San Francisco: 4 awesome activities away from your superyacht

Get in a round of golf

Surrounded by water, built upon hills, and located just a few miles from stunning old-growth forests, nature preserves and mountains, San Francisco is the perfect launch pad for an outdoor adventure away from your superyacht.

1. Get in a round of golf

Six public golf courses are located within the city limits, which isn’'t too shabby for a city only seven-by-seven miles in size. You can choose to play nine holes in Golden Gate Park for the novelty, if not necessarily for the difficulty. Head to Harding Park for a bigger challenge, on the course that was a frequent PGA Tour stop in the 1960s and hosted the President’s Cup in 2009.

It will be hard to resist the temptation of nearby Pebble Beach Golf Links, often named the best public golf course in America. It (as well as several adjacent courses) is just over a two-hour drive from the city, near Monterey.

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Have fun on and in the water

Scuba divers will need a thick wetsuit to frolic in the cold waters of Monterey Bay, which is the best nearby site for this pursuit. The reward for braving the elements is a surprisingly colourful array of ocean floor sea life, stunning kelp forests you can swim through, and the occasional curious and playful harbour seal or sea otter. Some great dives, which should be on your diving bucket list, are accessible right from the shore.

Atop the water, San Francisco'’s surf culture is centred on Ocean Beach, but surfboard and wetsuit rentals are sub-par in the city compared with nearby Santa Cruz. There, several companies offer equipment and group instruction, but private lessons are also available from Richard Schmidt Surf School.

During every Giants baseball game, a community of kayakers paddles in the waters just outside AT&T Park in the hopes of netting a home run ball. Whether that’'s your speed or you’ would prefer to brave the rougher waters around Alcatraz with a guide, City Kayak can provide the equipment and instructors for the day.

Kite surfing, wind surfing, and stand-up paddle boarding are also popular local sports, and sometimes you wi’ll spot kite surfing daredevils going wild near the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge. Boardsports School and Shop rents equipment in three different locations to accommodate all comers and offers private instruction as well.

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Raise your heartbeat with city sports

If you want to burn off the excesses of delicious meals at San Francisco's Michelin-starred restaurants then there are plenty of options in the city.

In a city of extreme hills, most runners, bikers, inline skaters and skateboarders seek out the flat stretches when at all possible. One of the best of those is right near America’'s Cup Village along the Marina Green. In summer this strip of lawn is full of active groups doing everything from triathlon training to Frisbee to kite flying. The level ground continues along the waterfront all the way around to The Embarcadero, so serious runners can rack up the miles while touring the city. Alternatively hire or use your superyacht's bikes and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Lovers of hills can find plenty of those to climb— - there is a fun path that stretches atop Twin Peaks - —but those with the time should head for the Dipsea trail, which connects Mill Valley and Stinson Beach. This path that runs up and over Mount Tamalpais is the site of America’'s oldest trail race, established in 1905 and run every year in June.

On Sundays, a large (and relatively flat) portion of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park is closed to traffic and filled with residents walking, running, riding and sliding throughout the day. Regular and tandem bicycles, in-line skates and even old-school roller skates are available for rent at a number of shoppes at the Haight Street edge of the park. Many people choose to walk through the park and stop for lunch at the amazing de Young museum that also has an observatory tower with a great view of the western end of San Francisco. Golden Gate Park also hosts Segway tours, paddle boating on Stow Lake, archery practice and even polo matches.

Venture into the woods

In about a half hour’'s drive from the Golden Gate Bridge you can be amongst the legendary redwoods of Muir Woods, a National Monument with stunning 1,200 year-old trees that is both wheelchair accessible and full of steeper forest trails for hiking. Or, in about four hours, you can drive to Yosemite National Park, indisputably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Yosemite offers endless hiking, backpacking and nature observation, but also rock climbing, horseback riding, rafting, fishing and even skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating in the winter. To do it in style, overnight at the posh Ahwahnee Hotel in the park.

Inspired to visit San Francisco? Don't miss our guide to  6 days cruising on a luxury yacht around San Francisco Bay.

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