Golden Gate Park Guide

We’re proud to welcome more than 13 million visitors each year to Golden Gate Park, one of San Francisco’s greatest treasures. From a vast, windswept expanse of sand dunes, park engineer William Hammond Hall and master gardener John McLaren carved out an oasis–a verdant, horticulturally diverse, and picturesque public space where city dwellers can relax and reconnect with the natural world. The rest, as they say, is history.

Within Golden Gate Park’s 1,017 acres you’ll discover gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, and monuments, plus an array of cultural venues, events, and activities. To help you plan your visit, we’ve highlighted just a few of the park’s special features and activities below. For more information, stop by McLaren Lodge to pick up a map, get involved, and find out what’s happening in San Francisco’s backyard. For information about reserving facilities for picnicsathletic eventsweddings, and special events, please contact our Permits & Reservations Division at (415) 831-5500.

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Golden Gate Park

We’re proud to welcome more than 13 million visitors each year to Golden Gate Park, one of San Francisco’s greatest treasures. From a vast, windswept expanse of sand dunes, park engineer William … Continue reading

Conservatory of Flowers

A Victorian confection of wood and glass, the Conservatory of Flowers, which opened in 1879, is the oldest building in Golden Gate Park and one of San Francisco’s most beloved landmarks. It … Continue reading

Music Concourse

The Music Concourse, a landscaped basin between the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum, is a vital civic and cultural space within Golden Gate Park, hosting free concerts on Sundays during the … Continue reading

de Young Museum

The de Young, San Francisco’s oldest museum, is housed in a strikingly modern copper-sheathed building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron. The building, which opened to the public in … Continue reading

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences, home to an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, is a groundbreaking research and educational institution. Devoted to studying and sharing the diversity of life on the … Continue reading

Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is the oldest in the United States, created for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition as part of the fair’s Japanese Village exhibit. The … Continue reading

San Francisco Botanical Garden

The San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum grows and conserves plants from around the world — more than 8,000 varieties in 55 acres of landscaped gardens and open spaces. Stroll through … Continue reading

Sharon Art Studio

Course Catalog for Summer 2014 Opened in 1888, the Sharon Art Studio is the largest fine art community studio in San Francisco that offers a wide variety of art workshops and classes … Continue reading

Stow Lake

Golden Gate Park’s largest body of water, Stow Lake is a popular spot for strolling, picnicking, and pedaling around in boats, which can be rented at the boathouse. Created in 1893, the … Continue reading

AIDS Memorial Grove

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 … Continue reading

Beach Chalet

This 1925 Spanish Revival-style building at the park’s western end, designed by renowned architect Willis Polk, originally housed a lounge and bathing facilities for Ocean Beach swimmers on the ground floor and … Continue reading

Dutch Windmill

On the far western edge of Golden Gate Park stand two wooden windmills that were built to pump groundwater for irrigating the park’s lawns and gardens, helping to transform the dunes that … Continue reading

Anglers Lodge

Tucked away in the park’s 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 … Continue reading

Herschell-Spillman Carousel

Three carousels have been housed in Golden Gate Park near the Koret Children’s Quarter since the playground opened. The current carousel was built in 1914 by the Herschell-Spillman Company and operated at … Continue reading

Oak Woodlands Natural Areas

While most of Golden Gate Park has been landscaped with lawns, flowerbeds and other ornamental features, a few remnants of San Francisco’s oak woodlands still exist in this world-renowned park. The northeast … Continue reading

Golden Gate Park Senior Center

The Golden Gate Park Senior Center is a recreation center dedicated to the enjoyment of quality activities for all seniors age 55 and over. Our goal is to provide seniors with programs … Continue reading

GGP Golf Course

Established in 1951, this scenic and challenging nine-hole, par 3 course is 1,357 yards long. PGA professional coaching is available for both individuals and groups, and junior golf programs are offered during … Continue reading

Bison Paddock

Visitors to Golden Gate Park are often astounded to stumble upon a herd of American bison browsing in a meadow in the park’s western end, but these huge, shaggy Great Plains denizens … Continue reading

Chain of Lakes

Before Golden Gate Park’s builders transformed the landscape, there were 14 marshy lakes nestled within the sand dunes that covered this part of San Francisco. Now only five remain, including the Chain … Continue reading

Koret Playground & Carousel

Generations of San Franciscans (and young visitors from around the world!) have fond memories of the children’s playground and carousel in Golden Gate Park’s southeast corner. The playground, called the Sharon Quarters for Children … Continue reading

GGP Archery Fields

One of the many unique features of the park, the Golden Gate Park Archery Field is located at 47th Avenue and Fulton Street. No reservations are required for this field. Hay bales … Continue reading

GGP Horseshoe Pits

Hidden away in the secluded northeast section of Golden Gate Park, the horseshoe court dates back to the 1920s, with hand-hewed rock, a raised arena, and concrete relief sculptures added in a … Continue reading

Golden Gate Park Tennis Complex

The tennis courts in Golden Gate Park were established in 1901, the year the first automobile permit was issued in San Francisco and five years before the Great Quake and Fire of … Continue reading

Disc (Frisbee) Golf Course

San Francisco’s first disc golf course is located in Golden Gate Park in Northern California. A tightly wooded 18-hole course, this course is fun for beginners and a challenge for experts. The … Continue reading

Arch of Colonial Trees

Golden Gate Park Segway Tours

Golden Gate Park in Bloom

Golden Gate Park Bird Almanac

Free Golden Gate Park Shuttle