San Francisco - Golden Gate Park
Park is the largest park in San Francisco, and it is even larger than Central
Park in NYC.
from Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, all the way out to Ocean Beach.
Park 150th anniversary celebration was in 2020.
Park has some of San Francisco's most visited attractions, like California
Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum but I enjoy visiting here time after
time and “discover” the many other park sections and “hidden gems”.
1,000 acres (three miles long, one half a mile wide), you can walk and enjoy
the nature, visit the many attractions like Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese
Tea Garden, San Francisco Botanical Gardens, Dutch and Murphy Windmills, Stow Lake,
and Strawberry Hill and many more locations within the park or just enjoy the
outdoor activity walking or biking and the view of the other visitors.
Park is the perfect place to enjoy all things outdoors and is one of the most
visited parks in America with 25 million visits annually. The park's landscape
is home to 680 forested acres, 130 acres of meadows, 15 miles of drives, and 33
acres of lakes. You can see coyotes, owls, and bison here.
Park is a dog’s friendly park.
Dogs are required to be on leash, except for a few designated off-leash areas.
Bike in the park:
Park is a great place to ride a bike; you can find miles of easy flat trails
here; most are paved, and you can cover a lot of the park area in a few hours
There are few bikes
rental options near the park, located on the east side near Haight St.
There is a
large underground parking garage in the center of the park (under de Young, and
Academy of Sciences museums).
There's lots of
free parking on the roads throughout the park, but on sunny weekends and
holydays it can get congested and difficult to find parking spot.
As always in
San Francisco there have been lots of car break-ins in the park, do not leave
anything in view; or any valuable item in your car.
The Main Attractions in Golden
Gate Park are the following:
Academy of Sciences
de Young Museum
Japanese Tea Garden
Conservatory of Flowers
California Academy of Sciences:
largest science museum, it has Planetarium, Aquarium and Natural
History Museum and it is very popular so try to book your tickets in advance.
de Young Museum:
Repository of Works of Art on Paper in the Western U.S and special changing
exhibits and events.
There is a nice
open sculpture garden near the museum caffe.
Japanese Tea Garden:
Classical and beautiful
Japanese garden with pools and pagodas.
The San Francisco Botanical
Arboretum Consists of 55 acres with 9,000 kinds of plants from around the
The Conservatory of Flowers:
Opened in 1879
and was the park's first formal structure. I never visit inside but the outside
garden is beautiful, and you may find flower shows nearby.
Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill
Stow Lake, is the park biggest body of water, is a man-made lake in the heart of the park, you can rent a boat from the Stow Lake Boathouse. In the middle of Stow Lake, you can find Strawberry Hill, the highest point in the park (430 feet high).
the Rustic Bridge or the Roman Bridge and hike to the top of the hill to enjoy
the view. On the east side of the island, you can find 2 attractions,
Huntington Falls and Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, a Chinese temple-like
structure that was a gift from the city of Taipei.
Other Park attractions and park
This is the
first public playground in the U.S, you can find the playground here and a
nearby active Carousel.
National AIDS Memorial Grove
AIDS Memorial Grove is dedicated to the millions of lives AIDS has affected. This
hidden creek garden with memorial section is one of the park unique hidden
jams, here you can enjoy nice garden and the quite location.
Spreckels Lake and SFMYC Boathouse
Spreckels Lake is
home to local model boat club, during weekends you can watch the model-boat
enthusiasts sailing their yachts.
You can see
real North American bison roaming in Golden Gate Park, there is a large open meadow,
and you can see the Bisons that are populating the park since 1890.
Skater Dance Party:
gathering during weekends noon at the park dedicated skate area.
It is fun to
come, seat on the lawn and enjoy the music, skaters and the good 60s vibe. To
find this location look in google map for “6th Avenue Skate Park”.
Dutch and Murphy Windmills
windmill was originally constructed in 1902 to pump water. Today it’s known for
the thousands of colorful tulips in the surrounding tulip garden (February and
A larger Windmill
(called Murphy) is in the southwest corner of the park.
Golden Gate Park has a Golf Course, Archery, Lawn Bowling, Disc Golf, Tennis courts, Segway Tour, Horseback rides, Baseball and Soccer Fields, and the large Kezar Stadium....
Located at the
center of the museum district of the park, the Music Concourse was originally
built for the festivities of the 1894 Midwinter Fair. Check out free
performances of the Golden Gate Park Band on Sundays from April to October
Two of San
Francisco’s biggest music festivals, Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly
Bluegrass, brings thousands of people to Hellman Hollow and Lindley Meadows
every August and October.