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Baseball

San Francisco Giants. Three World Series titles (2010, 2012, and 2014) and the classic design of AT&T Park lead to sellouts for nearly every home game the National League team plays. AT&T Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, between 2nd and 3rd Sts., SoMa, San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415/972–2000 or 800/734–4268. sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com.

Getting Tickets

The park is small and there are 30,000 season-ticket holders (for 43,000 seats), so Giants tickets for popular games routinely sell out the day they go on sale. If tickets aren't available at Tickets.com, try the team-approved reseller StubHub! (www.stubhub.com) or even try showing up on game day—there are usually plenty of scalpers, some selling at reasonable prices.

Giants Dugout. The Giants sell tickets at the ballpark and numerous Dugout locations, among them 4 Embarcadero Center and 337 Geary Street in Union Square. A surcharge is added at locations other than the ballpark. AT&T Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, at 3rd St., SoMa, San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415/947–3419 or 800/734–4268. sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/dugout_stores.jsp.

Tickets.com. This service sells game tickets online and charges a per-ticket service charge. San Francisco, CA. 877/473–4849. www.tickets.com.

Beaches

Taking in a beachside sunset is the perfect way to end a busy day—assuming the fog hasn't blown in for the afternoon. Always bring a sweater because even the sunniest of days can turn cold and foggy without warning. Icy temperatures and treacherous currents make most waters too dangerous for swimming without a wet suit, but with a Frisbee, picnic fixings, and some good walking shoes, you can have a fantastic day at the beach.

Aquatic Park Beach. This urban beach surrounded by Fort Mason, Ghirardelli Square, and Fisherman's Wharf is a ¼-mile-long strip of sand. The gentle waters near shore are shallow, safe for kids to swim or wade, and fairly clean. Locals—including the seemingly ubiquitous older-man-in-Speedo—come out for quick dips in the frigid water. Members of the Dolphin Club come every morning for a swim, and a large and raucous crowd braves the cold on New Year's Day. Amenities : restrooms; showers; restaurants. Best for : walking; sunsets; swimming. San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, 499 Jefferson St., at Hyde St., Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA, 94109. www.nps.gov/safr.

Baker Beach. With its gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, Baker Beach is a local favorite and an established nudist spot. (Never seen nude Frisbee? This is the place.) The pounding surf and strong currents make swimming a dangerous prospect, but the mile-long shoreline is ideal for fishing, building sand castles, or watching sea lions at play. On warm days the entire beach is packed with bodies—including those nudists, who hang out at the north end. Picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and drinking water are available. Rangers give tours of the 95,000-pound cannon at Battery Chamberlin, overlooking the beach, on the first weekend of every month. Amenities: parking (no fee); toilets. Best for: nudists; sunsets; jogging. Gibson Rd. off Bowley St., southwest corner of Presidio, San Francisco, CA, 94129.

China Beach. One of the city's safest swimming beaches was named for the impoverished Chinese fishermen who once camped here. (Some maps label it James D. Phelan Beach.) This 600-foot strip of sand, south of the Presidio and Baker Beach, has gentle waters as well as changing rooms, restrooms, showers, grills, drinking water, and picnic tables. Despite its humble beginnings, China Beach today is bordered by the multimillion-dollar homes of the Seacliff neighborhood. The hike down to the beach is steep. Amenities: showers; toilets; parking (no fee). Best for: grilling; picnics; tide pools. Sea Cliff Ave. and El Camino del Mar, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, 94121.

Ocean Beach. The city's largest beach stretches for more than 3 miles along the Great Highway south of the Cliff House, making it ideal for long walks and runs. This isn't the cleanest shore, but it's an easy-to-reach place to chill; spot sea lions sunning themselves atop Seal Rock at the north end of the beach; or watch daredevil surfers riding the rolling waves. Because of extremely dangerous currents, swimming isn't recommended. After sunset, bonfires form a string of lights along the beach in summer. (Fires are prohibited north of Fulton Street or south of Lincoln Way, the northern and southern edges of Golden Gate Park.) Restrooms are at the north end. Amenities: parking (no fee); lifeguards; toilets. Best for: bonfires; kite flying; long walks. Great Hwy. between Point Lobos Ave. and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco, CA.

Bicycling

San Francisco is known for its treacherously steep hills, so it may be surprising to see so many cyclists. This is actually a great city for biking—there are ample bike lanes, it's not hard to find level ground with great scenery (especially along the water), and if you're willing to tackle a challenging uphill climb, you're often rewarded with a fabulous view—and a quick trip back down.

BikeMapper. The regional 511 SF Bay transit website has an online app that allows you to plot your ride on a map and choose either the shortest or the flattest bike-friendly route. San Francisco, CA. 511. bicycling.511.org/maps.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has extensive information about the policies and politics of riding and lists local events for cyclists on its website. You can download (but not print) a PDF version of the San Francisco Bike Map and Walking Guide. 833 Market St., 10th fl., San Francisco, CA, 94103. 415/431–2453. www.sfbike.org.

Where to Rent

Angel Island. A former military garrison and a beautiful wildlife preserve has some steep roads and great views of the city and the bay. Bicycles must stay on roadways; there are no single-track trails on the island. The café is open weekends only mid-November through February, so if you visit Monday through Friday you'll need to bring your own grub. From April through October you can rent mountain bikes on the island for $12.50 an hour or $40 a day. Segway tours are also available for $68 per person. Tiburon, CA, 94920. 415/435–5390. www.angelisland.org.

Bay City Bike. With three Fisherman's Wharf locations, Bay City Bike isn't hard to find. The shop has an impressive fleet of bikes—many sizes and types—and friendly staff to help you map your biking adventure. 2661 Taylor St., at Beach St., Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94113. 415/346–2453. baycitybike.com.

Bike and Roll. You can rent bikes at this national outfit's locations $32 per day to $58; discounted weekly rates are available, and complimentary maps are provided. 899 Columbus Ave., at Lombard St., North Beach, San Francisco, CA, 94133. 415/229–2000 or. www.bikethegoldengate.com.

Bike Hut. Known for its mom-and-pop–style service, the Hut is a small rental, repair, and used-bike shop. Rentals begin at $6 an hour. Pier 40, SoMa, San Francisco, CA, 94124. 415/543–4335. www.thebikehut.org. Closed Mon. and Tues.

Blazing Saddles. This outfitter with branches all around San Francisco rents bikes for $8 to $9 an hour ($32 to $60 a day), depending on the type of bike, and shares tips on sights to see along the paths. 2715 Hyde St., at Beach St., Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94109. 415/202–8888. www.blazingsaddles.com.

Where to Bike

The Embarcadero

A completely flat, sea-level route, the Embarcadero hugs the eastern and northern bay and gives a clear view of open waters, the Bay Bridge, and sleek high-rises. The route from Pier 40 to Aquatic Park takes about 30 minutes to ride, and there are designated bike lanes the entire way. As you ride west, you'll pass the Bay Bridge, the Ferry Building, Coit Tower (look inland near Pier 19), and historic ships at the Hyde Street Pier. At Aquatic Park there's a nice view of Golden Gate Bridge. If you're not tired yet, continue along the Marina and through the Presidio's Crissy Field. You may want to time your ride so you end up at the Ferry Building, where you can refuel with a sandwich, a gelato, or—why not?—fresh oysters. Keep your eyes open along this route—cars move quickly here, and streetcars and tourist traffic can cause congestion. Near Fisherman's Wharf you can bike on the promenade, but take it slow and watch out for pedestrians.

Golden Gate Park

A beautiful maze of roads and hidden bike paths crisscrosses San Francisco's most famous park, winding past rose gardens, lakes, waterfalls, museums, horse stables, bison, and, at the park's western edge, spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. John F. Kennedy Drive is closed to motor vehicles on Sunday (and sometimes Saturday), when it's crowded with people-powered wheels. Get a map of the park before you go—it's huge.

As Fell Street intersects Stanyan Street at the park's eastern entrance, veer right to begin a 30- to 45-minute, 3-mile ride down John F. Kennedy Drive to the Great Highway, where land meets ocean. Take a break and watch the waves roll in at Ocean Beach, or cross the street for a drink or a bite to eat at the casual, tree-shrouded Park Chalet (behind the Beach Chalet). Extend your ride a few more miles by turning left, riding a few blocks, and connecting with a raised bike path that runs parallel to the Pacific, winds through fields of emerald-green ice plant, and, after 2 miles, leads to Sloat Boulevard and the San Francisco Zoo.

The Marina Green and Golden Gate Bridge

The Marina Green, a vast lawn at the edge of the northern bay front, stretches along Marina Boulevard, adjacent to Fort Mason. It's the starting point of a well-used, paved bike path that runs through the Presidio along Crissy Field's waterfront wetlands, then heads for the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond. To do this ride, first take the path from Aquatic Park through Fort Mason to the Marina Green. Continue into the Presidio, and you'll eventually reach the base of the bridge, a 60-minute ride round-trip. To view the bridge from underneath, stay at water level and ride to Fort Point (where Kim Novak leaped into the drink in the film Vertigo).

If you want to cross the bridge, take Lincoln Boulevard to reach the road-level viewing area and continue across the bridge (signs indicate which side you must use). Once you're across, turn right on the first road leading northeast, Alexander Avenue. After a 10-minute all-downhill ride, you'll arrive on Bridgeway in downtown Sausalito, where you can rest at a café. After a little shopping, board the Blue & Gold Fleet's ferry (the ferry terminal is at the end of Bridgeway) with your bike for the half-hour ride back to Fisherman's Wharf. If it's overcast, foggy, or windy, don't bother doing the Golden Gate Bridge bike ride—the wind can feel downright dangerous on the bridge, and the trip is only awe-inspiring when you can take in the view.

Boating and Sailing

San Francisco Bay has year-round sailing, but tricky currents and strong winds make the bay hazardous for inexperienced navigators. However, on group sails you can enjoy the bay while leaving the navigating to experienced sailors.

Adventure Cat Sailing Charters. Near Fisherman's Wharf, from spring through fall, Adventure Cat takes passengers aboard a 55-foot-long catamaran. The kids can play on the trampoline-like net between the two hulls while you sip drinks on the wind-protected sundeck. A 90-minute bay cruise costs $40; sunset sails with drinks and hors d'oeuvres are $50. Pier 39, Dock J, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94133. 800/498–4228 or 415/777–1630. www.adventurecat.com.

Rendezvous Charters. This operator offers individually ticketed trips on large sailing yachts, including sunset sails ($35) and Sunday brunch cruises on a schooner ($50). Ticketed trips tend to close from mid-October through March (although they continue to do private chartered sails throughout the year), so call in advance to confirm availability. Pier 40, South Beach Harbor, Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415/543–7333. www.rendezvouscharters.com.

Spinnaker Sailing. You can take sailing instruction from Spinnaker or charter a private sailboat with or without a skipper. Pier 40, South Beach Harbor, San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415/543–7333. www.spinnaker-sailing.com.

SF Bay Adventures. Nautical tours, such as full-moon sails, are the specialty here, along with Friday night sails and sunset cruises. This outfit is based in Sausalito, but some boats depart from San Francisco. 85 Liberty Ship Way, at Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA, 94965. 415/331–0444. www.sfbayadventures.com.

Stow Lake. If you prefer calm freshwater, you can rent rowboats and pedal boats at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Remember to bring bread for the ducks. The lake is open daily from 10 to 4 for boating, weather permitting. 50 Stow Lake Dr., off John F. Kennedy Dr., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, 94118. 415/386–2531. www.stowlakeboathouse.com.

Climbing and Jumping

House of Air. Inside a historic, former airplane hangar you can jump over and over and over again on massive indoor trampolines with names such as the Matrix and the Colosseum. For the kids, there's the Bounce House. House of Air is popular for corporate events and birthday parties (for children and adults), so book ahead at least three days. 926 Mason St., The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, 94129. 415/345–9675. www.houseofair.com.

Planet Granite. If climbing city hills isn't providing enough vacation stimulation, head over to Planet Granite, which offers bouldering and roped climbing and an extensive range of climbing structures—all with sweeping bay views. Rates start at $16 for a weekday morning pass, and $20 for an all-day pass, plus shoe and harness rentals ($6). 924 Mason St., The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, 94129. 415/692–3434. www.planetgranite.com.

Fishing

Fisherfolk angle for salmon and halibut outside the bay or striped bass and giant sturgeon within. On land, you can cast your line at the Municipal Pier, Fisherman's Wharf, Baker Beach, or Aquatic Park. Fishing licenses are not necessary when casting from public piers. (The exception is sturgeon fishing, for which you need a Sturgeon Fishing Report Card.) Licenses are required for all other types of fishing, and can be purchased from the California Department of Fish and Game (www.wildlife.ca.gov). Non-California residents can purchase 1-, 2-, or 10-day licenses for about $15, $23, and $46 respectively. Sportfishing charters depart daily from Fisherman's Wharf during the salmon-fishing season (March or April through October), and cost about $100.

Lovely Martha's Sportfishing. Salmon-fishing excursions and bay cruises are this operator's specialties. Rates range from $100 for half a day to $125 for a full day. Fisherman's Wharf, Berth 3, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94133. 415/509–5552. www.lovelymartha.com.

Wacky Jacky Sport Fishing. Captain Jacky Douglas skippers her sleek, comfortable, 50-foot boat, the Wacky Jacky, on salmon-fishing excursions that start at $100 per person. Foot of Jones St. at Jefferson St., Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94133. 415/586–9800. www.wackyjackysportfishing.com.

Football

San Francisco 49ers. The city's NFL team recently debuted its new Levi's Stadium. The state-of-the-art facility, 44 miles south of San Francisco, has more than 13,000 square feet of HD video boards. The 49ers may have left town, but the team hasn't forgotten SF cuisine: restaurateur and season-ticket holder Michael Mina opened Tailgate, based on his Bourbon and Steak restaurants, within the stadium's towering walls. Home games usually sell out far in advance. Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) and StubHub! (www.stubhub.com) are sources for single-game tickets. Levi's Stadium, 4949 Marie P. DeBartolo Way, from San Francisco, take U.S. 101 south to the Lawrence Expressway and follow signs, Santa Clara, CA, 95054. 800/745–3000 Ticketmaster; 866/788–2482 StubHub!; 415/464–9377 Santa Clara stadium. www.49ers.com.

Golf

Gleneagles International Golf Course. Expect to use every club in your bag to tackle the fast, sloping greens and unpredictable winds at this challenging 9-hole, par-36 course that, truth be told, is a little worse for wear. McLaren Park, 2100 Sunnydale Ave., off Persia Ave., San Francisco, CA, 94134. 415/587–2425. www.gleneaglesgolfsf.com. Greens fees: $24 for 9 holes, $35 for 18 holes.

Golden Gate Park Golf Course. The lovely 9-hole, par-27 course in Golden Gate Park, just above Ocean Beach, is a beginner's paradise, but more-seasoned players might be put off by the lax play and wayward balls. Play is first-come, first-served only. 970 47th Ave. at Fulton St., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, 94121. 415/751–8987. www.goldengateparkgolf.com. Greens fees: $17.

TPC Harding Park Golf Course. This complex includes an 18-hole, par-72 course and a 9-hole, par-32 Jack Fleming–designed course. The 9-hole course has all the characteristics of a championship course but is less difficult. Both have fantastic views. Harding has received a multimillion-dollar makeover in recent years, and it shows. Book tee times as far in advance as possible. 99 Harding Rd., at Skyline Blvd., San Francisco, CA, 94132. 415/664–4690. www.tpc.com/hardingpark. Greens fee: from $156 for 18 holes from $28 for 9 holes.

Lincoln Park Golf Course. The 18-hole, par-68 course has magnificent views of the Golden Gate Bridge, but the somewhat scraggly greens don't hold up well in damp weather. 300 34th Ave. at Clement St., Richmond, San Francisco, CA, 94121. 415/221–9911. lincolnparkgolfcourse.com. Greens fees: $23 for 9 holes, $43 for 18 holes.

Presidio Golf Course. Arnold Palmer Golf Management runs this challenging, well-maintained course. 300 Finley Rd., at Arguello Blvd., The Presidio, San Francisco, CA, 94129. 415/561–4661. www.presidiogolf.com. Greens fees: $110 (you can book tee times online for an additional $8–$12 fee).

San Francisco Recreation & Parks Golf Program. You can get detailed directions to the city's public golf courses and reserve a tee time ($1 reservation fee per player) at some of them up to six days in advance through the parks department's automated municipal tee-times reservation line. You can book some courses online at SF Tee Times (sfteetimes.org). San Francisco, CA. 415/750–4653 to book tee time. sfrecpark.org/parks-open-spaces/golf-courses.

Hang Gliding and Paragliding

Airtime of San Francisco. Paragliding is like hang gliding, but uses a parachute-like nylon glider instead of a fixed wing. Airtime of San Francisco offers paragliding instruction ($450 for one person for two days; $600 for two people for two days) and tandem (March–October) scenic flights ($180 per person; discounts for two or more people) just south of San Francisco in Pacifica, where you can fly over the coastal cliffs and take in spectacular views. San Francisco, CA. 650/685–6503. www.sftandem.com.

Hiking

Hiking options in and around San Francisco include everything from the easygoing Golden Gate Promenade along the city's waterfront to the more rigorous sections the Bay Area Ridge Trail. And there are plenty of great hikes to be had in the Presidio.

Bay Area Ridge Trail. Hills and mountains—including Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County and Mt. Diablo in the East Bay, which has the second-longest sight lines anywhere in the world after Mt. Kilimanjaro—form a ring around the Bay Area. The newest completed stretch of Ridge Trail connects the Pacific Overlook and the Golden Gate Overlook in the Presidio area of San Francisco, offering up the most spectacular views. The Bay Area Ridge Trail is an ongoing project to connect all of the region's ridgelines. The trail is currently more than 340 miles long, but when finished it will extend more than 550 miles, stretching from San Jose to Napa and encompassing all nine Bay Area counties. One of the trail's most impressive ridgelines can be found on Mt. Tamalpais, in Marin County. San Francisco, CA. ridgetrail.org.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). This huge, protected area encompasses the San Francisco coastline, the Marin Headlands, and Point Reyes National Seashore. It's veined with hiking trails, and many guided walks take place. You can find current schedules at visitor centers in the Presidio and Marin Headlands; they're also online at www.nps.gov/goga/parknews. For descriptions of locations within the recreation area—along with rich color photographs, hiking information, and maps—pick up a copy of Guide to the Parks, available in local bookstores or online from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (www.parksconservancy.org). Bldg. 201, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA, 94123. 415/561–4700. www.nps.gov/goga.

Golden Gate Promenade. This great walk passes through Crissy Field, taking in marshlands, kite-flyers, beachfront, and windsurfers, with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop. The 3.3-mile walk is flat and easy—it should take about two hours round-trip. If you begin at Aquatic Park, you'll end up practically underneath the bridge at Fort Point Pier. If you're driving, park at Fort Point and do the walk from west to east. It can get blustery, even when it's sunny, so be sure to layer. San Francisco, CA, 94129.

Presidio. Hiking and biking trails wind through nearly 1,500 acres of woods and hills in the Presidio, past old redbrick military buildings and jaw-dropping scenic overlooks with bay and ocean views. Rangers and docents lead guided hikes and nature walks throughout the year. For a current schedule, pick up a copy of the quarterly Park News at the Presidio Visitor Center, in the park's Main Post area, or go online. The promenade at Crissy Field leads north past views of Golden Gate Bridge. If it's open, fortify yourself with coffee or snacks at the Warming Hut (983 Marine Dr., off Long Ave.) before following the paved road that continues on to the Civil War–era Fort Point, which sits under the bridge. Presidio Visitors Center, 105 Montgomery St. at Lincoln Blvd., San Francisco, CA, 94129. 415/561–4323. www.nps.gov/prsf.

Ice Skating

Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center. Floor-to-ceiling windows border the NHL-regulation skating rink here, bathing the rink in natural light by day. Skate rentals and lessons are available. Open-skate sessions run one to five hours, depending on the time and day, and cost $10, plus $4 for skate rental. Skate rental is free on Wednesday evenings between 7:30 and 9. 750 Folsom St., at 3rd St., SoMa, San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415/820–3532. www.skatebowl.com.

Kayaking

Surrounded by water on three sides, San Francisco has plenty of opportunities for kayaking enthusiasts of all skill levels.

City Kayak. City Kayak operates bay tours along the waterfront and beneath the Bay Bridge starting from $50; the company also runs full-moon night paddles and trips to Alcatraz. Rentals are $40 per hour for a single, and $70 for a double. Half-day trips depart daily. No prior experience is necessary, but you must watch an instructional video. Pier 40, San Francisco, CA, 94107. citykayak.com.

Sea Trek Kayaking and SUP Center. This company offers trips around Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge, moonlight paddles, and many trips in Marin County. Three-hour trips cost from $65 to $75, full-day trips from $85 to $130. Most excursions leave from Sausalito but Angel Island tours leave from the island. Bay Model, Sausalito, CA, 94965. 415/332–8494. www.seatrek.com.

Running

San Francisco is spectacular for running. There are more than 7 miles of paved trails in and around Golden Gate Park; circling Stow Lake and then crossing the bridge and running up the path to the top of Strawberry Hill is a total of 2½ miles. An enormously popular route is the 2-mile raised bike path that runs from Lincoln Way along the ocean, at the southern border of Golden Gate Park, to Sloat Boulevard, which is the northern border of the San Francisco Zoo. (Stick to the park's interior when it's windy, as ocean gusts can kick up sand.) From Sloat Boulevard you can pick up the Lake Merced bike path, which loops around the lake and the golf course, to extend your run another 5 miles.

The paved path along the Marina provides a 1½-mile (round-trip) run along a flat, well-paved surface and has glorious bay views. Start where Laguna Street crosses Marina Boulevard, then run west along the Marina Green toward the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which is close to the docks at the northern end of Marina Boulevard. On weekends beware: you'll have to wind through the crowds—but those views are worth it. You can extend your Marina run by jogging the paths through the restored wetlands of Crissy Field, just past the yacht harbor, then up the hill to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The San Francisco Bike Map and Walking Guide, which indicates hill grades on city streets by color, is a great resource. Online, check the San Francisco Road Runners Club site (www.sfrrc.org) for some recommended routes and links to several local running clubs.

Events

Bay to Breakers. First run in 1912, the 12K Bay to Breakers race, held on the third Sunday in May, is one of the world's oldest footraces—but in true San Francisco fashion there's nothing typical about it. About a third of the 50,000 to 100,000 runners are serious athletes; the rest are "fun runners" who wear famously wacky costumes—or attempt to wear no costumes at all. The race makes its way from the Embarcadero at the bay to the Pacific Ocean, passing through Golden Gate Park. San Francisco, CA. 415/231–3130. www.baytobreakers.com.

San Francisco Marathon. The marathon, usually held on a Sunday in late July, starts and finishes at the Embarcadero. Up to 7,000 runners pass through downtown, the Marina, the Presidio, and Golden Gate Park and cross the Golden Gate Bridge, tackling some of the city's milder hills along the way. San Francisco, CA. 888/958–6668. www.thesfmarathon.com.

Tennis

Golden Gate Park Tennis Courts. Playing at one of the 21 courts in Golden Gate Park costs from $4 to $6; call for weekend and holiday reservations, which are essential (weekdays are first-come, first-served). The tennis page on the park's website lays out all the strategies for scoring a weekend court, the main one being to call right after 4 pm on Wednesday. John F. Kennedy Dr. and Middle Dr. E, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, 94122. 415/753–7001 information;. www.golden-gate-park.com/tennis.html.

San Francisco Recreation & Parks Tennis Courts. The parks department maintains courts throughout the city, including the ones in Golden Gate Park. A few other courts of note (all free) are at Julius Kahn Park (W. Pacific Ave., off Presidio or Arguello Blvds.), in the Presidio, and Mountain Lake Park (Lake St. at 12th Ave.), in the Richmond, both of which have four courts; and Dolores Park (18th St. at Dolores St.), in the Mission, whose six courts have lights for night play. The San Francisco Tennis Courts website has photos and info about all the public courts. San Francisco, CA. 415/831–2700. sftenniscourts.com.

Whale-Watching

Between January and April, hundreds of gray whales migrate along the coast; the rest of the year humpback and blue whales feed offshore at the Farallon Islands. The best place to watch them from shore is Point Reyes, in Marin County.

For a better view, head out on a whale-watching trip. Seas around San Francisco can be rough, so pack motion-sickness tablets. You should also dress warmly, wear sunscreen, and pack rain gear and sunglasses; binoculars come in handy, too. Tour companies don't provide meals or snacks, so bring your own lunch and water. Make reservations at least a week ahead.

California Whale Adventures. California Whale Adventures has year-round whale-watching trips ($100), weekends only. In October you can take a great-white-shark tour, and seabird tours run July through October; these tours range between $90 and $150 per person, and are operated on weekends only. All trips leave from Fisherman's Wharf. San Francisco, CA. 650/579–7777 or. www.californiawhaleadventures.com.

The Oceanic Society. The Oceanic Society operates year-round full- and half-day whale-watching excursions ($100) with top-notch guides. Most trips are on weekends, but a few take place on Fridays from December to mid-May. In winter, the group runs half-day trips ($44 on Fridays, $48 on weekends) from Half Moon Bay. Most trips leave from the San Francisco Yacht Harbor, outside the harbormaster's office in the Marina District. 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross, CA, 94957. 415/256–9604 or 800/326–7491. www.oceanicsociety.org.