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7 totally free San Francisco workouts, walks and runs

Lyon Street Steps
Photograph: dlseeter_2000/Flicker Lyon Street Steps

Work off that cornbread stuffing and pumpkin pie without dipping into your holiday fund. We've found San Francisco's best spots for a serious workout without spending a dime. 

1. Lyon Street Steps: These stunning steps aren't just for Lululemon girls and Bootcamp boys. While popular with the Marina crowd, the steps are treasured by old school San Franciscans as a (not so) hidden little gem. A few sprints up these 332 steps are sure to burn off that second (okay, third) serving of mashed potatoes. 

2. Lands End: Quite possibly San Francisco's most beautiful trail, we're especially big fans of a jaunt down to the famous labyrinth. Park at the Lands End trailhead parking lot and reward yourself with a warm tea and Pacific Coast view after your run. 

3. Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge: This obvious choice is popular with runners, walkers and strollers, and doing any of those activities you can crank out a serious calorie killer. Park near the Marina Safeway and make your way along the Marina Green to Crissy Field. Head all the way to the Warming Hut and then, for an extra big push, head up the gorgeous steps to the Golden Gate Bridge and jog across an icon. 

4. Kezar Stadium: This running track just west of Haight and Stanyan is open to the public and ideal for an old school PE-style jog. Add a sprint in the stands to your workout, or join a pick-up soccer game on the field. Try not to get too distracted by the area's amazing people-watching opportunities—this is the Haight after all. 

5. Great Highway: It's called "Great" for a reason. Inhale that ocean air as you jog or run along the Great Highway. This is a nice flat water-side run, much like the popular Embarcadero but without the throngs of tourists blocking your path. 

6. Golden Gate Park Polo Fields: You'll spot a lot of weekend workout warriors taking advantage of the Polo Fields' quiet track and field grounds. Surrounded by a gorgeous eucalyptus grove, this track is bordered by horse stables on the north side. 

7. Lake Merced: Neighborhood locals love the quiet Lake Merced loop on the far southwest side of the City. This flat 4.5-mile walk or run borders a tranquil lake where many high school teams practice crew. We especially love the gorgeous bird life.


 

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