Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see Full Disclosure Policy for more information.
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park

golden gate park

There is no better way to kick off summer than at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The park is 1,013 (3 miles long by ½ mile wide) acres and the 3rd largest park to be visited. Living in the East Bay of San Francisco is the hub of great family outings, for as little as gas in the car and a picnic lunch, you can take tours of the greatest places on earth. San Francisco is diverse in cultures; arts, music, festivals, museums, street fairs, entertainers, and architecture. Golden Gate Park is 1,017 acre landmark. Some things you can do for free in San Francisco and some have a small fee. All of these things listed are an experience of a life time.

There at least twenty things you can do in the Golden Gate Park:

1.) Botanical Gardens – located in the center of the park and free for residents and a fee based on age for non residents. NOTE: Free on 2nd Tuesday of every month.

2.) Aids Memorial Grove – Open unless you’re having parties where food and drinks are supplied.

3.) Archery Range – San Francisco’s only Archery range is situated north of the golf course. Rent or use own equip.

4.) Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant – opened in 1925 as a two story Spanish colonial revival beach chalet.

5.) Bison Enclosure – Bison have been kept here since 1891 and San Francisco has made a successful effort to breed in captivity.

6.) California Academy of Science – This is such a hoot but can be pricey starting as high as $29.95 for adults.  There is so much hands on and our kids loved it when they were younger.  It does not matter the age, you will become a kid again once inside.  This houses a natural history museum, Planetarium, aquarium and a rain forest dome.

park 2

7.) Children’s Playground and Carousel – For decade’s people from all walks of life, all ages have been coming to the Children’s playground and carousel in Golden Gate Park.  The playground also know as Sharon Quarters for Children also has the Sharon Art Studio opened in 1988 and some think it is the first public playground of it’s kind.

8.) Conservatory of Flowers –  May 10 – Oct. 21, 2012 Plantosaurus Rex and Prehistoric Plants Learn more at

9.) De Young Museum – Thousands of artifacts and international talent from artists are on display. A Café, sculpture garde, and access to a Japanese tea garden. Fee based on age

10.) Equestrian Stables – Currently the San Francisco Stables Foundation is seeking funding to revive the park but for now those enjoying the park are horse owners, riders and students.

11.) Games at Kezar Stadium – Former home to the San Francisco 49ers is a 10,000 seat multi-use stadium complete with a track, when not used for for major sporting events is used for joggers.  Also used for picnics, weddings, films, photos,  etc.

12.) Golden Gate Park Golf Course – Walk up first come first serve golf course and 9 hole green fees do not exceed $20.00.  Wow!!! Just wait till I tell you the price at the other golf course not located at Golden Gate Park.

13.) Hippie Hill – Hippie inspired activities such as drum circles.  The so called Janis Joplin Tree is a favorite attraction, not to mention the 4/20 activity.  Not recommended for kids.

14.) Spreckels Outdoor Concerts – There are frequently free music concerts held at this pretty outdoor stage area.

15.)  Soccer Fields – If you have kids it’s easy to pick up a game of soccer on the  fields located on the northwest end of the park.

golden gate park

16.) Stow Lake – now an island with an electrically pumped waterfall.  Rowboats and paddle boats can be rented at the boathouse.

17.) Golden Gate Park in Bloom – Windmill and Tulip Garden, Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Rose Garden

18.) Bird Almanac in Golden Gate Park

19.) Music in the park – Free Sundays during the summer, otherwise the outdoor area is a great place to relax and picnic.

20.) The North and South Windmill – Most park visitors see the North windmill where the park’s tulip Garden is but don’t pass up the cool historic windmill on the south end of the Park

There are plenty of things for free at the Golden Gate Park, however if your tempted to pay for the California Academy of Science, you might want to consider getting an official San Francisco City Pass. Kids 5 through 12 yrs are 39.00 dollars and adults are $69.00. This covers the unlimited cable car rides, Aquarium of the Bay, the California Academy of Sciences, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Exploratorium or de Young Museum.  This is a fabulous price in comparison to the cost for each of these location.  If your driving in and park keep a cooler with food, if your taking mass transit, whether it be BART, or the Ferry it’s best if kids pack lunches in back packs.  Never buy your food in main attraction areas as the price is inflated, rather go into a community to find places to eat.  Sandwiches, ribs or fried chicken from the grocery store is another inexpensive option, but look where you least expect.  My husband and I spent years looking for grocery stores in the city and all along the stores were underground.

Map:  map of golden gate park


92d3fe425d250a07f0690e7b9446fd75d36d34df8c1539a41f 92d3fe425d250a07f0690e7b9446fd75d36d34df8c1539a41f