Golden Gate Park / Sunset

Once part of a vast, sandy wilderness known as the “Outside Lands,” the city's biggest park is now world famous and home to dozens of attractions. If you grew up in San Francisco, quite often it was here in the “Avenues,” as the Sunset is often called. Laid out in a grid of pastel-colored row houses all the way to the Great Highway and Ocean Beach, the area is bordered by a giant green rectangle: Golden Gate Park, home of the California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers and San Francisco Botanical Garden. Local dragon boat crews often practice on Lake Merced near the "planned" community of Park Merced and nearby San Francisco State University. There's eclectic shopping in West Portal and the acronym O-M-I is shorthand for Ocean View, Merced and Ingleside. The San Francisco Zoo is Northern California’s largest. Stern Grove (19th Avenue and Sloat) is home to free summer concerts.