Golden Gate Park is a bus ride from downtown, but well-worth the effort. It's a long, narrow park with more acreage than New York's Central Park; it offers something for everyone. Just a few of the things you can do in the Park:
·Take a ride on one of the few remaining wooden carousels in the country.
·Visit San Francisco's herd of bison in the buffalo paddock.
·Sip a cup of green tea in the Japanese Tea Garden.
·Whiz through the Park on rented roller blades, bikes, or Segways.
·Walk through a huge greenhouse, the Conservatory of Flowers, that contains waterfalls and 2,000 types of plants.
·Rent a pedal boat on Stow Lake for a closeup look at the turtles and ducks.
·See a real Dutch windmill.
·Buy a ticket to the Academy of Sciences and see the planetarium, rainforest exhibit, and the Steinhart Aquarium.
Be sure to download a map of the park before you go. It's a large park, and you could wander around all day if you don't know where you're going.
If "our" August was not so cold, and if Fernanda was not so indisposed, we would have appreciated more this paradisiacal park.
It must be nice for locals to have such a relaxing area (in hot days...).
the Queen Wilhemina Tulip Garden is located just Beside the famous Dutch Windmill and together, they are one of the most popular areas of the Sprawling Golden Gate Park and the site of many Instant Weddings (see my off the beaten path tips). The Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, planted just below the Dutch Windmill, features thousands of tulips interspersed with Icelandic poppies, which burst into full bloom during the spring season in March and April. Without Queen Wilhelmina (grandmother of the existing Dutch queen, Beatrix), the Dutch Windmill would not exist in Golden Gate Park because it was she who donated the structure to the city in 1902. Admission is free.
parking is available at Ocean Beach at John F. Kennedy Dr. and the Great Highway or at the UCSF Medical Center Garage at Irving St. near 3rd Ave. Parking at Ocean Beach is free and you would just walk across the great highway to the Park. It's a must see in the Golden Gate Park.
The Ginourmous Golden Gate Park is over 45 city blocks of area with various themes within it's sprawling environs. It is even larger then New York City's Famed Central park! (it is 1017 acres as compared to 843 acres of Central park). In the late 1800s, a Scotsman named John McLaren (he has a separate park named after him in the edge of San Francisco) transformed more than 1,000 acres of sand dunes into a wondrous haven in the midst of busy city life. Stretching from Stanyan Street to the Pacific Ocean, the lush landscaping features ever-changing settings at every turn. There are trails for walking, jogging, biking, horseback riding, as well as a golf course, lawn bowling greens, soccer fields and a baseball diamond.
The things to see and activities to participate in are so extensive, it would be hard to take it all in with one day-trip.
the dutch windmill is the most photographed part of the sprawling Golden Gate Park and it recently renovated due to the deteriorating conditions of this Landmark in The Golden Gate Park. The Dutch Windmill was built in 1902, at a cost of $16,000, together with a Dutch Cottage alongside which was occupied by the mill's caretaker. 75 feet high, and 33 feet in diameter at the base, is sails had a span of 102 feet and meant it was capable of pumping 30,000 gallons of fresh water per hour from underground to a reservoir on Strawberry Hill. Walking or Jogging along the Great Highway and Ocean Beach and one will see this cultural icon. Just beside this cultural icon of the Golden Gate Park is the Queen Wilhelmina Garden where many couples have their wedding vows (see my off the beaten path tips).
Located inside the California Academy of Sciences, this is an excellent aquarium. It compares well with the one at Monterey. This is a great place to learn about sealife. It has both salt- and fresh-water animals and plants.
And since my visit, they've added a bigger and better coral reef. While visiting Golden Gate Park, take a couple hours to see this.
I fell in love with this free display of plants, flowers, trees from all over the world. If you are a horticulturalist, collect flowers, love trees, or just love to walk in nature away from the traffic of Lincoln Way, then enter into Golden Gate Park from 9th Avenue and Lincoln. To your right will be softball fields, to your left will be the arboretum.
The are many pathways leading to different themes from California plants/trees to Australian, to Asian, and even Chilean. I loved the Chile section the most. There is a map that you can refer to from the Martin Luther King Drive Entrance as shown here.
I loved the Japanese Maples, they were incredible. If you can, study the trees and the leaves, types of flowers they produce, type of wood, and shapes of the branches.
Now that I've been working on my backyard, I found this quite interesting. In the California Section, the idle lonely throngs of orange flowers is the state flower: the california poppy.
There are over 7,500 species of plants, trees, and shrubs from all over the world.
Hours: 8AM to 4:30Pm Weekdays; 10AM to 5pm on Weekends.
Recently opened after years of extensive storm damage and earthquake retrofitting, the Conservatory of Flowers, in Golden Gate Park, is one of the most beautiful of its kind. Originally constructed in 1879, the wood and glass structure houses more than 10,000 plants from arround the world.
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 9:00 to 4:30
Admission $1.50 - $5.00
Favorite thing: Giant water lilies that can hold a small child. (but don't try it!)
We visited Golden Gate Park in the mid 60s with my mom and dad, and I took this picture outside the aquarium. It showes the Francis Scott Key Memorial also. I don't know whether we visited the aquarium or not. It is a part of the California Academy of Sciences complex which includes Morrison Planetarium. Admission to the Planetarium is separate from the Aquarium and Natural History Museum.
Open daily 10 am-5 pm (winter); 9 am-6 pm (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Admission prices (per person, to the Steinhart Aquarium and Natural History Museum): adults $8.50, youth, students w/ID (12-17) and seniors (65 and over) $5.50, children (4-11) $2, children 3 and under free. Admission is free for all on the first Wednesday of each month
Visitors who arrive by bus or bicycle will receive $2.50 off adult admission. Children under 12 years of age using alternative forms of transportation will be admitted free of charge. Public transit users only need to show their transfer or their Fast Pass at the Admissions cashier to receive the discount. Bicyclists may bring their bikes to the front door security guard for free, indoor bike parking. They will receive a claim check that they can show to the admissions cashier to receive the discount.
The Aquarium features a fish roundabout - a room surrounded by a 100,000 tank with open ocean fishes. Sharks are fed daily every 2 hours 10:30 to 4:30.
About Steinhart Aquarium from their website:
"Steinhart Aquarium is an aquatic world of 165 individual tanks exhibiting the interactions of more than 6,000 representatives of diverse underwater environments. Visitors come face to face with nearly 600 species of fishes, large invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and even black-footed penguins" The penguins are fed at 11:30 and 4.
It is a glass and redwood replica of London's Kew Gardens conservatory, and was built between 1876 and 1883. When open, it houses huge palm trees under its soaring dome, plus exotic orchids, water lilies and microclimates from around the world. The conservatory, badly damaged in a fierce wind storm that blew in off the Pacific is currently under reconstruction and is not open.
The conservatory was one of the places I remember visiting in 1996.
It has been in the past open daily 9-5. There was an admission charge of $1.50 with over 62 and ages 6-12 being 75 cents
Argonaut Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel San Francisco
4 Reviews and 2404 Opinions There's no doubt this hotel, provides a level of luxury and convenience, that many travellers will...
Hotel Palomar - A Kimpton Hotel San Francisco
8 Reviews and 840 Opinions Hotel Palomar is part of the Kimpton Hotel group. It is located in downtown San Francisco, at 4th...
Chancellor Hotel on Union Square San Francisco
5 Reviews and 2554 Opinions If Rosemarie had not been sick, this would have been a wonderful stay. She can describe in detail...
see all San Francisco member meetings