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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

4.6
#2 of 46 in Parks in San Francisco
Nature / Park
Visit one of the country's largest and most-visited urban parks in the heart of the city at Golden Gate Park. The rectangular park is home to numerous museums, lakes, a botanical garden and conservatory, landscaped gardens, and athletic facilities. Spend a relaxing afternoon exploring the Japanese Tea Garden, or tour the previous home of the San Francisco 49ers football team, Kezar Stadium. Pack a picnic to enjoy lakeside or on one of the park's shaded lawns. Due to the park's sheer size, 412 hectares (1,017 acres), you might want to plan to take a bus or free shuttle back to the city center after exploring the park. Plan to visit Golden Gate Park and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended San Francisco attractions using our San Francisco itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
7,805 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This park is massive and can be explored on foot, hired bicycle, Segway, and even with car. It's massive and beautiful too. It's free and often has concerts in Summer in the park. A lovely way to get ...  more »
  • Lots to do! We had too less time, so make sure you plan ahead. It;s also great for just a stroll........  more »
  • The Golden Gate Park is larger than Central Park in NY and well worth a visit, especially for children. On the one hand, it comes to the beautiful Ocean Beach: forget the bathroom unless you are on and experienced surfers with a diving suit. You can sit on the sand and make castles. Returning to the Park, we rented bicycles, but the various ups and downs are typical of SF, they really made it impossible for the company to explore. Curious then that often the bike path should be shared with the cars and, in other cases, you cannot follow the open paths for pedestrians. Therefore, I recommend to turn a little walk, after selecting the area you want to visit. There are many interesting things and museums to choose from, and why Google offers a complete view.
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  • Nice park. Beats our parks here in Los Angeles. People are civilized - they mind their own business, mind their space, and clean-up after themselves. The park itself is well maintained and is lush with grass, trees, and shrubs. Plenty of spaces to rent for picnics and little parties. The arboretum looks gorgeous - I didn't have time to visit, but you can't miss it, it's a real landmark here. I would return to this park again to explore other areas.
  • San Francisco's Crown Jewel! Great fun to be had by the whole family! Cool places to explore like the Japanese Tea Garden, California Academy of Arts and Sciences plus the De Young Museum! A stroll through Stow Lake (including Strawberry Field) can't be beat! A visit to the Bison Paddock, the Polo Fields and the Arboretum Garden and you can make a day of it!
  • Take your time and really explore this place. This park is huge, and has more to do then you would ever expect out of just one park. It's got a flower conservatory, a museum, a lake with boats to rent, an old windmill, great biking and hiking trails, a couple of waterfalls, an equestrian center, a bison paddock, and it ends at the ocean. Nearly as big as a state park, but feels like a ton of city parks rolled into one amazing place. Make sure you come ready for a busy day!
  • Very big park and nicely maintained. I thought it's a public park maintained by the government or non-profit organization, but almost every gate in the park needed an entrance fee of $8+, which is kind of expensive. I liked the Rose Garden which was in an open area. Other places I didn't think it's worth spending the multiple entrance fees to look around.
  • Great place for a leisurely walk. Peacefully but somewhat busy. We didn't know you had to pay to get into a lot of the interesting places in the park like the Japanese garden. It's also a good idea to get some ice cream from the tents instead of the ice cream trucks (that'll save you between 2 and 3 dollars).

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Where to stay in San Francisco

From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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