Visiting San Francisco and needing a photo op of the Golden Gate Bridge? Most tourists will end up at Battery Lancaster with large crowds of people and cars, but San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area has some hidden gems that are worth the small trek to find. Plus, who doesn’t like swings?!
1.) Kirby Cove Swing
Kirby Cove is located close Marin Headlands. It’s a short mile hike down to the cove where a swing awaits you. Do your best to find parking at Battery Spencer and find the white gate that leads to a trail heading down. On a clear San Francisco day, you can swing right into a view of the ocean and Golden Gate Bridge. Kirby Cove is also a great place to bring some snacks and a blanket and have a nice picnic with friends. Just bring good shoes for that short hike down (and back up!). This is my favorite swing in San Francisco given the direct view of the Bay and the bridge.
Bernal Heights Park is a popular dog-friendly park located near the center of the city. Driving here is pretty simple. You can follow the road up to the hill and park on the side of the street once you reach the dead end. Once you get to the entrance, it isn’t a far walk up to the top where the swing is located. On a nice clear day, you’ll be able to see almost all of San Francisco including the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll need some help getting on the swing if you’re an uncoordinated geek like me. Enjoy the view and the endless amount of adorable dogs here!
Before you get your hopes up, I’m told that the swing at Billy Goat Hill is no longer swinging (Parks and Rec probably have a liability concern). However, the views here are well worth the visit anyway and sometimes the swing gets put back up by common do-gooders. Located at the top of the Diamond Heights neighborhood, Billy Goat Hill is a great place to see a different view of the city. There should be plenty of street parking if you pay attention to the signs. Be respectful of the neighborhood and enjoy the view! (Fun fact: One of my favorite Netflix shows, Sense 8, filmed a great scene here!)
The Big “C’ Trail is located in Berkeley, just outside of San Francisco. Once on the swing, you get a gorgeous view of both cities (San Francisco on a clear day!). Start by parking at the Foothill lot, keep in mind you must pay on the weekends and must have a permit on the weekdays. Start the hike at the far end of the parking lot that goes up hill. The incline is pretty high but not for long. Keep your eye out for the swing before you hit the big “C” at the top of the hike. The swing is quite roomy and it’s easy to give yourself a good start on it on your own.
5.) Hippy Tree Swing
Hippy Tree is located in Tiburon and is accessible by a short 15 minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge. While not exactly in San Francisco, you can get a breathtaking view of Sausalito and the bridge on a clear day. We parked on the side of the street in the residential area. You’ll see an opening to a hill that is closed off to cars. It’s a short walk up the hill and the swing will be on your left once you reach a two way path. The swing was pretty hard to get on without a helping hand!
Comment below if you were able to visit any of these tree swings and let me know how your experience was! Swing, swing, swing away!