Golden Gate Park

  Nature and Parks

Sprawling over 1017 acres on San Francisco's Pacific coast, the Golden Gate Park is the largest man-made park in the world. The arid sand dunes and marshland were transformed by engineer William Hammond Hall and master gardener John McLaren into a lush green area with millions of trees, starting in 1871. The park has 5 lakes, including the Chain of Lakes which stretch from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to Fulton Street. It is the 5th most visited city park in the United States, and offers a wide range of things to see and do.

The rectangular parkland measures over 3 miles in length from east to west, and 0.5 miles north to south. While walking, biking, and skating are popular ways to get around, there are also free park shuttles plying around that stop at the major attractions in the park. Segway tours are a great eco-friendly way to explore the the Golden Gate Park and see its major highlights. Sporting facilities include tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, polo fields, lawn bowling fields, an angling and casting club, fly fishing lake, a golf course, horseshoe pits, an archery range, and the Kezar Stadium which is used for football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field.

The Golden Gate Park encompasses several museums, lakes, and gardens.

  • The Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest of its kind in the United States, and has 3 acres of Japanese flora with rock garden, ponds, sculptures, pagoda, tea-house, and drum bridge. It is home to the fortune cookie, as creator Makoto Hagiwara first served these prophesying crispy treats here in the 1890s or early 1900s.
  • The Conservatory of Flowers is a Victorian greenhouse that contains 1700 species of tropical, rare and aquatic plants.
  • The 55-acre San Francisco Botanical Garden has over 50,000 plants across 8000 taxa from various regions around the world, including Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
  • The Rose Garden has over 60 flower-beds with hybrid and exotic varieties. Visitors can see flowers in bloom all year round.
  • Strawberry Hill is an island in Stow Lake with the Huntington Falls, an artificial waterfall. The peak offers great views over the city. Stow Lake is the largest lake in the park, and has boating facilities.
  • The Rainbow Falls, supplied by the Lloyd Lake, is noted for the Celtic-style Prayerbook Cross situated near its head. The 64 foot tall sandstone landmark is the tallest monument in the park.
  • The De Young Museum is a fine arts museum that presents American art from the 17th through 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles, and costumes, and art from the Americas, Pacific, and Africa. The Hamon Tower has an Observation Deck on the 9th floor which offers breathtaking panoramic views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.
  • The California Academy of Sciences is a natural history museum with a planetarium, aquarium, and living rainforest exhibit. It houses over 26 million specimens.
  • Spreckels Lake is a model boating facility with self-driven and radio-controlled boats navigating the waters.
  • The Music Concourse is an open-air plaza centered around the Spreckels Temple of Music or Bandshell which hosts music performances. During summers, there are free concerts on Sundays. It is a popular picnic spot all year-round.
  • The Hellman Hollow is another picnic spot and performance venue which hosts one of San Francisco?s biggest music festivals, Outside Lands.
  • Hippie Hill is a hub for San Francisco?s ultra-liberals, and has historically been a hangout for hippies. The small tunnel beneath the Alvord Lake Bridge leads to it. A part of the Summer of Love, the hill hosts music performances that attract crowds of people who live alternative lifestyles. It offers a glimpse at the Haight's hippie culture. Visitors will often come across a large and popular drum circle, amateur performers of many types from jugglers to musicians, frisbee enthusiasts, picnickers, and psychedelic drug users, all mingling happily.
  • Bison Paddock small is home to a small herd of bison.
  • There 2 functioning windmills - northern Dutch Windmill and the southern Murphy Windmill, pump groundwater for irrigating the park.
  • The Koret Children?s Quarter Playground is one of the biggest playgrounds in the city. Its Herschell-Spillman carousel is painted with menagerie animals, while panels inside depict Bay Area landscapes.
  • The National AIDS Memorial Grove at the de Laveaga Dell is dedicated to all those who have dealt with the tragic pandemic.
  • The Beach Chalet on Ocean Beach at the west end contains several restaurants and murals from the 1930s.
  • The Sharon Art Studio is San Francisco?s largest public art center, with classes in ceramics, leaded and fused glass, jewelry-making, drawing, painting, and mixed media.

 Hours 

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About Golden Gate Park

 San Francisco, CA 94122, USA

 Nearest Transit: 16th St. Mission

 +1 415-831-2700

 http://sfrecpark.org

Golden Gate Park and Nearby Attractions on Map

Nearby Attractions km / mile
Battery Chamberlin

Battery Chamberlin(2.7 km)
Battery Chamberlin, built near Baker Beach in 1904, was constructed as part of a modernization effort to accommodate the lighter, stronger, more powerful coastal defense weapons developed in the 1880s.

Mountain Lake

Mountain Lake(2.5 km)
The campsite of the Anza settlement party in 1776, it became a source of fresh water for San Francisco during the early years.

California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences(1.8 km)
The California Academy of Sciences is an absolutely stunning museum and an excellent place to take your children.

Dutch Windmill

Dutch Windmill(2 km)
Once used for park irrigation in the past, now a scenic oddity at the western end of the park.

San Francisco Botanical Gardens

San Francisco Botanical Gardens(1.7 km)
One of the largest botanical gardens on the west coast, the Botanical Gardens cover 55 acres with thousands of varieties of plants from around the world and multiple specialized gardens and miles of trails (seriously, the place is huge).

Shakespeare Garden

Shakespeare Garden(1.7 km)
With roses and other flowers mentioned in his plays.

Legion of Honor Museum

Legion of Honor Museum(2.1 km)
Inside this building, a model of the Palais de la L?gion d'Honneur in Paris, is an incredible collection of mainly European art, with works of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Impressionist periods, with art from some of the fundamental artists of their times, as well as some works from the 20th century from the likes of Picasso.

Baker Beach

Baker Beach(2.7 km)
A beautiful, immaculately kept 1 mile stretch of beach, set just behind the Golden Gate Bridge.

57 Golden Gate Park Tickets and Tours in San Francisco

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