the labyrinth!
Another great place is the top of Mt. Tam, just over the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll need to drive (or bike if you’re hard-core) up 101 north. Follow the signs to the mountain and keep going UP until you can’t go any further (you’ll know it when you reach the parking lot). Surprisingly, there is a very short and easy trail to get you to the very top of the mountain. It can be a bit rocky, but I did it in a pair of Tom’s and my boyfriend’s niece in a skirt and oxford sandals. Not ideal, but better than not doing it at all. And with amazing 360 degree views of the entire Bay Area (including San francsico) you’ll be happy you got out of the car.