There’s no escaping the hills of San Francisco—you’ll encounter these natural butt boosters even if you are walking for just a few blocks. But the relatively small city (only 7×7 square miles) is also jam-packed with stunning scenery. Many locals use their own foot power to get around. And there’s an incredible variety of active choices, from biking and hiking to surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Run along the beachy paths of Crissy Field, hike the hills of the Marin Headlands, paddle the Bolinas Lagoon, or climb the famed Lyon Street steps. Stay indoors and you’ll find loads of options for rock climbing, trampoline jumping, and ice skating, along with virtually every type of specialty studio invented, from barre and TRX to boxing and HIIT. (Learn more about our Fittest Cities Indexes and how we ranked the U.S. cities.)

“Wherever you go there are communities that revolve around exercise,” notes Melissa Ailling, owner of Salt studio, which features barre and cardiokickboxing interval combos. “Everywhere you look there’s an activity for your style.” 

A city this committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle has a plethora of options for clean eating. Local favorite chain the Juice Shop has eight locations featuring raw cold-pressed juices; fast and casual Seed + Salt in the Marina District specializes in exceptional vegan and gluten-free cuisine. And the Plant has the best veggie burger and natural drinks in the city. 



  1. Run along the paved Embarcadero, which stretches from AT&T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf. (Check out 5 Vacation-Destination Half Marathons.)
  2. Hike up the alleyways and staircases to get the best view of the city atop the Twin Peaks.
  3. Meditate along the circuitous paths of the Labyrinth, perched on the craggy ledge at Lands End.
  4. Take a class at the original TRX Training Center.
  5. Squeeze in a short but sweaty 30-minute conditioning workout at Basecamp Fitness. 

SEE ALSO: Why Seattle is One of the Fittest Cities in America