Golden Gate Park: 13 Fun and Exciting Things to Do

Golden Gate Park is truly a marvel! In a city that is only 7 by 7 miles wide, Golden Gate Park is one of the biggest city parks in the country! After living here for 8 years, I have always enjoyed coming to the park for picnics, events, me-time, and more! I rounded up all the notable items that make Golden Gate Park an exciting and fun park to visit! Let me know which item you have seen or done before, or which you would most like to do in the future!

6th Avenue Skating Park: This staking rink is perfect for all ages! Tucked away on 6th ave within the park, it is a space for staking of all levels to come enjoy the sights, music, and the overall vibe! In the summer, the park puts on a glow-in-the-dark skate zone in the evenings. I myself am a skater and have love coming here for the past few months to practice! The address is John F Kennedy Drive at 6th Avenue.

Dahlia Garden: This is the newest installation in Golden Gate Park! The Dahlia is the official flower of San Francisco, and the park installed giant 30 foot tall flower structures within this unoccupied garden. Visitors can walk through the garden and read about the artwork. At night, people can come watch the light show that occurs every 15 minutes once it become dark outside until 9:30pm daily. The address is Conservatory Drive East.

Stow Lake: The largest lake within Golden Gate Park. patrons can rent a mini row boat to take out on the lake for hours at a time. This lake is known to have many swans peacefully swimming by. At the boathouse, you choose what time of boat you want to rent. Boat choices include a row boat ($24 per hour), a pedal boat ($30 per hour), and a 4-6 passenger pedal boat ($40.50 per hour). The address is 50 Stow Lake Drive East.

The Dutch Windmill: This has been a noteworthy Golden Gate Park attraction for visitors of San Francisco for years! There are two windmills in the park (the North is called Dutch and the South is called Murphy). The windmills stand tall at 75 feet, and can been seen from miles away. The Dutch Windmill is the more popular destination to visit because it houses a tulip garden (the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden)! The address is John F Kennedy & Great Highway.

Park Chalet Coastal Beer Garden: Located right at the Southern-most edge of the park is this full services restaurant, bar, and outdoor beer garden! The majority for their menu is seafood, and they get raving reviews for it! Their beer garden is one-of-a-kind, tucked away from the bustling main road to maintain privacy and comfort for all the guests. Reservations are highly recommended for this popular spot! The address is 1000 Great Highway.

Conservatory of Flowers: This is the most photogenic spot in Golden Gate Park! The exterior is a beautiful and grand white building, with thoughtful architecture throughout. The complex’s garden is a great spot to sit and take in the sun rays on a warm afternoon. The outdoor garden is filled with stunning flowers and plants to gaze upon! The conservatory interior houses many endangered and rare plant species. Admission ranges from $10-12 for adults depending on the day you go. The address is 100 John F Kennedy Drive.

Ferris Wheel: The newest activity to be added to the park in late 2020 was the ferris wheel. The 150 foot wheel is called the Sky Star and opened to the public in late October 2020. The wheel was installed in honor of the 150th anniversary of the park’s existence. There are 36 gondolas on the wheel and each gondola can hold up to six guests. General admission price is $18 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance. The address is 1 Bowl Drive.

De Young Museum: It is a fine arts museum in Golden Gate Park hosting various exhibits for months on end. There is also an observatory deck at the top of the museum that serves patrons views of the whole park and the city! The adult ticket price is $15 per person.The address is 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.

Japanese Tea Garden: It is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States. It offers 5 acres of land, structures, greenery, ponds, and sea creatures to visit and learn about. Along with the gardens, visitors can enter the Tea House and enjoy samples of Japanese tea and other refreshments. The admission price is $10 for non-residents and $7 for San Fransisco residents. The address is 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.

Bison Paddock: The bison have been a staple part of the park, since 1892 to be exact! They roam freely in an enclosed meadow in the middle of Golden Gate Park. This is a free activity for visitors to come and enjoy in the park. The address is 1237 John F. Kennedy Drive.

San Francisco Botanical Garden: This Golden Gate Park garden houses plants from all different species and from all around the world! The geographic, taxonomic, and thematic experiences you will find her are widely unique. They also host yoga in the garden! To enjoy this, reservations are required through their website. Free hours to visit the garden at 7:30-9am daily, and the garden is free for San Francisco residents. For non-residents, the daily admission price is $9. The address is 1199 9th avenue.

California Academy of Sciences: This is one of the most impressive places to visit in all of San Francisco! The academy holds an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, natural history museum, and nightlife activities for adults including bar service. General admission ticket prices range from $38-$44 per person depending on the time of day you plan to visit. The address is 55 Music Concourse Drive.

Polo Fields: This is the biggest open patch of land in Golden Gate Park. Outside Lands, an up-and-coming 3-day music and arts festival, has been hosted at this part of the park since 2008. Since opening, it had gained national traction as a large-scale festival that is put in the same category as Lollapalooza and Coachella. The festival is traditional in August each year, but this year it will be in October. Tickets are on sale on the festival’s main website! The address is John F. Kennedy Drive & Middle Drive.

I hope you enjoyed my post and found it helpful! Please comment any thoughts and questions below, and share with your friends and family! For more related content, check out my recent blog posts below: 

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