[photos via Michael Conrad] Tucked away in the South Beach neighborhood near the Yerba Buena District is the easy to miss South Park. This hidden gem of a park and its surrounding houses were developed in 1852 as an exclusive residential community and modeled after a square in London. When residents began moving to the even more prestigious Nob Hill the area fell out of favor and the city took over the park in 1897. The park and surrounding area became a haven for vagrants and artists for many years until the dot-com boom of the 90's revitalized the space, which continues to this day.
Where it's located: On South Park Street, bounded by Second, Third, Bryant and Brannan streets. Entrances are located at Second and Third Streets.
What it features: The park itself features only a couple playgrounds, some open grassy areas and benches, but when taken in context with the small European-style restaurants and buildings it provides a relaxing oasis in this very urban-feeling section of the city.
How to get there: The 10, 30, 45, 81x and 82x bus lines all stop two blocks or less from here, or you can take the T or N metro lines to King Street and walk north along Second for less than 2 blocks.
Dogs allowed: Yes, but on-leash only
Don't miss: If you have children the playground is nicely equipped; adults should grab a cup of coffee at Café Centro or lunch at Mexico au Pare snag grab a seat on a bench. The tall trees of the small, oval-shaped park deflect much of the sounds radiating from the busy thoroughfares nearby, and the short buildings adjacent to the park allow for a large amount of sun to filter in, creating the perfect atmosphere for people watching or a relaxing lunch experience. -Michael Conrad
· South Park, San Francisco [Wikipedia]