Rhododendrons in Golden Gate Park (Archival photo courtesy of Oregon State University)
Rhododendrons in Golden Gate Park (Archival photo courtesy of Oregon State University)

When you think of parks in San Francisco, Golden Gate Park comes immediately to mind. In fact, Travel + Leisure magazine last month ranked the park No. 6 out of the 30 most beautiful in the world.

But San Francisco boasts a remarkable diversity of open space, totaling 5,384 acres, or 17.9 percent of the city’s land.

Such amenities won it a No. 3 ranking for park quality in the ParkScore Index of U.S. cities released by the Trust for Public Land on Wednesday. The ranking put it in a three-way tie for third with Sacramento and Boston.

Only Minneapolis and New York scored higher in the index of 50 cities, which the nonprofit organization created based on park acreage, park acres as a percentage of city area, spending per resident, residents per playground, and the percentage of population within a 10-minute walk of a park.

Out of a possible 100 points, San Francisco, Sacramento and Boston each got 72.5, compared with Minneapolis’ 81.0 and New York’s 73.5.

The other two Bay Area cities rated by the organization were San Jose, which came in 11th in a three-way tie with 63.5 points, and Oakland, which ranked 18th with 59.0.

Some key stats: park statistics

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land works to preserve open space.

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