Beautiful places in San Francisco for a person with limited mobility?
February 25, 2014 3:15 PM   Subscribe

A friend's mother is coming to town and we're trying to brain storm some beautiful places to take her. The thing is she has limited mobility and tends to get around in a wheel chair. When I think of places to take people it usually involves a hike to something like the Sutro Baths or China Beach, etc, etc. Would love to hear some thoughts!
posted by matt_od to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Chrissy Field, Golden Gate Park, Embarcadero, ferry tour in the bay.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 3:23 PM on February 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ability Trip's reference page is a good start.
posted by blob at 3:38 PM on February 25, 2014

Also, check out this ask from a bit ago.
posted by janey47 at 3:42 PM on February 25, 2014

Coit Tower has fantastic views. Can't remember if the building and its art are accessible. I was there not long ago, and the Cliff House is a perfect place for a cocktail and appetizer.
posted by theora55 at 3:46 PM on February 25, 2014

I just recently visited The Japanese Tea Garden. It was small (would take maybe an hour or two to see if you were strolling slowly and stopped to have tea) and beautiful. I believe the tea shop was wheel chair accessible. There were some small hills involved but the paths were all paved. Next door was the art museum that currently has a great Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:48 PM on February 25, 2014

Assuming you're going to have a car, take her up to the top of the Marin Headlands, right up above the Golden Gate Bridge - there's a splendid view at the top of Conzelman, with parking, before the road turns into a twisty and spectacular one-way down into the Rodeo Valley.
posted by rtha at 3:52 PM on February 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

A bit farther afield from SF itself, Muir Woods has trails that are fully paved or decked and is wheelchair accessible.

The Arboretum in Golden Gate Park is also generally wheelchair accessible.
posted by zachlipton at 3:53 PM on February 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

From their faq:
Is Muir Woods accessible to those with limited mobility?

Yes! Muir Woods has 1.5 miles of paved or boardwalked trail which is mostly flat. Loops of half a mile, one mile, or two miles are easily achieved on this trail. It also features many benches in both sun and shade for resting. For those with a little more mobility, a dirt fire road to Camp Alice Eastwood provides a relatively easy graded additional trail. The café, gift shop, and restrooms all meet ADA accessibility standards, and six parking spaces are reserved in the main parking lot for those with disabled parking placards or license plates. There are two wheelchairs and two strollers available to borrow on a first-come, first-serve basis at the visitor center.
If you can get there, it's probably worth it.
posted by aubilenon at 3:54 PM on February 25, 2014

Seconding Golden Gate Park--the tea garden, the botanical garden, conservatory of flowers. Also, there's a good chunk of Land's End that's wheelchair accessible.

Also, just going along the Embarcadero, especially below the GG Bridge, would be quite scenic! I believe all of the GG Bridge is also ADA accessible.
posted by stillmoving at 4:05 PM on February 25, 2014

Technically the Embarcadero only goes from AT&T park to Fisherman's wharf. It doesn't extend as far as GG Bridge. Not saying that's a bad place to go, just that it's called Fort Point, and not the Embarcadero. (Unless you meant the Bay Bridge, which the Embarcadero does take you by, which actually might be a nice place to go in the evening - north of the bridge so you can see the Bay Lights )

You could get onto the GG bridge sidewalk on a wheelchair (I've done it on a bike), but the bridge is long and not particularly pleasant to stroll on. It's a sidewalk along side five lanes of highway traffic! I wouldn't recommend this.

If you are driving to Marin anyway (for Muir Woods maybe!) I'd also recommend taking a brief detour up Hawk Hill, because it's a nice view of the city and the GG bridge. You could just park for a couple minutes and enjoy the view of the bridge and the city, and move on. (Directions: First exit immediately after the bridge, go under the highway, and up up up!)
posted by aubilenon at 4:23 PM on February 25, 2014

The drive down Hwy 1 to Half Moon Bay is nice and the town itself has lots of cute little shops and restaurants to visit. The drive from HMB (eastbound 92 to the 280) is very pretty. There are some little shops on the way, mostly gardening centers, that can be nice to visit; some of them might be difficult - some of them have gravel pathways and narrow aisles but a few of them are easy to get around in and have cute souvenirs.
posted by echolalia67 at 4:41 PM on February 25, 2014

Does she like museums? The De Young and the Legion of Honor are wonderful and in beautiful settings. The De Young also has a really cool observatory where you can see pretty much the whole city.
posted by radioamy at 6:11 PM on February 25, 2014

We took my mobility-limited folks on the 49-mile drive. It was a fabulous experience with many happy memories for us all.

Fabulous scenery and you can stop from time to time at easy to reach places
posted by rw at 7:36 PM on February 25, 2014

On preview of the Wikipedia site, we liked the challenge of getting around it, but ymmv
posted by rw at 7:38 PM on February 25, 2014

The Academy of Natural Sciences is fantastic and it's completely wheelchair accessible. She can go up through an indoor rainforest, under fish-filled waters, over coral reefs, and more.
posted by kalapierson at 8:27 PM on February 25, 2014

FWIW, a friend of mine does not find the paths at the Japanese Tea Garden to be wheelchair-friendly. YMMV, especially depending on the type of wheechair and the person's physical limitations.
posted by bbq_ribs at 12:28 PM on February 26, 2014

Visited Heath in Sausalito and followed it up with lunch at Fish. Then drove up Hawk Hill and went down the back side of the Headlands. Was a great day.
Thanks y'all!
posted by matt_od at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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