Complete Guide Of Things To Do In Golden Gate Park
Visiting San Francisco and looking for the best things to do in Golden Gate Park? Keep on reading my friend Im sharing all my favorite spots! From cloud forests and man made waterfalls to Japanese pagodas and a brand new ferris wheel, youll never be bored over here! I mean, weve even got an albino alligator named Claude!
Whenever Im craving some culture and nature, I make a beeline straight for Golden Gate Park. Yes, its a tad touristy, but theres just so many little nooks and crannies if you know where to look. Tulip gardens! Outdoor skating parties! Picnic spots! BISON! Ive been living here for years and still cant get over just how expansive the park is!
This massive guide will showcase not only my favorite things to do in Golden Gate Park, but how to get around, where to eat, and some brief history! This sprawling green space is the third most visited park in the United States, so you know its a good one!
Not many know this, but Golden Gate Park is actually larger than New York Citys wildly famous Central Park ! You could spend an entire day in the park and still not see everything! Theres plenty of cultural museums, flowery gardens , grassy green spaces for lounging, and even a secret waterfall! Its easily one of the best San Francisco neighborhoods for outdoor lovers!
Psst Golden Gate Park is not near the Golden Gate Bridge, so dont expect to see bridge views here.
Stay In A Victorian Mansion
You might love the Golden Gate Park so much that you want to stay nearby. While there arent a ton of options nearby, this old Victorian treasure is one to consider. Located in the famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, Stanyan Park Hotel is right across from Golden Gate Park.
This quaint hotel has 36 rooms, and is set in a historic Victorian building. Most of the rooms are spacious, and the suites include a small kitchenette which is a bonus that many urban hotels dont have! Some of the rooms also have views of Golden Gate Park. If you love Victorian vibes and a vintage look, this is a great place for you to stay.
If youre driving here, parking is generally very difficult to find in San Francisco. However, there is a parking garage about a block away from the Stanyan Park Hotel, and it costs around $25 for 24 hours.
Planning a trip to San Francisco? Dont miss where to stay around the city, how to get around San Francisco, plus our favorite places to see nature outside of the city.
Take A Segway Tour Around The Park
Golden Gate Park is so big that it might be hard to see it all. For this reason, we recommend seeing it on wheels! Taking a bike or Segway tour around the park is a great way to explore the park and see everything it has to offer. Whats more, tours are usually led by a guide who can tell you cool information about the park and help you learn about its history.
In addition, Segway tours are also a great way to meet other travelers as well as get some exercise. Walking through the whole park would take around 2.5 hours, so it will also save you time to explore it on wheels instead.
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Public Transit To Mh De Young Museum In Golden Gate Park Sf
Wondering how to get to MH de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, Sf, United States? Moovit helps you find the best way to get to MH de Young Museum with step-by-step directions from the nearest public transit station.
Moovit provides free maps and live directions to help you navigate through your city. View schedules, routes, timetables, and find out how long does it take to get to MH de Young Museum in real time.
Looking for the nearest stop or station to MH de Young Museum? Check out this list of stops closest to your destination: Tea Garden Dr/Deyoung Museum Fulton St & 10th Ave Park Presidio Blvd & Fulton St Carl St & Cole St Metro Castro Station/Outbound 17th St & Noe St.
Want to see if thereâs another route that gets you there at an earlier time? Moovit helps you find alternative routes or times. Get directions from and directions to MH de Young Museum easily from the Moovit App or Website.
We make riding to MH de Young Museum easy, which is why over 930 million users, including users in Golden Gate Park, Sf, trust Moovit as the best app for public transit. You donât need to download an individual bus app or train app, Moovit is your all-in-one transit app that helps you find the best bus time or train time available.
For information on prices of Bus and BART, costs and ride fares to MH de Young Museum, please check the Moovit app.
Where To Eat Nearby
There are plenty of places to eat both close to and inside Golden Gate Park San Francisco. Here are some of the options available.
Museum Cafes: Both the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum have cafes with great fresh, local food. There a couple of places to eat at the California Academy of Sciences. All options are inside this museum and only accessible for those holding a ticket to the museum. The de Young Museum has a cafe that is open to the public, so you don’t need a museum ticket to eat at their cafe.
Food Trucks: What would San Francisco be without its amazing variety of gourmet food trucks? You will find these tasty quick bites behind the pavilion between the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum.
9th & Irving Streets: Just to the south of the park is the Inner Sunset neighborhood. Here you will find several great restaurants and bars that are less than a block from the 9th Avenue park gate. Almost all restaurants in San Francisco have their menu posted in the front window, so you can quickly browse to find a restaurant that you will enjoy.
Beach Chalet: On the park’s western side, you will find the popular Beach Chalet restaurant. It’s a right across the highway from the Pacific Ocean and offers both great food and beautiful views of the ocean. In the same building, you will also find the Park Chalet. This restaurant is a little more casual than the Beach Chalet and offers both outdoor seating and views of the park.
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Walt Disney Family Museum
The Walt Disney Family Museum is an incredibly well-designed and captivating place in the San Francisco Presidio honoring Walt Disneys life and legacy. It depicts his childhood, his struggles, his creative work, Disneyland and beyond. They have 10 distinct galleries portraying his life and remembering him after. They have several mesmerizing exhibitions of Walt Disneys original artwork for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Fox and the Hound, Disney creations in World War II, etc. The museum provides translated audio tours, noise-canceling headphones and video screenings on loop describing the vision and innovative artwork of Walt Disney.
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“My family are big Disney fans.I really enjoyed looking at all of the different artifacts and exhibits throughout the museum.My favorite part was the model of Disneyland! If you are a Disney fan, this is museum needs to either be on your bucket list or on your San Francisco trip itinerary.”
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Admission And Free Days At The De Young
The museum is open from 9:30AM to 5:15PM Tuesday through Sunday, and costs $15 for adults, $12 for seniors over 65, $6 for students, and is free for anyone under 17. Receive a $2 discount with proof of purchase from any Bay Area public transportation system, including BART, Muni, Caltrain, and more.
Through December 2021, Essential and Frontline workers are eligible for free admission. On Saturdays, residents of the nine counties that makeup the Bay Area can get free admission. Anyone can get free admission on the first Tuesday of each month. Any visitor who is also a recipient of Medi-Cal or SNAP benefits qualifies for free general admission during normal business hours.
Additional admission is sometimes charged for special shows like Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving. Because the museum is issuing timed tickets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s best to book ahead. Ticket includes free same-day entry to the Legion of Honor.
The de Young museum can easily be accessed by car, public transportation, or Golden Gate Park’s shuttles. The nearest parking garage is the Music Concourse garage, which may be accessed from the Fulton Street and 10th Avenue entrance and costs $33 for a full day.
Where To Eat In Golden Gate Park
Theres not too many places to eat within the park, but youll find the Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant, Twirl & Dip Soft Serve , and food trucks like Sams Chowder Mobile for lobster rolls and you guessed it clam chowder . The museums also have cafes, but lets face it, theres much better spots to eat in San Francisco.
Are you planning a visit to San Francisco soon?! Hope this gives you an idea of all the fun things to do in Golden Gate Park!
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Science Museums In Golden Gate Park
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National Aids Memorial Grove
In the decades following the first reports of AIDS in the United States in 1981, Americans were overwhelmed with the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. In 1988 a few San Francisco residents belonging to communities hit hard by the AIDS epidemic envisioned a place of remembrance for those who had lost their lives to AIDS. They imagined a serene AIDS memorial where people could go to heal. Renovation for the National Aids Memorial Grove began in September 1991 and continues today as communities are constantly working to improve it. Located at 856 Stanyan Street, in the eastern portion of Golden Gate Park, the Grove stretches across seven acres of land. In 1996, due to Nancy Pelosi’s efforts, the “National AIDS Memorial Grove Act” was passed by Congress and the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, which officially made those seven acres of Golden Gate Park the first AIDS memorial in the United States. Then in 1999, it earned the Rudy Bruner Silver Medal Award for excellence in the urban environment.
On November 30 an annual Light in the Grove fundraising gala is held in the Grove. This event, held on the eve of Worlds Aids Day, sells out each year and was voted “Best Bay Area LGBT Fundraiser” by Bay Area Reporter readers in 2015.
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The History Of The De Young Museum
The original de Young Museum opened to the community in 1921, which served as part of the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition. Named after the early San Francisco newspaper personality, M. H. de Young, this enlightening attraction is almost always called by the shortened de Young reference. To accommodate a growing art collection and repair damage sustained after the Loma Prieta earthquake, the fine arts museum underwent a rebuilding phase, where it reopened to the public in 2005.
One of the most significant changes that set the old de Young Museum aside from the new version not only includes the size of the building, but also offers the environmentally conscious concept of giving back more green to the surrounding environment.
The old de Young Museum measured 140,000 square feet, while the newer building showcases 292,000 square feet. Although the new de Young displays a larger gallery area and a taller tower, a decrease of the overall building footprint took place, creating 88,00 square feet of green space that was returned to the park.
Original elements of the historic de Young building also still remain, including the Pool of Enchantment, sphinx sculptures, and the initial palm trees planted about the landscape. Original ferns, redwood and sandstone still survive. Inside, an expansion of building features and visitor amenities offer an open and engaging space perfect for productive sessions of creative exploration.
What To See And What’s On
The de Young’s collections grew to include examples of US, African, Oceanic, South and Central American, and graphic art, as well as textiles and photography from around the world. Its European art collection was shifted to the Legion of Honor in the 1970s, creating more room for Indigenous art from a number of different global cultures.
Today you can see both the de Young’s permanent collection offer as well as special exhibitions that take a deep dive into its archives like the The Turkmen Storage Bag collection, as well as visiting shows like the sold out Calder-Picasso exhibit and Runway of Love, an exhibit of Black fashion designer Patrick Kelly’s garments that explored expressions of race and queer identity.
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Museum Of Craft And Design
The Museum of Craft and Design, famously known as the MAD, is another prized possession of San Francisco. The museum was envisioned by Aileen Osborn Webb, an American Art patron and philanthropist, who is credited for founding The American Craft Council. Established in 1956, the museum was created in an attempt of acceding and upholding the artists, designers and artisans from the contemporary and alternative art and design arena.
The Park’s Hidden Treasures
While there are a number of top attractions that should be on your list to see inside Golden Gate Park, visitors will be surprised to find other hidden treasures in the park. For a different perspective of the park, make your way to Stow Lake, where you can rent a boat. The surrounding views are also gorgeous atop Strawberry Hill, the highest point in the park, situated in the middle of Stow Lake. And dont forget to meditate at the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, a Chinese temple-like structure that was a gift from the city of Taipei to commemorate early Chinese settlers.
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Golden Gate Park Points Of Interest
There’s so much to explore and discover in Golden Gate Park’s 1,017 acres, but be sure not to miss these special attractions!
AIDS Memorial Grove Nancy Pelosi Drive and Bowling Green Drive | Map It
The National AIDS Memorial Grove is a living tribute to all whose lives have been touched by AIDS, and a dedicated space where people can gather to heal, hope, and remember. Its purpose is to ensure that those who have suffered from the AIDS epidemic both those who have died and those who have shared their struggle are not forgotten.
Anglers Lodge1232 John F. Kennedy Drive | Map It
Tucked away in the parks western end, just across from the Bison Paddock, are three serene pools and a rustic mountain-style lodge, home to the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club. Generations of San Franciscans have learned to fly-fish here, and people come from around the world to participate in tournaments and other events. The pools are open to anyone who would like to practice their casting technique, free of charge, and members are often happy to provide tips.
California Academy of Sciences 55 Music Concourse Drive | Map It
Life-changing moments. World-changing science. The California Academy of Sciences is an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum in the heart of San Franciscos Golden Gate Parkand a powerful voice for biodiversity research and exploration, environmental education, and sustainability across the globe.
Fine Arts Museums Of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco , comprising the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is the largest public arts institution in the city of San Francisco. The permanent collection of the Fine Arts Museums, with about 150,000 objects, is organized into nine areas, each with a curatorial staff.
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Glbt Historical Society Museum
The Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Historical Society is an organization that started to support the acceptance of the LGBTQ community and validates their fundamental rights. The museum has an archive reading room with an extensive collection of photographs, periodicals, personal audiovisual recordings and stories, etc. They showcase exhibits about Harvey Milks life as an openly gay politician, his assassination, etc. The display includes temporary exhibits regarding AIDS awareness, drag-queens, life of activist Angela Davis, Gay Pride, etc. In addition to this, they host panel discussions, film screenings and galas. The museum gift shop offers a range of apparel, accessories, bags, etc.
Society Of California Pioneers
One of the oldest organizations, the Society of California Pioneers founded the first library in the state. Established in 1850, it is now run by the direct descendants of its founding members and serves as a public museum and research library. The Society memorializes every defining moment in Californian history and there are many of them! From the Gold Rush to the 1906 earthquake to the early settlement of the state, all milestones are preserved carefully thanks to the Societys repository of primary source materials. You can find the Society of California Pioneers in the Presidio of San Francisco, a now-historic park, a recreation area that used to serve as a US military fort.
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