San Francisco’s Green Spaces: Golden Gate Park

Looking out over the eastern end of the park from the de Young Museum's tower.

Despite the name, the Golden Gate Park has very little to do with the bridge of the same name.  But that’s ok, because it is an amazing park in its own right.  I’m tempted to say that it is my favorite public park I’ve ever visited–but that would be a truly bold statement.  Though possibly a true bold statement. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is:

Public Transportation and Car Friendly

It sounds so simple, but really, for a park to be enjoyable, it has to be easily accessible.  Fortunately, Golden Gate Park is the literal definition of accessible.

I visited Golden Gate Park twice on my visit to San Francisco, and arrived and departed several different ways.  For my first visit, I arrived via bus from downtown; I took the #5 which runs along the northern border of the park.  I wandered in near the de Young museum entrance and wandered out the other side to have a drink in Sunset.  After spending the evening at The California Academy of Sciences’ Nightlife (blog post to come), I easily flagged down a cab to return to my hotel.  My second visit was via rental car, and I had no problem arriving, parking, and exiting the park in my own vehicle.  And the parking is free.  Imagine that.

Full of World-Class Attractions

The Japanese Tea Garden--lovely!

Within a stone’s throw of each other you will find the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Garden and the Botanical Gardens.  I visited all four during my short visit, and I have to say that San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park may be second only to Washington, DC’s National Mall in attraction density (I just made that term up!)  Of course, each attraction deserves its own blog post–and each attraction will get its own blog post, to be linked above when they are written.  There’s just so much to write about San Francisco–I’m almost overwhelmed.

But–spoiler alert–my favorite of the four attractions I listed and visited was, not surprisingly, the Botanical Garden.  And, as an added bonus, it was free on the day I visited.  Though I would have happily paid admission to such a lovely facility.

Way Too Much For One Day

If you go to the far western part of the park, you will fall off the edge of the world.

Golden Gate Park stretches from the coast in the west to the Haight in the east; it would be tiring to cover everything in one visit to San Francisco; it would be impossible to cover everything in one visit to the park.  Heck, I can’t even cover it all in one blog post!

If you are going to San Francisco, flowers in your hair are optional; however, a trip to Golden Gate park is not.  You simply must visit one of our nation’s most beautiful urban green spaces.  I promise, you will return.


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