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Travel & Outdoors

We Serve Up A List Of San Francisco’s Best Tennis Courts

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With 132 free municipal tennis courts managed by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, plus courts in schools, neighborhoods and private clubs, picking out San Francisco’s best tennis courts can be highly subjective. These public courts were selected based on criteria including city rankings as well as parking, view and wait time.

tennisclub We Serve Up A List Of San Franciscos Best Tennis Courts

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Alice Marble Recreation Center
Greenwich and Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
www.facebook.com

Price: free
Hours: sunrise to sunset

Players wax eloquently about the views from this little gem, the quintessential San Francisco views of North Beach and the Bay. Still, it’s a little love/hate because wind can make the courts unusable. And despite four courts, Alice Marble crowds, especially on weekends, and there are no lights for evening play. Nonetheless, the courts get heavy love, not only for the view but also for the recent rebuild that came with the San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s restoration of the reservoir beneath the courts. Alice Marble, by the way, was a tennis player born in Beckwourth in 1913, who moved to San Francisco at age 5. She battled tuberculosis to win 12 US open and five Wimbledon titles.

Related: San Francisco’s Playgrounds, Parks and Trails

Golden Gate Park Tennis Complex
Middle Drive and John F Kennedy Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 753-8191
www.sfrecpark.org

Price: $4 to $8
Hours: Daily – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

With 21 Laykold Courts, this is the largest city-managed tennis complex, and has served generations of San Francisco children who continue to use the courts into adulthood. While some bemoan that the courts are too close for comfort, others say the Golden Gate Park location makes it the best of the best. There is also an active community of players, the Golden Gate Park Tennis Club, a USTA member organization. It’s the only city-managed facility that charges a fee. Fees vary by day, time and reservation. Lessons are also available.

San Francisco State University
State Drive and North Merced Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 405-4328
www.sfsu.edu

Price: free to community based on availability (call or see schedule posted at the courts)
Hours: reservations Mon to Fri – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; courts – dawn to dusk

Access to these 14 hard-surfaced tennis courts (western side of SFSU campus) can be tricky: They are open to faculty, students and staff and, by reservation, to the surrounding community. For any use on nights, weekends, holidays and by any outside groups, reservations are required. Still, aside from the need to make reservations, players really like this locale, and court surfaces.

Related: Top Bay Area Amusement Parks

tennisclub2 We Serve Up A List Of San Franciscos Best Tennis Courts

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Alta Plaza Tennis Courts
2573 Jackson St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
www.parkscan.org

Price: free
Hours: sunrise to sunset

Admit it. No matter how long you’ve lived in San Francisco, you still feel the magic when you glimpse one of “those views.” You know what they are: a skyline, a coastline, the Bay, the ocean. Climbing to the tennis courts atop Alta Plaza Park offers some of those wow-factor views, and players who aren’t put off by the occasional wind interference say playing in this park is the best. The three concrete courts are well-maintained, with a good surface,  and in most cases the wait isn’t too bad. But it’s the whole package of this Pacific Heights-area park that gives it a faithful following: a playground, plenty of room to sunbathe and picnic, a basketball court, and yes, those awesome views.

Ella Hill Hutch Community Center
1050 McAllister St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 753-8191
www.ellahillhutchcommunitycenter.org

Price: free
Hours: sunrise to sunset

Four well-maintained courts. Lights. Parking. That’s a sure-win trifecta anywhere but especially at a San Francisco public tennis court where parking can be miserable. This Western Addition-area community center is a winner for players who frequently, and generously, share the good word that these courts rank among the city’s best public courts based on reasonable to no waiting times, a good surface and an overall good experience.

Marketing communications professional Amy Rabinovitz is a Bay Area writer who has lived in Marin County, San Francisco and now resides in Silicon Valley where, for 15 years, she has been a digital and social media marketer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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