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Cities with the best parks

These five cities dedicate the most land and money per resident to their park systems and the results show, with plenty of green spaces for residents to enjoy, according to the Trust for Public Land.

San Francisco

city parks san francisco
Golden Gate Park
  • Park land as a % of city area: 17.9%
  • Spending on parks per resident: $281

San Francisco's moderate climate and seaside location help make it an exceptional place for recreational activities. And the city offers plenty of space for them, too: Nearly 18% of all land in town is park land.

There are parks on some of the city's highest elevations, like Telegraph Hill, and green space along the waterfront from the Embarcadero on San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean shore all the way to the city line.

Related: Best Places to Live

Golden Gate Park, which stretches for three miles from Haight-Ashbury all the way to the beach, is an amalgam of gardens, woods, pavilions and lawns.

And because the summers are cool and the winters warm, San Francisco's parks can be enjoyed year-round.

"The parks are heavily utilized," said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of San Francisco's parks and recreation department. "People think of them as their backyards."

Source: The Trust for Public Land
Ratings were based on three factors: park access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park; park size, which is based on the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and services and investment, which combines the number of playgrounds per 10,000 city residents and per capita park spending.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated June 13 2013 06:53 AM ET

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