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Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco's largest park, is bigger than New York’s Central Park. About 3 miles long and 1/2-mile wide it covers 1,013 acres. GGP has over one million trees, nine lakes, several fly casting pools and a lily pond within its borders. Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers and several museums are among its many attractions.


Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill pictureRent a boat and drift or paddle around circular Stow Lake with Strawberry Hill in the center. The largest of Golden Gate Park's lakes, Stow Lake was completed in 1893 as was the Rustic Bridge shown in my panorama below.
In 1984 The cascade at Stow Lake was dedicated and named Huntington Falls after Collis P. Huntington, who contributed $25,000 for the project

Pictures &view the Panoramas

Stow Lake panorama
Stow Lake 160°

Conservatory of Flowers in GGP
Conservatory 360°
Music Concorse in Golden Gate Park
Music Concourse 360°
picture of McLaren Lodge, back
John McLaren Lodge in GGP
Conservatory renovation picture
Conservatory of Flowers under renovation
picture of flowers in front of Conservatory
Gardens in front of the Conservatory of Flowers
Succulents near Conservatory picture
Succulents picture - near conservatory
picture of flowers
Succulent Garden in GGP
picture of Dutch Windmill in GGP
Dutch Windmill
picture of Golden Gate Park Beach Chalet
Beach Chalet near the
Dutch Windmill

Golden Gate Park was designed by William Hammond Hall in 1870.

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Hall was hired to prepare a survey and topographic map of the Golden Gate Park site. He become commissioner in 1871 and selected John McLaren as his successor in 1887.
John McLaren, having apprenticed as a landscape gardener in Scotland, spent the next fifty years improving Golden Gate Park. One of his stipulations before taking the job was, "There will be no 'Keep off the Grass" signs." By corresponding with gardeners and botanists all over the world, McLaren was able to gather plants—and particularly trees—from every land but one, Bolivia.
picture McLaren LodgeMcLaren Lodge—a Moorish-Gothic style building originally designed to be both home and office of the Golden Gate Park Superintendent— serves as the headquarters for the Recreation and Parks Department and as the home base for Friends of Recreation and Parks.
John McLaren, for whom the building was later named, lived there from the time it was built until his death in 1943 at the age of 96.
"Uncle John", as McLaren had become known to San Franciscans, refused to retire at age 60, as was customary, then City government was bombarded with letters when he reached 70 resulting in a charter amendment exempting him from forced retirement.
Conservatory of Flowers garden picture James Lick was instrumental in getting the Conservatory placed in Golden Gate Park. You can learn more about the history of the Conservatory, including many exterior and interior pictures and panoramas taken days before its re-opening to the public on my Conservatory of Flowers page.
Tea House in Japanese Tea Garden pictureAdditional details are on the San Francisco Parks Alliance (formerly friends of recreation and parks) website. By the way, the San francisco Parks Tust gives free Historical Guided Walking Tours, year-round in Golden Gate Park.
I shot a picture of the Conservatory renovation and several pictures of the nearby succulent garden on June 28, 2002. Click thumbnails in the left column for larger pictures.
Japanese Tea Garden Temple Gate pictureYou'll also want to visit my Japanese Tea Garden page which has more than 25 pictures and history of one of the most well known areas of Golden Gate Park.

There are many other things to do in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park including lawn bowling and visiting the Dutch Windmill or the nearby Beach Chalet.
The California Academy of Sciences is undergoing a complete rebuilding.
The new de Young Museum in GGPThe new M. H. de Young Museum is now open next to the music concourse near the middle of Golden Gate Park.
Use your San Francisco CityPass for seven days of unlimited travel on cable cars, streetcars, and all other MUNI vehicles as well as entrance to five popular SF attractions including the California Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium.
More Golden Gate Park pictures can be viewed on my Japanese Tea Garden& Conservatory of Flowers pages.
After you've taken a virtual tour of Golden Gate Park on you might want to take a real tour. There are a number of ways to see Golden Gate Park—from above, group tour, private tour—San Francisco Tours.

Next: Japanese Tea Garden

Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2015 Lee W. Nelson