For sunshine and suburbia ― even wilderness ― in the often fog-cloaked city, head to this underrated enclave on San Francisco's south side. Narrow streets are flanked by colorful single-family homes, and the villagelike center is lined with bakeries, a bookshop, and noteworthy new restaurants. But the best part of Glen Park is the boulder-strewn and eucalyptus-filled canyon, the city's most rugged open space, which welcomes joggers, dog walkers, off-roading strollers, rock climbers, and (for one week in June) grass-chomping goats.
San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood is south of Noe Valley. It has a BART stop on Diamond St. at Bosworth St., just steps from Chenery St., the hub of the neighborhood. Glen Canyon Park is less than 10 minutes from BART on foot.
Glen Canyon Park Wander beneath 350-foot-high canyon walls, by huge red rocks, trickling Islais Creek, and footbridges. Stay on the main trail and turn back anytime; if you don't mind a little bushwhacking, follow the route about a mile to Diamond Heights. (In late June, look for hungry goats, brought in to clear brush and thus deter fires.) INFO: Free; O'Shaughnessy Blvd. at Elk St.; ample street parking; 415/831-2700.
Bird & Beckett Books & Records Behold, a bookstore the way they used to be: Musty, cramped, and staffed by smart, friendly folks. Plus open-mic poetry (7:30 on the first and third Monday of each month) and live jazz (5:30-8 Fridays). INFO: 2788 Diamond St.; 415/586-3733.
Destination Baking Company You can smell this bakery from blocks away. Only three tables, but tray upon tray of just-baked treats: chocolate croissants, lemon tartlets, and moon pies. INFO: 598 Chenery St.; 415/469-0730.
Café Bello Locals' favorite for fresh-roasted fair-trade beans and whimsical frothy flourishes. INFO: 2885 Diamond St.; 415/585-3457.
Gialina A small, family-run spot with thin-crust pies inspired by Nonna. Try dandelion greens with sweet Italian sausage, or the Wild Nettles: green garlic, pancetta, and fontina. INFO: $$; 2842 Diamond St.; 415/239-8500.
DON'T MISS ...
Dining is for families on kids' night at Chenery Park Restaurant ( $$$; closed Mon; 683 Chenery St.; 415/337-8537), typically an adult-friendly place. Every Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. on, tots of all ages (with parents in tow) come for no-fuss hamburgers and mac 'n' cheese, with root beer floats for dessert.
Discerning diners can eat up the neighborhood's newest destinations, both scheduled to open this spring: the super-swank sushi restaurant Sangha ( $$$; 678 Chenery; 415/333-0101) and French bistro Le P'tit Laurent ( $$$; 699 Chenery; 415/334-3235).