Things to Do — By Mary Polizzotti on September 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Perched atop Nob Hill, Huntington Park  is not usually listed on a visitor’s agenda, but it should be. Resplendent Grace Cathedral flanks the west side of the park. Go up close to check out its impressively detailed Ghiberti doors (modern replicas and one of the few copies of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise at the Florence Baptistry). Now, you have a choice – meditate inside or outside? Take your pick from the cathedral’s two labyrinth patterns. Midnight mass on Christmas Eve is a great service to attend in Grace Cathedral as all walks of San Francisco life are welcomed through its doors. Sunrise in Huntington Park brings nothing but peace, quiet, and a few early-risers practicing Tai Chi. Now populated with roses, fountains, park benches, and a small playground, this land was formerly the site of one of the most ostentatious mansions ever built in San Francisco. The residence was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, and the remaining land was donated to the city for the public to enjoy by Arabella Huntington, the widow of Central Pacific railroad baron Collis P. Huntington. Take the California Street Cable Car or hike up one of the (steep!) surrounding streets to visit this beauty of a park. Your effort will be rewarded with sweeping vistas in all directions.

Tags: big four, flood fountain, grace cathedral, huntington park, nob hill, san francisco