Have you experienced San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park? This beautiful place is the largest man-made park in the world (wow!) and more than 13 million people visit it each year! But what do these millions of people do when they visit Golden Gate Park? We’ve listed just 10 of the many fun things to do and see.
10 Activities While Visiting Golden Gate Park
#1: Enjoy the Japanese Tea Garden
The Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park was made in 1893 for the California Midwinter International Exposition. A visit to the peaceful gardens includes admiring the garden’s beautiful gates (called torii in Japanese), the moon bridge (where everyone takes a photo!) and the VERY large Buddha! Have some fortune cookies at the teahouse: this is the location where fortune cookies were first served!
#2: Explore and learn at the California Academy of Sciences
It’s an aquarium, a science center, an architectural masterpiece, a history museum, and a planetarium . . . all in one place! The California Academy of Sciences is fun trip for children and adults. See our article about the museum for information about its many exhibits (and for information on admission).
#3: Fall in love with the de Young Museum
Art from around the world comes together at the de Young museum, which displays beautiful collections of art (including photographs, costumes, paintings, and sculptures) from the 17th-21st centuries. Be sure to go up the Observation Level to see stunning views of the city!
#4: Admire the beauty of the SF Conservatory of Flowers
Have you ever seen a Victorian-style greenhouse? You will if you visit the Conservatory of Flowers! The Conservatory has been in San Francisco since 1879 and has five galleries showing flowers and plants from all over the world.
#5: Take a Segway Tour
The park is huge: rent a Segway to see all of it without killing your feet! (We still recommend walking, but we have to admit that Segways are fun to ride.) There are many companies that offer these tours: the park’s official website recommends Golden Gate Segway Tours. The company offers four different packages and will conduct private group tours.
#6: Take a bike tour
Bikes are available for rent at Golden Gate Park (and are a great way to see the large park). Pick up a map at the visitor’s center so that you don’t miss any of the park’s many exhibits and beautiful locations. Visit the park’s webpage about bike tours for more information or check out Trip Advisor for a list of bike rental companies.
#7: Find the waterfalls
Yes, there are waterfalls at Golden Gate Park! While at the park, visit Rainbow Falls and Huntington Falls. Rainbow Falls is near the park entrance by Crossover Drive and Huntington Falls is located on Stow Lake. While enjoying the serene sound of the water: it’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of a busy city!
#8: Visit the Golden Gate Park’s Lakes
Come for the waterfalls, but stay for the lakes: Golden Gate Park has numerous beautiful lakes with plenty of water-related activities. On Stow Lake, visitors can rent boats and enjoy the water. Before or after your trip onto the lake, grab something to eat and drink at the Stow Lake Boathouse. Consult the park’s page about its lakes for more information.
#9: Enjoy the San Francisco Botanical Garden
A trip to the San Francisco Botanical Garden is like taking a trip through different parts of the world, including Central American rainforests and New Zealand! We can’t think of a more peaceful experience.
#10: Watch the buffalos
Buffalos in the middle of a city? Yep! Golden Gate Park has a buffalo paddock. Trust us, you don’t want to miss seeing these beautiful creatures as they roam freely! (Aren’t they cute?)
Are you interested in seeing Golden Gate Park? Ask IEC@DVC when the next scheduled visit is: we often take organized trips there to visit the museums and gardens! When you visit, be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and Facebook!