When walking along with your dog in Van Ness, pedestrians will experience some cool, foggy weather throughout the year. Fog can make travel treacherous by reducing visibility which can make crossing busy streets hazardous. Pet owners should wait for thick fogs to lessen before venturing out. Although winters can be cool, they are rarely very cold and a light, waterproof jacket is usually sufficient to keep wind at bay. Summer temperatures can be quite warm, even uncomfortably so. When the mercury soars, pet owners should avoid overexerting themselves while hiking this hilly neighborhood with their dog.
The terrain in Van Ness is very hilly and pedestrians with pets will experience some steep climbs and long inclines when strolling the neighborhood. Most buildings in this highly developed urban area are multi-story with some high rise and low rise apartments and condominiums. There are some single-family homes in the area and spectral historic mansions still grace some parts of Van Ness, lending architectural beauty to the community. Many multi-story buildings have retail space at street level and there is little landscaping in the area except in nearby parks.
The district is centered around the main commercial corridor of Van Ness Avenue which runs north-south through the region.Traffic on this busy thoroughfare can be heavy, especially during rush hour and pedestrians with pets may want to avoid the traffic and noise along this street during prime hours in favor of some less trafficked side streets.
There are several urban parks in the Van Ness region. Jefferson Square Park has sports fields and a playground adjacent to it. This park is 5.6 acres in size which is a good size for a centrally located urban park. There are mature shade trees, open lawns, and a plaza where local events and festivals are held. An off-leash dog area is located here where your pup can enjoy some free play!
The Buchanan Street Pedestrian Mall stretches along 6 acres to the west of the Van Ness Avenue area. This pedestrian greenway is landscaped with trees and lawns and there are benches, two playgrounds, tennis courts, and a basketball court.
Lafayette Park is located a little farther north but this park provides 11 acres of green space and greenways to enjoy with your canine companion. To the southwest, you can visit Alamo Square Park with its famous “Painted Ladies”, a strip of brightly painted Victorian homes along the park's border.