San Francisco is, arguably, the most dog-friendly city in the United States. What else would you expect from a town named after Saint Francis of Assisi, the Catholic saint of animals?
San Francisco, of course, is known for more than its animals. It's a city of beautiful views, known for its embrace of diversity and disregard for following tradition. After all, San Francisco and the surrounding Silicon Valley has been on the cutting edge of new technology for a long time. But despite a modern image, San Francisco has a history that, while not as long as other parts of the country, is quite notable.
In 1906, San Francisco was hit with a very large earthquake. This one virtually leveled the city, leaving thousands homeless. Nearly 2,000 survivors gathered in Jefferson Square Park, establishing a tent city, complete with a school and even an emergency hospital. After the end of WWI, San Francisco converted half of Jefferson Square to a playground. The remaining six acres is now a nicely landscaped park, a respite from the urban neighborhood now surrounding it. There are a small baseball field and a tennis court, but better than half of the park is devoted to an off-leash dog park.
The dog park at Jefferson Square is not fenced. There's no agility equipment and no area set aside for small dogs. But what makes Jefferson Square special is that it has grass. Lots and lots of grass. And trees. The park is a true green space. There are benches and bathrooms for people, and poop bags and trash cans for the dogs. There are also plenty of fountains for people and their pups.
Other than that, the park is literally a field day for dogs, the perfect place to rest your paws after too many walks taken on rough concrete. There are plenty of paved walking paths for people, and plenty of trees and flowers for your dog to sniff. Jefferson Square might not be the most elaborate dog park you'll ever visit, but its simplistic beauty is the perfect antidote for urban development.