Now that the demolition process of Candlestick Park’s begun, it’s likely many fewer Bay Area residents will be making it down to the area in which most of the park still stands. To many from outside the Bay Area (and many who actually live in the Bay Area), Candlestick Park’s only known as the place where the Giants used to play baseball and (until very recently) the 49ers used to play football. To non-sports fans, it’s mostly known as the location that hosted the Beatles’ last official concert on August 29, 1966. Almost everyone who’s heard of the stadium knows its reputation as one of the windiest places to see public events of any sort.
I hadn’t been down to Candlestick Park since a Paul McCartney concert more or less officially closed the facility in August 2014. On the second Sunday of April 2015, I took advantage of the Bayview neighborhood’s annual “Sunday Streets” event—which closes most of 3rd Street, the main non-freeway route to Candlestick, to traffic—to bike down to the park. Or what’s left of it, as you see in this photo:
That’s quite a contrast to how it looked in its heyday, or even last summer. Soon it will be gone and so will, some might think, any reason to go to this area at all. But many remain unaware that Candlestick Park is actually situated in an area with an actual park, Candlestick Point Recreation Area. And that park—a real park, not a ballpark—remains very much available for use, just across the street from where the Candlestick Park stadium stood.
While the recreation area can’t compete with Golden Gate Park or many better known sites in San Francisco for beauty and culture, there’s something to be said for the occasional visit. It’s quiet, for one thing, with some nice bay views:
It has some semi-beaches that, if not good for swimming, are good places for family picnics, of which I saw a few on this afternoon:
Of course not every view is as scenic or natural as others:
But it’s a nice break from the urban congestion of San Francisco, and parking’s easier here than it is almost anywhere else, whether at a park or not. And it’s a good workout on bike from the city, if you need a destination other than, say, Ocean Beach, Lake Merced, Marin County across Golden Gate Bridge, or other frequently-biked routes. But if you want to see what’s left of Candlestick Park stadium, go soon.