With over 11 acres of land situated in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, Lafayette Park is a popular hangout that accommodates local children, families and visitors with its charm, grassy spaces, friendly vibe, and dog oasis. Enjoying views of the city and San Francisco Bay is another reason Lafayette Park attracts visitors. It is not uncommon for people to weave in and out of the park to take in the neighboring architecture, views, and natural scenery of the area.
LAFAYETTE PARK ATTRACTIONS & FEATURES
Lafayette Park attracts families and kids who come to romp about the children’s playground; canine lovers who enjoy quality time with their pooch; picnickers; walkers who visit the numerous open and tree-clustered green spaces; and those seeking an outdoor getaway that encourages reflection just as much as recreation. Whether you come to the park for relaxation or active fun, Lafayette Park doesn’t disappoint, as it is home to the following attractions and sights:
Lafayette Park Playground: Situated on Clay at Laguna, Lafayette Park is home to a family-friendly, enclosed playground that offers climbing structures, metal slides, an orange spinning ride with rope play, swings, rubberized ground, and imaginative play spaces. The water sensory stream adds a fascinating visual aspect to the park. Long metal poles intrigue older kids who enjoy sliding down them. Restrooms are conveniently located close to the playground (described by some as ‘exceptionally clean’). Limited parking is found on the perimeter of the park.
Lafayette Park Tennis Courts: Located at the southeast corner of the park at Washington & Laguna St, Lafayette Park is home to two outdoor, public tennis courts, which operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no lights at this court, but if you’re interested in enjoying illuminating play amongst active tennis players in the area, there are currently more than 100 willing participants registered at Lafayette Square Park through TennisRound.com.
The Gathering Meadow: Behind the tennis courts, the Gathering Meadow is a noticeable feature on the east side of Lafayette Park (Gough St. & Washington St.). A combination of lawn space and three-tier seating space that stretches 70 feet across each tier provides a lovely space for special events and activities.
Lafayette Dog Park: Outfitted with new ‘doggie turf’ in 2016, Lafayette Park is becoming an increasingly popular hot spot for canine lovers and owners, which allows their companions to stretch their legs at the recently rejuvenated off-leash dog run.
THINGS to DO at LAFAYETTE PARK
Lafayette Park is an ideal place to exercise in the great outdoors (think yoga with friends at the Gathering Meadow), spend quality time with loved ones and pets, and let children (and dogs) run off excess energy. Other Lafayette Park activities you may want to consider include:
A Picnic with Loved Ones: Lafayette Park has multiple areas where you can sit at a picnic table, enjoy a packed lunch, read books, or host an outdoor party. At the top of the park, there are three 8-foot tables found on both the southside and northside. A picnic area situated northwest of the playground has three 4-foot wide round tables. Seven 4-foot wide round tables are located in a larger reservable picnic space found south of the playground – ideal for group events.
The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department issues permits for scheduled activities, such as birthday parties and family reunion picnics.
Powerlifting in the Park: Lafayette Park is home to the first outdoor strength gym in San Francisco, which provides individualized workout programs geared towards increasing strength, speed, and efficiency regarding your favorite activities. For more information on pursuing a strengthening program surrounded by the green of Lafayette Park, click here.
Clear Your Mind with Views of the City: The hilly terrain of Lafayette Park results in splendid views of the city that include Alcatraz Island, the San Francisco Bay, Buena Vista Park, Twin Peaks, and the city’s Marina district.
LAFAYETTE PARK ANNUAL & ONGOING EVENTS
Although Lafayette Park doesn’t offer many annual or ongoing activities open to the public, the following events and meet-ups are quite popular amongst neighboring residents:
Annual Fall Social: The Friends of Lafayette Park (FOLP) hosts a yearly Fall Social, which provides an opportunity for those unfamiliar with the park to learn more about its features, meet FOLP board members, and mingle with citywide park professionals – all while having fun. Although donations are encouraged, the event is free. Throughout the event, local vendors supply the crowds with complimentary food, while live musical entertainment plays in the background from the likes of special guests, such as representatives from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA).
Monthly Cleaning & Greening Days: Every month, volunteers gather to give back to Mother Nature in a day filled with improving the park and strengthening community bonds. The day starts in front of the playground, with complimentary coffee and bagels. Gardeners then guide you to the task of the day, which may include weeding, pruning, clearing brush, digging holes, picking up trash and/or spreading mulch. Tools and gloves are provided.
LAFAYETTE PARK WEDDINGS
Surrounded by green and with delightful views of the city and bay as a backdrop, the Gathering Meadow has served as a beautiful location for wedding ceremonies and receptions in Lafayette Park. Located on the east side of the park, the Meadow is found behind the tennis courts and offers full accessibility and accommodating spaces for guests with its built-in seating arrangement.
The Gathering Meadow can be reserved through the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department for events held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Only one wedding per day is allowed to take place at the site, which can be scheduled up to one year in advance of a planned date.
When planning an event at the Gathering Meadow, keep in mind that restroom access is about a 2-minute walk from the Gathering Meadow, which is found close to the center of park near the playground. Nearby parking is open to the public with limited street spaces available.
If a wedding at Lafayette Square Park is something you’d like to look into, fill out the form below to request a free quote.
Lafayette Park Wedding Details
Location: Gough & Washington Streets
Maximum Capacity: 150
Ceremonies and Receptions Allowed
Reservation Fee: $240.00
Hourly Rate (2 Hour Minimum): $60
Staff Salary (per hour): $70/hour for Park Ranger with a 3-hour minimum
Refundable Cleaning/Damage Deposit: $500
LAFAYETTE PARK IS LOCATED CLOSE TO…
Lafayette Park primarily caters to residents dwelling in the Pacific Heights neighborhood that live between the streets of Washington, Sacramento, Gough, and Laguna; and is situated close to a range of interesting places of interest to visit before or after a stop at the park.
The Hass-Lilienthal House (on 2007 Franklin St.) stands as a fine example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture, which opens to the public as a museum – it’s the only one of its kind in San Francisco. Docent-led tours provide access to a residence that has never been significantly remodeled or modified, allowing visitors to really see what living during the era was like. The house also accommodates the offices of San Francisco Heritage, and through them, you can make arrangements to rent Hass-Lilienthal House for a special event.
Located at 2040 Gough Street, the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco is also within walking distance, and serves as a center that provides visitors with therapeutic, educational, and cultural resources. Because of its close proximity to the California Pacific Medical Center, Lafayette Park provides a welcomed respite after visiting relatives at the hospital.
The closest park located to Lafayette Park is Alta Plaza Park, which has tennis courts; features a playground outfitted with slides, swings, sand and jungle gym; and provides access to a set of staircases that happen to have an interesting connection to the movie industry.
Lafayette Park Information
Lafayette Park Location: Gough & Washington St
GPS Location: Latitude: 37.7915498 Longitude: -122.4276716
Lafayette Park Hours: 5 a.m. to Midnight
Lafayette Park Parking: No parking.
Public Transportation for Lafayette Park: Muni: #1-California –Sacramento Street at Laguna, Octavia or Gough; and #12-Folsom – Washington Street at Gough or Laguna.
Lafayette Park Facility Contact: (415) 292-2012