Golden Gate Park is a large and exciting part of San Francisco. Millions of people come to Golden Gate Park to enjoy its beautiful nature.
There are miles of lush lawns, lakes, bridle paths, and 7,000 different kinds of plants. It is frequently compared to Central Park in New York but is 20% bigger. Discover the 1,017 acres of this renowned park, including idyllic lakes and meadows and exciting activity hotspots.
A full day could be spent in Golden Gate Park, and you would still only see some of what it offers.
Golden Gate Park’s Top Attractions
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
With over 46 million specimens, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. It is a research center and museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park, California. The Academy’s Naturalist Center, which serves as a location for lectures and small public events, welcomes visitors to browse exhibits and examine specimens. The main building for the Academy in Golden Gate Park is 400,000 square feet and was entirely rebuilt in 2008.
Meet penguins and parrots up close, observe sharks and sting rays cruising beneath your feet, and experience the Californian coast’s spray.
This tropical paradise, enclosed within a 90-foot dome, surrounds visitors with floating butterflies and lively birds.
The Academy’s Naturalist Center, which serves as a location for lectures and small public events, welcomes visitors to browse exhibits and examine specimens.
Go to the swamp, where subtropical fish, turtles, and the rare white alligator offer glimpses into the distant past.
Exploring and learning can take hours, thanks to the interactive exhibits and various shows that run all day.
Conservatory of Flowers
Visiting this one-of-a-kind structure at golden gate park’s eastern end is easily combined with other activities. San Francisco, California’s Golden Gate Park, has a greenhouse and botanical garden called The Conservatory of Flowers that houses a collection of rare and exotic plants. The Conservatory of Flowers will be one of the best attractions you will see.
James Lick, the wealthiest man in California, left behind the $12,000 square feet of a Victorian greenhouse made of wood and glass after his death in 1876.
Over 1700 plant species from all over the world are used in the four permanent exhibits to simulate various climatic conditions. Its lineup consists of carnivorous plants, rare orchids, and prized century-old philodendrons.
John McLaren Memorial Rhododendron Dell
The John McLaren Memorial is the full name of the Rhododendron Dell. A vibrant area in Golden Gate Park is called Rhododendron Dell. Near the Music Concourse, in the heart of Golden Gate Park, is where you’ll find the Rhododendron Dell. The Dell was initially furnished with more than 850 different species when it opened in the early 1950s.
The park created a shady, damp microclimate in which the flow thrived. Pink and dark reds are bold colors that adorn the landscape in March. This is an excellent time of year to photograph the blooms.
Japanese Tea Garden
Popular features of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, include the Japanese Tea Garden. The garden is also the oldest continuously maintained Japanese public garden outside of Japan, having been open to the public since 1894.
Although the menu is frequently updated, some of the regular items you should try are dorayaki and kuzomochi, which are sweet rice cakes with various flavors (strawberry, mango, green tea, and lychee) (a type of pancake with red bean filling). Enjoy steaming miso soup on a chilly day, or satisfy your noodle craving with authentic udon.
- Adult: $13
- Age (12-17): $7
- Age (5-11): $3
- Entry is free for children under five.
The de Young Art Museum
The San Francisco Fine Arts Museums is the most significant public arts organization in San Francisco, which includes the de Young in Golden Gate Park & the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park.
The California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, modeled after the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition the year before, gave rise to the museum, which debuted in 1895.
Herzog and de Meuron designed the current copper-clad landmark building, which opened in October 2005.
It houses the institution’s significant holdings of American decorative arts, paintings, and sculpture from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries, as well as works of art from Oceania, Africa, and the Americas, costume and textile arts, and international modern and contemporary art.
Remember to look around the city from the museum’s observation tower while you’re there.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
One of the most attractive gardens in the world is the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Over 8,500 different species of plants from all over the world are displayed in the 55 acres of landscaped gardens and open spaces that make up the Botanical Garden, a living museum located within Golden Gate Park.
More than 7,500 different species of flora from around the world are available during a visit to this enchanted display of greenery. Since this attraction is free, it’s a great addition to your San Francisco itinerary.
The SkyStar Wheel
The SkyStar wheel, only a short stroll from the California Academy of Sciences, offers breathtaking views of Golden Gate Park. SkyStar, installed in 2020 as part of Golden Gate Park’s 150th-anniversary celebration, will be in San Francisco until March 2025.
Gondolas that are very comfortable, enclosed, and climate-controlled move slightly as you travel around the wheel. There is a parking lot there. Rides for general admission last 9 to 12 minutes.
Opening time of Skystar wheel:
- Mon-Fri 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
- Sat-Sun 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Adult: $18
- Children (3-12): $12
- Entry is free for two years & under.
Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill
A stunning artificial lake, Stow Lake is located in the center of Golden Gate Park. Many activities are available at this San Francisco attraction, including climbing Strawberry Hill, using a pedal boat on the lake, and relaxing in the Chinese Pavilion.
Stow Lake has long been a favorite destination for San Franciscans to go boating, hike the wooded trails, and observe the ducks and turtles.
- Rowboats cost $26 per hour.
- Pedal boats for 2 to 4 people: $32.50 per hour
- Large pedal boats (for 4-6 people): $45/hour
- Mon-Fri: 10 am to 5 pm.
- Sat/Sun: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m
One hour before closing, the last boat rental is available.
Life jackets are provided for all passengers and are required for children under the age of 12.
When visiting Strawberry Hill, you can bring many items that could make your time there more enjoyable. Binoculars, a good book, a digital camera, a bagged lunch, or a picnic spread are a few things that will make your time at Strawberry Hill more enjoyable. Strawberry Hill does an excellent job of entertaining the masses.
Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers
Shakespeare Garden is a themed garden with the plants and flowers mentioned in William Shakespeare’s works situated in Golden Gate Park.
Shakespeare’s Flowers is a location with more than 200 plants and flowers. Bronze plaques with famous quotations accompany the floral arrangements, transporting visitors into the pages of historical comedies, tragedies, and sonnets.
The Various Plant species that dance about the pages of Shakespeare’s works are listed on a chart of the garden’s contents that can be found further down the walkway to the left.
Various benches can be found all over the park, making them the ideal places to rest your feet and take in the scenery.