Golden Gate Park

The first place to host the World's Fair west of the Mississippi, the Golden Gate Park was the focal point of the San Francisco World Fair and remains at the enter of city life.

TravelCurious Tip

Head to the western edge of the park you can also check out the herds of bison and buffalo

When folks in San Francisco refer to ‘the park,’ there’s only one thing they can be talking about: Golden Gate Park. This is Central Park’s west coast big twin, coming in at over a thousand acres. From above, it is an amazing sight: an enormous, skinny green rectangle set amid an endless sprawl of gleaming houses. Seen from the ground, it is no less wonderful.

Garden of Eden

Start with the gardens: you’ve got a bunch to choose from. The Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum cover fifty acres and plunge you into the wilderness. The Japanese Tea Gardens cut quite a contrast, being much smaller and more cultivated and serene. You can in fact drink tea there too. Then there’s the Tulip Garden and the Rose Garden, which are both fairly self-explanatory and completely charming. And lastly, don’t miss the Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers, with more than 200 types of flower adorned with quotes from the Bard’s famous plays.

Books and Brawn

There’s so much do to here besides simply enjoying the nature. Be sure to visit the Conservatory of Flowers, which is the oldest Victorian greenhouse in America, and also the carousel on Kezar Drive. The California Academy of Sciences is found here too, and this huge complex contains an aquarium, a planetarium, a rain forest and a roof from which you can really take in the scale of the park.

If you want to get the blood running then there’s all sorts of opportunities for sports here too. Whether its archery, football, handball, cycling, rollerblading or even horse-riding, the park has facilities for everything. There’s even a whole golf course.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in San Francisco
Twin Peaks
These two hills offer stunning views of the city: you can even watch from above as the fog rolls in from the Pacific.
Harvey Milk Plaza
As the gateway to the Castro and part of a large metro station, Harvey Milk Plaza can almost be missed but is an essential part of learning about San Francisco's story.
Conservatory of Flowers
Spreckels Lake
Located in the Golden Gate Park, the lake is used for model yachting and is popular with people of all ages.
Hagiwara Japanese Tea Garden
Designed like a traditional Japanese garden, the area is one of the most unusual and popular in the park.
Murphy Windmill
A designated landmark in Golden Gate Park, the historic windmill was built in 1900 and functions.

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