Explore the verdant heart and soul of the city.
More than 13 million people visit Golden Gate Park each year, but not even the most seasoned San Franciscan knows all its secrets. Inspired by New York’s Central Park—but 20 percent larger and stretching to the sea—this leafy respite from urban life is packed with activities and local character. Developed in 1866 along the sandy shore once known as the Outside Lands (now the name of a music festival that draws big names to the park each August), the 1,017 reclaimed acres encompass 10 lakes, 680 acres of forest and more than 8,000 plant varieties. The park is home to some of the city’s most beautiful places, including the Music Concourse, a vast, oval-shaped plaza that connects the de Young Museum; the California Academy of Arts and Sciences; and the spectacular, five-acre Japanese Tea Garden—the oldest of its kind in the United States. Activities such as archery, fly fishing, swing dancing, painting, boating and golf (both disc and traditional) have all found their niche here. Get the lay of the land with a guided bike tour before settling into your favorite pastime. Insider Tip: Car access to the park is limited on Sundays, so that’s the best time to explore on foot or on bikes.
- Just east of the park, the Haight-Ashbury district offers a trip back to the origins of 1960s hippie counterculture.
- Keep heading east to see the city’s Painted Ladies, the world-famous row of candy-colored Victorian and Edwardian homes across from Alamo Square.
- Or take a foodie detour in the Sunset district, which flanks the park to the south. You’ll find tasty ethnic and innovative fare along Irving Street between 26th and Sixth streets, just one block south of the park.
If You Go
Vary according to attraction
Muni bus lines
Recommended time to spend:
At least four hours
Where to stay
The Radisson Hotel Oakland Airport is less than two miles away from Oakland International Airport and offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. The hotel also offers guests all-day dining at RBG Restaurant, an on-site Starbucks, outdoor pool, and fitness center.
Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area and just eleven miles away from San Francisco International Airport, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson San Carlos, CA offers an ideal location for all San Francisco travelers. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, 24-hour business center, free Wi-Fi and fitness center.
Offering a perfect location for both leisure and business travelers in the Silicon Valley area, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Sunnyvale, CA offers short drives to all of the popular attractions in the area. The hotels amenities include free hot breakfast, free shuttles to nearby businesses, a fitness center, a heated outdoor pool, and a 24-hour business center.
Just two blocks from the city’s VTA light rail and close to multiple business expos and trade shows in the San Jose area, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson San Jose International Airport, CA is a pristine location for your travels. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, free, hot breakfast, and a free shuttle to the SJC Airport.