Golden Gate Park

San Francisco, California 94129

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park Professional Review and Guide

"Follow garden paths and manicured trails linking premier attractions in San Francisco’s hallmark park."

More Golden Gate Park Professional Reviews and Guides

"Golden Gate Park is a celebration of nature—only, there is really nothing natural about it. The 1,000-acre urban parkland, among the nation’s largest, is a series of groves, gardens, and lakes, all seeded, shaped, and constructed by human hands and machinery. When the city set aside the land, in 1870, it was a windswept expanse of sand and shrubs that few thought could be tamed for the leisurely enjoyment of the local citizenry. William Hammond Hall, the park’s surveyor and first superintendent, planted barley, and then lupine, both of which rooted and spread across the sands, holding it down and making it possible for further planting to take place. Within ten years, natural-looking woodlands had been established across the oncebarren land. The park also has historic buildings, museums, a boathouse, a bison paddock, and a classy brewpub. Plan on spending a few hours walking and exploring the terrain before enjoying a well-earned beer or meal."

"Windmills, lakes, and bison in the city"

"Golden Gate Park is one of the finest urban parks in the country, with grassy glades, lakes, mature trees, and many flowers. Strybing Arboretum, especially, is a delightful place for a stroll, and has good birds. NOTE: As is always the case in big city parks, you should be careful in the more isolated areas, where it is generally not a good idea to bird alone. Specialty birds: Resident—Band-tailed Pigeon, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatch. Summer—Cinnamon Teal, Allen’s Hummingbird, Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Winter—Eurasian Wigeon, Mew Gull, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush, Townsend’s Warbler. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information."

"Somewhere between a walk and a hike (a wake? a hilk?), this little jaunt spirals around Stow Lake and up to the top of Strawberry Hill."

"Themed gardens, two bridges, and an island"

"Golden Gate Park—like Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge—is integral to San Francisco’s identity. The bridge is the gateway, the wharf and Chinatown embody crucial aspects of the city’s cultural identity, and the park is San Francisco’s “plaza,” it’s common ground, a place to celebrate and to find peace, to learn, to wander.

In the 1,017 acres of Golden Gate Park—it is 3 miles long and a handful of blocks wide, a linear swipe of green space linking city streets to Ocean Beach—you can pursue nearly every outdoor activity, from in-line skating and lawn bowling to fly casting and horseback riding. You can wander through redwood groves, rhododendron dells, botanical gardens, and a Japanese tea garden. You can row a boat or dance to reggae or run for miles on paths that loop through meadow and wood-
land. You can gaze at masterpieces of European and Asian art, learn about the world’s oceans, and picnic in grassy meadows."

Golden Gate Park Reviews

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Japanese Tea Garden is more famous, but the gardens across the way are bigger and I liked them better. Still you must experience the Japanese Tea Garden if you go to San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park Photos

Trail Information

San Francisco
Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
Skill Level
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, 900 Market St., Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94102-2804; (415) 391- 2000;
Local Contacts
USGS San Francisco North; online at
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018