Golden Gate Park

Recommended
Encompassing more than 1,017 acres of meadows, gardens and public buildings, verdant Golden Gate Park is the largest cultivated urban park in the US. Three miles long and half a mile wide, it has 27mi of footpaths and 7.5mi of equestrian trails, all linking an enchantingly natural, yet entirely man-made, landscape of lakes, waterfalls, swales and woods.When he parcel that's now Golden Gate Park was set aside in the 1860s, it was an unappealing sandy scrubland. Though deemed unfit for trees by famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, local engineer and surveyor William Hammond Hall succeeded in turning it into the sylvan wonderland it is today. Scottish-born John McLaren, park superintendent for 53 years, added to Hall's work by personally planting millions of flowers, bulbs and trees. Appropriately, those were the very blooms the flower children put in their hair during the Summer of Love of 1967, during which the park served as a de facto campground and concert stage. Among its attractions today are the architecturally daring new de Young museum, the peaceful Japanese Tea Garden, the Victorian-era Conservatory of Flowers, placid Stow Lake, Strybing Arboretum, and the ambitious new California Academy of Sciences, which will have a living roof of native plants upon its completion in late 2008.

Useful information

Phone:

+1 415-668-1177

Opening hours

[Allow half a day to one full day. The park is accessible by bus 5, 7, 21, 33, 44 or 71. Entrance via Stanyan St., off Haight St., as most museums and sites are located East of the park. The West side (ocean side) offers sports and recreational facilities. City Pass includes access to museums. At weekends and on Bank Hols, a shuttle runs throughout the park ($2). Alternatively, rent a bike at the entrance (Haight St.) as there are long distances]

Nearby tourist attractions

Cliff House
Cliff House
Renovated to the tune of $19 million in
15 minutes
Sutro Heights Park
Sutro Heights Park
The grounds of Adolph Sutro's former
60 minutes
California Palace of the Legion of Honor
California Palace of the Legion of Honor
A gift to San Francisco from Alma de
90 minutes
Stow Lake
Stow Lake
Serving as the park's main irrigation
30 minutes
de Young Museum
de Young Museum
A total of 950,000 pounds of copper was
30 minutes
Japanese Tea Garden
Japanese Tea Garden
Harboring a delightful maze of winding
90 minutes
See all

Other ideas « Nature »

Sutro Heights Park
Sutro Heights Park
The grounds of Adolph Sutro's former
60 minutes
Stow Lake
Stow Lake
Serving as the park's main irrigation
30 minutes
Japanese Tea Garden
Japanese Tea Garden
Harboring a delightful maze of winding
90 minutes
See all