Chinese Playground tennis courts in San Francisco

This is one of the most centrally located tennis courts in San FranciscoChinese Playground has one court. It’s in the middle of China Town and fairly close to Financial District, North Beach, Russian Hill. The only disadvantage is that it’s a bit of a climb to get to it, from pretty much anyway, except maybe via Broadway. 

The court itself is in fine condition. Good net. Great, even surface. And nice view of the city and the Transamerica Pyramid. There’s a kids playground below. And that’s also where the entrance to the court is, as the door from Hang Ah Alley on the main level is locked for some reason.

It’s in the middle of a few old brick buildings. That gives it a unique acoustic popping sound every time you hit the ball. Pretty special. Like the US Open, but without the microphones on the courts. 

And for extra fun, your serve may be interrupted by the occasional proud stroll of a pigeon. Right through the court. They seem undisturbed by tennis balls. Or maybe attracted to them. 

It’s also right next to a few Chinese Dim Sum restaurants, hole in the wall style. They inevitably send a few spectators who seem genuinely fascinated by the people hitting the ball. They can smoke cigarettes and watch the tennis players for a while. Maybe hence the sign No Smoking. You don’t see one of those too often on tennis courts. 

There’s also a wooden umpire stand. Maybe they had serious tournaments here at one point. 

Overall, I’d recommend playing at this court, for a special San Francisco experience. It’s one of the courts that gets assigned by default to a lot of players who sign up on the site – – without specifying a ZIP Code or address. Curiously, though, every time I’ve been there, it’s been available. Image






Lafayette Park tennis courts renovated by City of San Francisco

I was pleasantly surprised by the two nicely resurfaced courts at Lafayette park. The city has done a nice job. Both tennis courts have been renovated, with new surface, new nets and wind screens. I remember this place was once littered with pine needles and with cracks on the courts. But it’s great now.

Very unique place. Nice views of the city. Some wind every now and then, but the wind screens help. The lower court gets less wind. Both have benches, a nice touch. Tennis players are generally courteous and will give up the court if anyone’s waiting, after they’ve played for about an hour.

Parking can be problematic. It’s a popular residential area, parking spots get picked up quickly. Take public transit if you can.

If you walk or bike, it’s a serious hike up the hill, no matter which way you approach it (from Gough St, or Jackson St). But it’s worth it. Solid courts with a nice bounce and cool views of San Francisco.

To find tennis courts and tennis players elsewhere in San Francisco go to