Party Earth Review Mission Dolores Park, better known as just Dolores Park, packs a lot of action into its two-block stretch – and the diversity of its visitors is often a perfect snapshot of San Francisco’s eclectic citizenry. Warm afternoons... ... read full review
In-between 18th and 20th Streets
and Dolores and Church Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
BART: 16th Street Mission
MUNI F, J Lines: Right Of Way/20th Street
415-717-2872 (Park Supervisor)
Daily 6am–10pm; hours listed are official park hours, park itself does not close
Mission, San Francisco –
Mission Dolores Park, better known as just Dolores Park, packs a lot of action into its two-block stretch – and the diversity of its visitors is often a perfect snapshot of San Francisco’s eclectic citizenry.
Warm afternoons find the grassy knolls and undulating hills covered in sunbathers, as clusters of athletes take over the six tennis and single basketball courts at the park’s northern end or join larger groups for an impromptu soccer match on the low-lying field nearby.
Hacky-sackers, Frisbee fans, hula hoopers, and yoga fanatics find their own enclaves around the park, and there’s usually at least one crowd of hippies trying to walk a slackline or a pair of mimes practicing their craft and scaring children.
Further up the park is Hipster Hill, the unofficial gathering spot for plaid-clad twenty-somethings, while the adjacent Dog Hill’s designation is clear in both the passel of pooches and the piles of poop.
Young families tend to congregate around the small playground and picnic tables near the park’s southern edge – which normally affords relative freedom from marijuana smoke, if not from drum circles – while sightseers fare well entering the park from 18th Street, where spectacular views of the city await.
The laid-back vibe of Dolores Park, as well as its proximity to the vibrant Mission and Castro nightlife, makes it a go-to destination for city dwellers from all walks of life.
Pop across the street to Dolores Park Café (501 Dolores Street) for Happy Hour from 4 to 7pm daily for $3 draft beers and $5 glasses of wine or sangria. Or, if ice cream is more your speed, Bi-Rite Creamery (3692 18th Street) is also nearby and sells handcrafted scoops that require inordinate willpower not to finish before you get back to the park.
Hipsters, bicyclists, athletes, families with young children, musicians, jocks, artists, dog owners, and sunbathers. All ages.
Various activities throughout the year include the Dolores Park Movie Night usually held one Saturday a month at 8pm, San Francisco Mime Troupe performances (www.sfmt.org/schedule), Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and the Pride Weekend Dyke March. Six tennis courts, one basketball court, one soccer field.
Ice cream and snack carts usually scattered around the park. Restaurants line nearby Dolores Street and 18th Street. Public restrooms.
Sporting facility use is free, as are most cultural celebrations and events.
Anything goes, including (though not legally) nothing at all.
Sunny days until sundown, regardless of the temperature, and weekend afternoons for an incredibly diverse crowd.
Bi-Rite Market (3639 18th Street), which sells a large assortment of prepared meals, cheese, fruit, and wine, is a popular spot to pick up picnic supplies.