San Francisco - Golden Gate Park

 San Francisco - Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is the largest park in San Francisco, and it is even larger than Central Park in NYC.

It stretches from Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, all the way out to Ocean Beach.

Golden Gate Park 150th anniversary celebration was in 2020.


Golden Gate 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”.


Within its 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.


Golden Gate 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.


Golden Gate 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:

Golden Gate 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 ride.

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

·       Botanical Garden

·       Conservatory of Flowers

·       Stow Lake



California Academy of Sciences:

San Francisco's 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:

Largest 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 Garden:

The gardens Arboretum Consists of 55 acres with 9,000 kinds of plants from around the world.


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).

Take 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 “hidden jams”:


Koret Playground:

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

The National 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.


Buffalo Paddock:

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:

Local Skater 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

The north 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 March).

A larger Windmill (called Murphy) is in the southwest corner of the park.


Sport Fields:

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....

Music Concourse

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


Music festivals:

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.



Picture Gallery