'Homeward into the sunset/Still unwearied we go/Till the northern hills are misty/With the amber of afterglow.' Poet George Sterling's poem 'City by the Sea' seems impossibly romantic – but when you watch the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge from his namesake hilltop park, you'll see his point of view. This is the ideal vantage point to appreciate the town Sterling called 'the cool grey city of love.'
Sterling was a great romancer of all San Francisco offered – nature, idealism, free love, and opium – and was frequently broke. A genuine SF eccentric, he carried a lethal dose of cyanide as a reminder of life's transience – and he became the toast of Nob Hill's secretive, elite Bohemian Club, where he often caroused and crashed. Broken by his ex-wife's suicide and the loss of his best friend, novelist Jack London, the 'King of Bohemia' apparently took his bitter dose in 1926 inside his Bohemian Club apartment. Influential friends honored him by dedicating this park to his memory, with its meandering paths and stirring, Sterling views.
If you're not breathless from these hilltop vistas, play tennis on the adjacent public court named after San Francisco's 1930s tennis champ Alice Marble, who recovered from tuberculosis to win Wimbledon – and serve during WWII as a US secret agent among Nazis. Sure puts a little post-tennis panting into perspective.