There’s no question San Francisco is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the world. One big reason that makes San Francisco so dog-friendly is that there is no shortage of dog parks in this city! Having been a dog mom in this city for five years to two French bulldogs whose favorite activity is to go to the dog park (they go to a dog park almost every day), I have been to pretty much all of the dog parks in San Francisco.
While many people choose their go-to dog park based on proximity (and I get it, it has to fit into your lifestyle somehow), I like to tell dog owners (especially new dog owners) to go to a park that works best for your dog’s needs.
So here’s my list of 5 best dog parks in San Francisco, why, and who it’s best for! And where relevant, I will also note who it might not be the best for.
(Fulton St and Scott St, San Francisco, CA 94117 - Google Maps)
Alamo Square is well known to tourists for its view of the Painted Ladies (remember Full House?), and among San Francisco locals, it is known for its big grassy field on the other side of Painted Ladies that is designated as a dog play area.
Dogs are free to run around off-leash, but one thing to consider is that this field is not enclosed. In general, dogs will naturally stay on the field especially given it is a big enough play area, but once in a while I will see a dog run off and a frantic owner chasing after him. Given the size of the field, it’s really great for dogs who love to run, and it’s common to see lots of big dogs getting their energy out here.
Pro Tip: Avoid coming after a rainy day as the field can get muddy.
(6335 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94121 - Google Maps)
Golden Gate Park is the biggest park in San Francisco. There are a few dog play areas within this park, and the one I recommend is the Golden Gate Park Dog Training Area. This area was renovated and reopened in 2021, and it is thoughtfully designed and well-kept.
The best part about this park is that there are separate, enclosed areas for small and big dogs to safely play. As much as Humphrey loves hanging out with big dogs, his love for them is not always reciprocated (to put it nicely) so personally I feel safer to stay in the small dog area and appreciate this separation.
Pro Tip: Since it’s located inside Golden Gate Park which has so many great trails, you can also take your dog on a nice urban hike. Follow the trail right outside the dog park past the bisons.
Bonus Pro Tip: Host your dog's birthday party here! It's a great spot for it, as there is a picnic table and it's easy to find parking in the designated parking lot (in case you're bringing party supplies!)
(1199 E Beach, San Francisco, CA 94129 - Google Maps)
Chrissy Field is quintessential San Francisco. There’s nothing like enjoying the gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge with your dog. If you are visiting San Francisco or exploring this city for the first time, I would definitely recommend going here.
Recently, our friends Nikki and Fira of Where's the Frenchie were visiting from Los Angeles, and we had the best time at Chrissy Field. The pups especially loved the beach, and Humphrey earned himself a bath by running full speed into the water with some golden retrievers that were there.
Check out Where's the Frenchie's San Francisco Dog-Friendly Guide, where you can find other amazing dog-friendly travel tips (such as how to get your dogs a passport, flying guides, and dog-friendly city guides, etc.)
Pro Tip: The grassy field across from Sport Basement (it’s good to use this as your landmark as Chrissy Field is massive) is a popular spot for dog meet-ups. There’s a little path nearby that will lead you right to the beach. If it’s your first time there, make sure to refer to this official Dog Walking Map.
(Fort Funston Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132 - Google Maps)
The name says it all – all the dogs here put the fun in Funston! As a dog lover, this is the closest place to heaven on Earth. The beautiful landscape, the ocean view, and the many, many dogs off-leash make Fort Funston a happy, magical place for me.
Sometimes it seems as though dogs outnumber humans here. You can keep your walks here as long or short as you’d like. There are plenty of trails you can pick from, one of which leads you to the Fort Funston Beach, which is also another great off-leash dog beach option in San Francisco.
Pro Tip: Fort Funston is both sandy and windy (not a good combo!) - bring sunglasses to keep sand out of your eyes, and make sure to flush out your dog's eyes afterwards!
(738 Long Bridge Street, San Francisco, CA 94158 - Google Maps)
Mission Bay is one of San Francisco’s newer neighborhoods, so this is also one of San Francisco’s newer dog parks (opened in 2019).
[image by Mission Bay Parks]
This dog park is nice and enclosed, and relatively clean especially considering how crowded it can get. And that’s a great thing if your dog is a social butterfly, and goes to the dog park primarily to socialize and play with other dogs. For dogs who like to have some more space and like to play fetch without competition, avoid going during after-work hours or weekends as it can get crowded.
Pro Tip: Check out the nearby Spark Social, which is an area with lots of food trucks. Make sure to check out the Doggo themed vending machine (aka “The Pup Truck”) in Spark Social!
Which dog park are you most excited to visit? Refer back to this post for the list and addresses (Google Maps link to the exact location pin). Okay, I gotta take Humphrey and Pota to the dog park now. Bye!