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April 16th, 2018

Traveler's Guide to Golden Gate Park

Travel Tips

Golden Gate Park in SF is what Central Park is to NYC (just about 20 percent bigger). It stretches 3 miles long and houses an array of top museums, music concerts, theater in the park, live buffalo, gardens, Summer of Love’s quintessential Hippie Hill and more, all within its green 1,000 acres.

Not sure where to start? In our Golden Gate Park series, we’ll direct you toward all that the park has to offer.


Explore Golden Gate Park with our free rental bikes

At Stanford Court Hotel, a green amenity is our free rental-bike program, encouraging you to see SF from a different perspective. You never forget a vacation bike stroll! Golden Gate Park has an excellent paved trail that runs the length of the park -- ending at the breathtaking Ocean Beach. Along the trail you’ll pass the de Young Museum, Spreckels Lake, and the eyebrow-raising Bison Paddock. That’s right -- this little herd was established in the park in 1897, when buffalo were nearly extinct. Pull off the trail to see these gentle giants. The trail begins on the east end of the park, roughly roughly 3.5 miles from Stanford Court. Once you reach the easternt entrance, simply follow John F. Kennedy Drive the length of the park until you exit its western end. See Google Maps bike route departing from SCH.

California Academy of Sciences

Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Scientists still maintains a striking level of distinction. It hosts exhibits of aquatic life, astronomy, natural history, and more, complete with a planetarium and not-to-be-missed indoor rainforest. Don’t leave before you check out their “living roof” teeming with 1.7 million native California plants. The impressive green roof keeps the building cool and utilizes all excess stormwater. Located at 55 Music Concourse Drive in the park just north of the botanical garden, Mon-Sat hours run 9:30 am to 5 pm. Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Visit the academy’s website for more information.

De Young Museum

While you’re in the park, check out the fine arts at the M.H. de Young Museum, most commonly called “de Young.” The museum mostly showcases 17th-21st Century American art, contemporary art, textiles, and array of temporary exhibitions. One great draw is the observation tower that offers new perspectives of the park. The de Young Museum is located on the other side of the Music Concourse, across from the Academy of Sciences. Open 9:30- 5 pm Tuesday through Sundays.

Music Concourse & event calendar

Live music at Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse is a great addition for travelers visiting San Francisco in the summer. The Golden Gate Band has put on free concerts in the park for 135 years, and the 2018 season kicks of April 22 with a free show every Sunday at 1 pm. The shows feature cultural music, dancers, speakers, and more. See the 2018 concert calendar to see which shows coincide with your trip. The concourse is located between the science academy and the de Young Museum. There are plenty of activities in the park each month; including nightly botanical tours, “Bud Drop” celebrations on Hippie Hill, seasonal fairs and more. Definitely take a look at what events are planned for the month ahead at the park event page.


Planning a trip to SF? Check out deals at our boutique hotel Stanford Court in Nob Hill


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