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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.

Related Tours

Build your own Tour in San Francisco
What better way to explore the magnificent city of San Francisco than with your very own personal tour guide?  Plan your day with an expert, visit the places that excite you most and spot the hidden gems you might have otherwise missed along your way.

  • Plan your day with an expert, and experience an off the beaten track tour.
  • Our guides tailor the tour directly to your interests to make sure you get the most out of your time in each point visited.
  • Discover the San Francisco you want to see, at the pace you want to see it.
Our professional, hand-picked guides are experts at designing tours around you.  Meet your guide at your hotel, talk through San Francisco’s spectacular sights and hear about all the great possibilities for the day ahead.  The choice is up to you.  Have you always wanted to stand on the Golden Gate Bridge and look out into San Francisco Bay?  Just say the word and you’ll be swept off to the best viewpoints.  Or maybe you’re looking for a tour of something a little more off the beaten track?  That’s fine too - perhaps you'll take a trip to the legendary Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood where the hippie movement started in the early 60s.  Either way, our guides tailor the tour directly to your interests to make sure you get the most out of your time in San Fran.

Ultimately, you’ll discover the San Francisco you want to see, at the pace you want to see it, all with the knowledge and expertise of a local friendly guide.

Private Bicycle Tour of Golden Gate Park
In the midst of San Francisco's concrete jungle sits a 1000 acre park, open daily for its residents to explore its many curiosities and to relax in several of its sprawling green spaces. Rich with history, one could spend a week exploring it by foot - or simply hop on a bicycle to see all the sights. On your private biking tour, you will: 

  • Meet your guide outside M.H. de Young Museum where you will be fitted for your bikes and given safety instructions.
  • Visit Strybing Arboretum, where you will find yourself face-to-face with Giant California Redwoods.
  • Learn the history of the park, about cloud forests, and visit the Conservatory of Flowers, complete with a stunning glasshouse. 
  • Bike out to the park's edge to the Pacific Ocean and marvel at spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Finish your tour with a visit to Hagiwara Japanese Tea Garden, where you will enjoy a traditional tea and snack in the tea house. 
Golden Gate Park has been woven into the story of San Francisco's history since its' inception. The park was opened in 1870 and played host to the first World's Fair west of the Mississippi in 1894. When the disastrous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 struck, the park served as temporary housing for over 200,000 residents of the city. The unique park includes the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, polo fields, a functioning windmill, a lake where model yachts are sailed by enthusiasts, and several other areas. 


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