Golden Gate Park

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San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Park San Francisco Reviews

irenem irenem
153 reviews
Golden Gate Park Jan 25, 2017
We got to Golden Gate Park by number 21 bus from Market and Powell Street. The driver was very friendly and asked us which part of the park we wanted. We said anywhere we are visiting all of it. He found that hilarious and said it would be impossible as the park was so long. In the end we easily walked the length of the park. We may not have seen absolutely everything but we saw a lot.

We intended to pay to go into the Japanese Tea Garden, but it was way too busy, so we didn't. Everything we saw was free and it kept us busy for around four or five hours.

We started up at the Conservatory of Flowers end then had a look at the lily pond which was very pretty, but had no lilies in February.

In the 1860s San Franciscans decided they wanted a park like Central Park in New York.

Golden Gate Park was painstakingly developed on sand and shore dunes just outside the city limits. Engineer William Hammond Hall conducted a survey and made a topographic map of the park site in 1870. His assistant was Scotsman, John McLaren. McLaren devoted his life to building the park. He lived in McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park until 1943 when he died at the age of 96.

There is a statue comemorating John McLaren in the park's lovely rhododendron garden.

Probably the most visited part of Golden Gate Park is the Music Concourse and its surrounding museums. The Music Concourse was built for the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. It centres on the Spreckels Temple of Music. This area is filled with lots of statues, fountains and trees.

The museums around it include the De Young Museum of Fine Art, the Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Garden and the Botanic Gardens.

We did not visit the museums, though we had intended to go to the Japanese Tea Garden, but it was just too busy.

Stow Lake is a beautiful man made lake in Golden Gate Park. It dates from 1893. There is an island in the middle of the lake which you can access via a bridge. On the island you can visit a pretty little Chinese pagoda.

This lake is very popular for boating and lots of people were rowing around it when we visited.

There is a tragic story connected to Stow Lake. Legend states that a young mother pushed her infant to the lake in his pram. She then got deep into conversation with a stranger and failed to notice the pram roll into the lake. By the time she discovered what had happened it was too late and her baby had drowned. Her ghost all dressed in white wanders around the lake at night looking for her lost child.

A major road passes through the middle of Golden Gate Park and after the road you wander past greenery and a few scattered lakes. Eventually we reached a field of bison. They were far from the fence so my photos are taken with a zoom and may not be totally clear.

A herd of American bison has lived in Golden Gate Park since 1892. Bison were close to extinction by the time Golden Gate Park’s herd was established. They are cared for by staff from the San Francisco zoo.

Right at the bottom of Golden Gate Park where it meets the ocean stand two windmills. One is known as Murphy's Windmill and the other as the Dutch Windmill. These windmills were once responsible for pumping as much as 1 ½ million gallons of water on a daily basis.

Dutch windmill is surrounded by beautiful flowers in springtime. Murphy's windmill took its name from a local banker.

OK, Americans will not be impressed with this. To them it is probably an everyday occurence, but I have never ever seen a wild racoon before and suddenly there in Golden Gate Park I was face to face with one. I took some photos. I've heard racoons can be aggressive. This one seemed quite timid, but to me at least oh so cute.
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
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118 reviews
Εquivalent with Central Park at NYC....!!! Sep 30, 2013
I'm a great fan of running and biking so whenever I get the chance, i visit parks and spend many hours there. After the magic experience from the Central Park of New York, the amazing Boston common, and the fantastic Toronto island, i was ready for Golden gate park at Sfo!

I let it for my last day so i awoke the morning and after a coffee frapuccino from Starbucks, i wore my running shoes with destination to the Park. I saw in the map that it was about 30 minutes walking from my hotel. I followed Geary street and when i felt that i'm close to the Park, i asked a local man to show me, where the Park is. After 2-3 blogs, i was exactly on one corner of the park-forest(!)

After few minutes walk, i had front of me a spectacular view above the main piece of the Golden gate Park!

I started to run on the pavement(sidewalk) and watched that happened around me....First minutes i was little dissapointed from the many cars in the Park, but after 20 minutes running

i got used this phenomenon. Every minute running in the Golden gate park excites me!

A huge park with golf fields(!), a little waterfall, cops with horses for control, and many visitors to spend their time as wished everyone!

Αfter 40 minutes jogging i thought that i was lost! The vastness of the park had left me absolutely stunned!!!

I calculate thet i ran about 10-11 kilometers. So, when i found the starting point again, i enjoyed a gatorade and i lay on the grass for few breaths.

A good solution after running also, is a perfect massage studio, only 4-5 minutes walking from the park. Is located on Geary 3430 street and the owner is from China. I enjoyed an hour foot massage. Ιt was the perfect ending, after 70 minutes running...:)
The unofficial entrance!
Waterfall in the Park!
Golden gate Park
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
cotton_foam says:
this is a good idea, Demit-- i mean to run or do some exercise regimen while on a trip -- never done that before! :)
Posted on: Oct 04, 2013
jtzeng730 jtzeng730
6 reviews
Golden Gate Park May 08, 2011
Beautiful and always tranquil, Golden Gate Park is a must visit place.

There are a variety of things to do within the park such as paddle boating, group cart cycling, feeding birds at one of a number of ponds.

Places within the park;

-Japanese Tea Garden

-Golden Gate Park Golf Course

-Golden Gate Park Disc Golf Course

-Conservatory of Flowers

-Stow Lake

-Academy of Sciences

-De Young Museum

These are just some of the more common places. A couple other places that would appeal more to locals is "Hippy Hill" and the carousel in the Children's Playground.
cubalove cubalove
3 reviews
Great! Mar 18, 2011
Cant beat it! It's free and one can roam for miles... as I an a local, I visit 'The Park' many times each month. I recommend a visit as you will dearly love. Also, be sure to visit Oakland when in San Francisco. The College Ave District is my favorite. There is also Temescal, and Lake Merritt to look for.
fivepointpalm fivepoin…
65 reviews
Golden Gate Park - San Francisco Sep 20, 2008
The Golden Gate Park is a beautiful place, if you're a local from San Francisco, and like to have a walk or go jogging. But for tourists in my opinion it isn't that amazing. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret having it visited, but it's just so big to walk around. We entered it from the height street side. At the entrance, were lots of junkies, bums, and weird people...

I really wanted to see the Japanese Garden ...

when we finally reached its entrance after walking for 30 minutes, we had to pay like 5$ to get in... well 5$ is ok... the garden is really beautiful but you can do the garden in 10 minutes... it's very small.

well who cares? we took some pictures. enjoyed the beautiful ponds and the green plants scenery...

so before leaving the garden, we went to the japanese "bar" where you could get some tea. there came the disappointment. the 2 japanese waitresses looked very shaby... their costums were dirty, and they weren't that friendly. we paid over 12$ for a bowl of tea. well it was enough to fill 5 cups of tea. the tea was a mess, cheap tea from the local store. a typical tourist attraction. avoid the tea thing at the garden, and have a tea at a local tea or coffee bar.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
British4Eternity British4…
11 reviews
Love Nature? Love taking Photos? - Perfect Place :-) Apr 23, 2008
Yes its free, you get exercise and you truly get involved with nature (which is perfect considering its right next to Haight-Ashbury). Me and my mates must of walked through this park for about 3-4 hours. It was relaxing and hey we even bonded. Great place to just walk and enjoy! Make sure you bring somebody (a significant other would do very well) Even the squirrels came up to us. The bleeding squirrels were actually friendly!! Just like the people of San Fran. It was truly brilliant to see :-)
thenewextrememimi thenewex…
57 reviews
Oct 21, 2006
San Francisco's full of parks. As my friend JP says, every time they didn't feel like paving over the top of an especially steep hill, they'd just leave the trees and call it a park. Decidedly better planned and flatter, Golden Gate Park is SF's biggest park, stretching from the Haight to the ocean. Entering the park takes you right out of the city and to some crazy green little world where hippies frolick, waterfalls flow, and, yes, even bison roam. Major attractions include the De Young Museum, the Conservatory of Flowers, and Stowe Lake, where you can rent a rowboat and pretend it's 1815 and you're chillin' over at Lord Byron's estate.

There's music festivals all the time, too, including that awesome jug band festival we went to. Sometimes, though it's the little surprises that are the best part of the park. Turn a corner, and you're surrounded by swing dancers practicing on a sunday. Turn another, and a row of baby ducks are following their Mama across the road.

My only complaint is that the park seems to give people nervous breakdowns when they try to drive around in it, including a cab driver I had who couldn't seem to find the De Young. If I have the time, I try to walk there instead, but it does take a good hour just to get to the inside border from the Mission.
Stowe Lake
peterbarkley peterbar…
30 reviews
Sep 09, 2006
Our visit to Golden Gate Park was unique and gave us a taste of many different sides of San Francisco. We wandered around the center of the park and ran into a rally called "Power to the Peaceful." After taking that in and some great people-watching, we went to the lake and rented a row boat. Despite the loud music filtering in from the rally, the ride was peaceful and beautiful. As you move around the lake, you'll see a Chinese pagoda and a waterfall (which you see highlighted in the pictured). They also have quite a few ducks paddling around. I highly recommend it as a date activity. They also had a nice rose garden which we enjoyed. All told, we only explored a small part of the park, but what we saw we enjoyed.
Eric Eric
408 reviews
Jun 20, 2006
If you like outdoor activities, definitely check out Golden Gate Park. During the day there are almost always people there jogging, roller-blading, or just relaxing and reading in the shade of a tree. In addition to the typical park stuff, you can also visit the newly reopened de Youngmuseum, admire the rose gardens, visit the Conservatory of Flowers, or enjoy some refreshmentsin the Japanese Tea Garden. All of these places are located within the park and within relatively easy walking distance of each other.
roamingduck says:
Thanks for that Eric
Posted on: Jun 21, 2006
Owens says:
i just went to the deyoung this weekend!
Posted on: Jun 20, 2006

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