Mission Dolores Park

Outdoor Activity / Park
Mission Dolores Park 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. San Francisco United States 37.759755 -122.427064
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Mission Dolores Park - Outdoor Activity | Park in San Francisco.
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Emma

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

  • Neighborhood:

  • Address:

    In-between 18th and 20th Streets
    and Dolores and Church Street
    San Francisco, CA 94110

    Get Directions

  • Metro:

    BART: 16th Street Mission
    MUNI F, J Lines: Right Of Way/20th Street

  • Phone:

    415-717-2872 (Park Supervisor)

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 6am–10pm; hours listed are official park hours, park itself does not close

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot

Party Earth Mission Dolores Park Review

The Scene

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.

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.

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Tip from Emma:

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.

  • Crowd

    Hipsters, bicyclists, athletes, families with young children, musicians, jocks, artists, dog owners, and sunbathers. All ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    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.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Ice cream and snack carts usually scattered around the park. Restaurants line nearby Dolores Street and 18th Street. Public restrooms.

  • Prices

    Sporting facility use is free, as are most cultural celebrations and events.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes, including (though not legally) nothing at all.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Sunny days until sundown, regardless of the temperature, and weekend afternoons for an incredibly diverse crowd.

  • Close By

    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.

Mission Dolores Park User Reviews

Average rating:
A fun, chill park with round-the-clock entertainment
Katie M. Aug 27, 2013
If you like lounging in the grass on sunny days while simultaneously smoking it, this is the park of your dreams. Just make sure a scantily clad transsexual stomping around shouting “JESUS HATES YOU!” won’t freak you the f*** out. Dolores Park is some of the best people watching in the city, not only for the crazies but also for the genuinely happy San Franciscans who are just enjoying themselves and the sun on a beautiful day. It’s not uncommon to see people dancing around, hula hooping, spinning poi, or even jumping on a trampoline with huge smiles on their faces, and if you open yourself up to it, their happiness is infectious. My favorite way to experience Dolores Park is with friends, sandwiches, tall cans, and a picnic blanket on a sunny weekday afternoon. However, if you want the full Dolores experience, wait for a hot weekend and head over prepared to be delightfully entertained.
The chillest and most weed-scented park in San Francisco
Roger G. Aug 7, 2013
San Francisco acts as the US's mecca for the homeless, so its parks are usually the havens of the destitute and insane. Still possessing the primordial instinct for territory, the homeless kinda take over the parks, so you're more likely to be pissed on by a schizophrenic in most SF parks than have anything resembling a chill time. Dolores Park is different. It's located in the Mission District, which is notorious for its particular brand of aggressive crackhead, but they for some reason keep clear of the park. The Park is split into two distinct areas: the higher half with the playground, which is the territory of families and kids, and the lower half, which seems to be stocked exclusively with chill people in their 20s and 30s smoking joints. There's almost a cloud around this half, and you can get a contact buzz just by standing up. The Missions district has the highest average temperatures in SF (people in the Mission won't stop talking about this), so the park is a great place to sunbathe if it's nice out. The park gets pretty crowded on weekends, and the vibe is open enough where people just start up conversations with each other. It's a great place to chill on a Sunday afternoon.
Brunching as usual
Sya W. Jun 26, 2013
We breakfasted at noon as usual. It was a Monday, much quieter then we assumed. My boo was excited to take me here because of there fancy gluten free options. I saw an opportunity here, I cherished the hope to have a new favorite gluten free brunch spot. I was dying to love this place really. I've found challenge in choice cafes creating overimaginative breakfast options. Is it really that hard to offer at the minimum gluten free toast as an option? I was torn between the waffles and pancakes. I made the obvious choice, as I don't have a waffle iron at home. I felt a savage beating from the coffee here, a bit on the strong side for my taste, although my boo loved it. The waitress had serious brain fog and seemed totally unpleased at her morning shift. The frequency of my forkfuls is always a sign of the success of a meal for my taste. These waffles were quite dry, I'm unsure if it's what to be expected of most corn based options. I thought the proportions were perfect, although my love ordered two breakfasts, he often does that when we dine out. He says he prefers one sweet and one savory. He let's himself have his cake and eat it too. It was about the middle of the day when we walked out of here. The noise level of this experience raised only slightly. We'll brunch again here and try the pancakes.
The most "San Francisco" thing anyone can do is a sunny day out in Dolores Park
Keane L. May 15, 2013
Visitors to the city, take note: Visiting Dolores Park on a sunny weekend day is the quintessential San Francisco experience. With a cheap tallboy and some Bi-Rite ice cream, there's no better vantage point for all the eccentricities this city has to offer. Take, for example, the dancing robot surrounded by laughing kids; or the balancing skill of the hipsters on the slackline between the palm trees; or perhaps the row of sunbathing men up on "Gay Beach" where one can see a panorama of downtown San Francisco. Yes, it's all here, mixed in with the puppies, the frisbees and the warm afternoon sun. It's one of the best experiences in San Francisco, at least up until you have to use the restroom...
The Only Way To Spend A Sunny Day
Paris Donnatella C. Apr 24, 2013
Fact: you haven't had a true San Francisco day until you have relaxed in the sun in Dolores Park. Jugglers, frisbees, kids, dogs, stoners, musicians, families, friends - come one come all. Although finding a spot on a sunny may not be impossible, this place fills up fast. Good vibes and guitar tunes accompany the humming sounds of exchanged conversation and children playing. Community ambience at its most poignant - this park has no criteria. From the first time I went and met a group of astronomers watching the sun, to the time I watched the retro film Sixteen Candles on huge screen, to random days filled with books, writing and sunbathing - Dolores has it all.
Find fun outside with your long-lost freak family
Kristian R. Apr 1, 2013
This vibrant, sprawling park is an adult wonderland full of the Bay Area’s hipsters, have-nots and everyone else in between. Although you can never be sure whether there is an awesome event going in like festival, drag show, bubble-blowing contest or unofficial holiday celebration, there are a few things that are guaranteed to be in attendance: beer/booze, frisbees and kickballs, picnics, pets, and parents. On the other side of the park, beyond the sea of sunning San Franciscans, there is a recently-remodeled playground where the kiddies can run free along with all the beloved pups and pooches. When the sun is out, this is the place the city comes to play.
Never have I seen such a splendid array of hipsters and weirdos
Adrienne Z. Mar 25, 2013
A trip to Mission Dolores Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon is sort of like going to a museum. There you will see all kinds of sights: new, old, dirty, clean, animal, vegetable, herb (mostly herb). Though the park is just one square block, bounded by 18th and 19th Streets, Dolores, and Church, a trip to the park on a sunny Saturday afternoon will capture every kind of San Francisco experience. Just bring a bottle of wine and a joint and lie back on the steep slope facing Dolores Street and enjoy the flamboyant parade. The playground and tennis courts on opposite sides of the park bring the children and yuppies; the yuppies bring the homeless people, with their shopping cards of odds and ends and blankets of makeshift and/or stolen "art" for sale; the nearby Castro brings a colorful collection of cross dressers, activists and exhibitionists; and the sun brings groups of twenty and thirty something stoners, with their PBR and jeggings and every kind of marijuana smoking device, blinking sleepily at the city before them. Men with paper bags and carts full of beer, water, and assorted drug-filled delicacies advertise their wares weaving in and out of the occasional drum circle, hoopers, or game of ultimite frisbee. On nice days the park is packed and noisy, with coveted Mission sunshine casting a cheerful and inviting sheen. And later, when the sun starts to set, after a day of drinking and smoking leaves you tired and hungry, there's the delicious Bi-Rite Creamery across the street (if you can stomach the round-the-corner line), plus all the great restaurants of the Valencia Street corridor just a few blocks away.
The Microcosm
Logan H. Mar 24, 2013
There's a joke in San Francisco: Burning Man doesn't end, it just moves to Dolores Park for 50 weeks of the year. Go there on any sunny day and you'll see that that statement doesn't cover half of it. It's not just the burners who flock here - it's everyone. Dolores Park on a sunny Sunday is the epitome of San Francisco - diversity, expression and day drinking. Families throwing frisbees rub elbows with hipsters sipping PBR. Silicon Valley execs trade beers and jokes with the crunchiest Haight Street hippies. Dogs mingle indiscriminately like it's a puppy Cotillion, all to the rhythm of whatever live band and/or sound system is nearest. Too busy watching an impromptu acrobatics display to go to the store for more beer? No worries, someone will be along to offer that, plus water and edibles whose potency can only be described as apocalyptic. A blanket, something cold to sip on and something to throw are all you need to enjoy one of the city's essential rituals.
A Treat any Day of the Week
Jordan T. Mar 6, 2013
Dolores Park lies in the heart of The Mission, a popular neighborhood that long ago surpassed the mighty Haight Ashbury as the hippest place in all of San Francisco. Thanks to the surrounding scene, Dolores is now the city’s prime hangout spot for teenagers and twenty-somethings looking to relax outside, often with the help of booze and a frisby. Sunny days always brings sprawling crowds. And because of The Mission’s favorable microclimate, sunshine--and masses of people--appear often. Critics of The Mission frequently complain about the perceived snobbishness of the neighborhood’s enormous hipster population. But none of that elitism bleeds into Dolores Park, which is characterized by an unassuming, carefree spirit. Most visitors pass the time by lounging along the park’s hilly expanse--snacking, drinking and smoking without much risk of being bothered by police officers or other professional killjoys. At the bottom of Dolores, basketball and tennis courts provide a more active recreational alternative. Your park experience can be enhanced by several of the neighboring shops: The famous Bi-Rite Creamery serves some of the best reviewed ice cream in the country. Its sister business, the Bi-Rite Market, features a gourmet selection of food and beverages, including rare beer by the hallowed Russian River brewery. Overall, Dolores Park is a wonderful little sanctuary that’s perfect for chilling out and carousing with other mellow San Franciscans.
A San Francisco Institution
Kim V. Feb 21, 2013
A San Francisco institution in it's own right, Dolores Park occupies two city blocks in the vibrant, bustling and hip Mission District. Situated just south of Market and nestled between Castro and Potrero Hill, it's fitting that this big, fresh and open park, with it's grassy knolls and renovated playground, can be found in the center of San Francisco's best "multi-culti" neighborhood. Sunny weekends in San Francisco brings about crowds in the thousands to this park from every walk of life imaginable. From sub-cultures of hipsters to techies to yogis and gurus, Dolores Park is the gathering ground for the entire city to congregate and enjoy some fun in the sun. But you need not wait for the weekend, on any given afternoon, locals and travelers alike come here for the clear and breathtaking views of San Francisco's downtown city-line or simply enjoy a leisurely walk through amongst the regulars with their dogs. To know and love San Francisco is to experience all it has to offer and nowhere is San Francisco's richness of diversity more prevalent Dolores Park.
No Other Place in San Francisco on a Sunny Day
Aleksandra B. Feb 20, 2013
One visit to Mission Dolores Park proves exactly why San Francisco was the birthplace of the, Summer of Love. Located on top of a hill, the park boasts panoramic views of the city, lots of grass space to enjoy the sunshine and hip eateries right across the street. Grab a blanket and get here early to secure a spot with the best view of Downtown’s skyscrapers and San Francisco Bay below. Taking a cab is highly recommended, as parking is nearly impossible in this neighborhood. Favorite pastimes of the locals include tanning on the grass after a bottomless Mimosa Sunday brunch at Mission Dolores Café or grabbing a scoop of artisenal ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery. The Summer of Love vibes are certainly present here, as a man known locally only as Brownie Man is regularly spotted at the park selling a special brand of home made brownies. The Castro is just a few blocks away, so be prepared to see many ridiculously in-shape sun bathers, some in Speedos some in nothing at all. While Dolores Park is located the Mission District, otherwise known as the unofficial hipster central of San Francisco, people from all over the city come to enjoy this park. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day in the city, the fact that the weather here is always about 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the city is just an added bonus.
Dolores Park: The Urban Family Reunion
Alexandra Z. Feb 20, 2013
No matter what type of crowd you belong to, your age, where you live, what you do or how many cute dogs you have, if you live in San Francisco and you are discussing with your friends where should you go on such a sunny weekend afternoon, at least one of them will suggest going to Dolores Park. The better the weather, the more people come there to relax, have a picnic, throw frisbees, and look at what other people around them are doing. It is like a big family reunion: everyone is in small groups discussing their own thing and you might know the other people from other groups, or see the ones you know, but have not seen for the longest time or not know anyone except for the people who you came with, there are random dogs running up to you to wag their tail and see if you have something they might like, music coming from somewhere, but unlike huge family reunions, Dolores Park is always fun and you don't have to wait for a year to come back, you just wait until the weather is right.
Dolores Park: Anytime, Any Day
Nick K. Feb 13, 2013
This is the place you can go to feel something. Whether the sun is beating down so hard your hallucinations have created a huge swimming pool at the center of the park and the thought of your water bottle suddenly having weight again is too much to bare or the cold, constant drizzle and it's heavy gray counterpart are just enough to make you want to run away, you don't. You wouldn't dare. At least not until you're frozen. The days of sun are thoroughly gawked at for hours on end by the masses of thankful and peaceful people of all kinds, another plus of being at such a mecca for locals. However, it is sometimes the days of low fog or light rain that can have the longest lasting impression. San Francisco is almost magnified by the gloom, as if seen it's its most nature state, and Dolores Park's natural beauty and spectacular view mirror this. Just expect a shorter visit... Whether you are down on the bottom with a mix of people, near the playground with the kiddies, or laying out on what we call the "gay beach," make sure you check out the view from the top of the park on 20th. That's the place to go for those quick visits. Sure, the events within the park and the businesses surrounding it are fantastic but Dolores park is somewhere to take a friend who is here for the first time. Sit them down and let them feel the cool wind on their arms as they close their eyes and feel the energy of the city. If it's wet perhaps a walk through is a better way to feel it. It's everyday that makes San Francisco special and Dolores park is one way in.
San Francisco Loves this Park
Daphne W. Feb 12, 2013
Not only is Dolores Park great for relaxing and people watching, they host a variety of fun, funky events throughout the year. During the summer months, Dolores hosts "Film night in the Park." The locals coined this park as "Dolores Beach," and you will see many locals conversing and tanning on beach towels on a warm sunny day. This park can be a great party spot on the weekends. You can find picnics, live music, frisbee, dance parties, and so many pups and pup owners! Dolores is within walking distance to some great restaurants and bars. Within a block from the park, you'll find Bi-Rite Creamery. They are always crowded, and are known for their great ice cream and deserts. Pizzeria Delfina has great pizza, I especially like their Capricciosa pizza. It's fabulous!
Quintessential San Francisco
Shaun P. Feb 12, 2013
To truly understand San Francisco, you need only to visit Dolores. Go to Bi-Rite Creamery (located on the corner of 18th and Dolores), get a cone, sit in the grass, and just take a look around. Alcohol and marijuana are openly enjoyed while kids run down the street. You may tilt your head, but eventually you understand the one rule: there's no judgements. People play tennis next to stark-naked men, friends toss a frisbee over musicians playing guitar. Some come alone to read, some come alone to practice tossing pizza dough (no joke). Dogs run freely up to you without an owner in site. If you let yourself open up, you're guaranteed to walk away with at least a few more friends. Dolores sums up San Francisco perfectly: weird, fun, and very friendly.
A must see in San Francisco
Candice E. Jan 24, 2013
The park is really close to all of the awesome thrift stores in the mission area. The view is incredible; you can see so much of SF from the hill. Also don't forget to get fresh squeezed juice while you're there as well!
Don't plan anything but to go there
Farah H. Jan 24, 2013
You cannot visit San Francisco and not go to Dolores Park. You cannot live in San Francisco and not go to Dolores Park. It's got all the weed availability of Golden Gate Park, minus the sketchiness, plus more dogs. The number of annoying drum circles is about the same (but hey, it's the Bay). And most importantly, it is the ONLY place you can find the Truffle Guy. If you don't know him, ask around--you won't be disappointed. This park is the only location that I can persuade people to travel to by just sending them a simple two-letter message: "dp." If I text "dp," to any of my friends, they know the protocol: pick up wine (burrito optional) and head to the hill for day drinking. No questions asked.
Best Park Ever
Sara G. Jan 11, 2013
This is the best park ever. This is totally a place to take your friends when they come to visit the city. No matter what the weather is like, there are always people at Dolores Park. Right in the center of the Mission district, there are tons of taco shops and little cafes near by. I love biking or running with my dog here and then hanging out with friends drinking wine or beer. Everyone who comes to this park is so free spirited and welcoming that you feel like your at a huge family and friend reunion! This is so a place to go if you haven’t been there YET!
Great Park
Jackie D. Dec 4, 2012
Dolores park is THE park that you go to if you're a local. On sunny days, this place is packed with young people out tanning, and hanging out with friends. There's also a few basketball courts that are usually pretty popular with people from the area. My favorite part about this park though, is everything that surrounds it. Some of SF's best food stops are extremely close by, and some, like Bi-Rite, are literally across the street. The line at Bi-Rite creamery gets insanely long, for good reason, and I'd recommend going to the side window and grabbing one of their premade ice cream sandwiches instead of waiting in the 20+ person line for individual scoops.
Real San Fran
Jody P. Dec 1, 2012
Dolores Park is a small park but it is great to visit if you want to see the real San Francisco. There are lots of locals packed in the small area playing hackey sack and frisbee. You can catch some amateur musicians playing guitar or tambourine in the park. I was there on a beautiful fall day so the park was completely packed. There is a really nice view of the city from the park but the highlight is the people watching. For such a small, chill park, there was a lot going on. I feel like this park really represents what San Francisco culture is all about.
Great on a nice day!
Kaile K. Nov 29, 2012
Dolores Park is great to visit on a nice day! It has amazing views and is in a great area of the city. There's always young locals here when its nice out, but that means it can get pretty crowded in the summer. Its a pretty social park, so its great to come here and hang out with a group of friends for the day. Always fun to picnic here, definitely check it out!
Great little park!
Nick S. Sep 17, 2012
During the summer they do movies in the park here. The playground for the kids is pretty impressive. Enough so that I've seen some adults jump in on it. And yes, this place is full of hipsters. Nothing wrong with that. They're human as well. If you cut them (please don't) do they not bleed? Okay, maybe not like you or I. They bleed ironically, of course. Still, it's a nice park where everyone can get a long, you get the best damn view of the city while not being too far away from those crazy traffic filled buildings. and it's sort of a physical activity to be out and about. Mind you that the picnic food you're eating balances out the working out in going up the park's hills. One hell of a neat park.
San Francisco Staple
Gabe L. Aug 7, 2012
Whenever friends come to visit me in San Francisco I take them to Dolores Park. Even on just a sunny day, which is a rare occurrence in the city, I go to Dolores Park. While I'm not a fan of the new playground (it's no longer drunk teenager friendly) nothing beats sitting out on the grass, drinking a 40 oz, and watching all the strange hipsters frolic around, have drum circles, practice capoeira, and much more. Even better is that right at the edge of the park is Bi-Rite creamery, where you can enjoy a deliciou scoop of brown sugar ice cream with a caramel-ginger band. Don't get the lavender flavor though, it's disgusting.
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