San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is one of the premier visitor destinations in the United States. This park, considered by many to be one of the best parks in the United States, is actually the largest man-made park in the world. It is more than three miles long and a half a mile wide, and encompasses more than 1,017 acres.
Within this expansive park, visitors can find plenty of attractions and activities. Here’s a quick look at the top four attractions at the Park.
Enjoy the Fragrances of the Conservatory of Flowers
Image via Flickr by David Paul Ohmer
One of the most iconic landmarks of Golden Gate Park is the Conservatory of Flowers. The glass and wood building, which opened in 1879, houses about 1,700 tropical and aquatic plants. Visitors should not miss the 100-year old Imperial Philodendron, as well as the collection of orchids, water lilies, and even carnivorous plants. Don’t miss the popular miniature garden railroad and the Butterfly Zone.
Find Serenity in the Japanese Tea Garden
Image via Flickr by ste3ve
The Japanese Tea Garden was created in 1894 as part of the Japanese Village exhibit for the California Midwinter International Exposition. The gardens feature harmonious and peaceful landscaping that reflects the traditional art of Japanese gardens. Within the grounds, you’ll find five acres of manicured plants including cherry trees, Japanese maples, and soaring stands of bamboo. The gardens also feature elaborately carved gates, stone lanterns, and koi ponds.
Soak in Arts and Culture at the de Young Museum
San Fancisco’s oldest museum—the de Young—first opened in 2005 and offers outstanding art collections and architectural innovations, all surrounded by natural landscape. Works contained in the museum represent many artistic and cultural movements including Impressionism, Modern, Contemporary, and many others. Visitors can also view artwork from around the globe including Australian Aboriginal art, New Zealand Maori woodcarvings, and the Jolika collection from New Guinea.
Koret Playground and Carousel
In the southeast corner of the Park, you’ll find the Koret Playground and Carousel. Opened in 1888, it is considered the nation’s first public playground. The main attraction is the carousel that features colorful menagerie animals including dogs, horses, frogs, roosters, and more—all surrounded by panels depicting the Bay Area landscapes.
The Sounds of the Park
At the Music Concourse, located between the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences, you’ll be able to enjoy free Sunday concerts. This civic and cultural space is also a wonderful year-round picnic spot for visitors enjoying the other nearby cultural facilities of the park.
Stay at Nearby Hotels for Convenience
When visiting Golden Gate Park, you’ll probably find you’ll need more than one day to see all the sights and attractions. By staying in nearby hotels such as The Fairmont San Francisco, W San Francisco, Clift Hotel San Francisco, or the Palace Hotel, you can easily get to and from the park.