Golden Gate Park

Designers: William Hammond Hall, John McLaren | City: San Francisco, CA | Project Type: large parks
Date Visited: 11.05.12

Locations: John F Kennedy Dr & Transverse Dr San Francisco, CA 94121
Size: 1,017 acres
Official Opening Date: 1870s

Located on the west end of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park is to San Francisco as Central Park is to New York City. A huge rectangular park attracting 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate Park is home to some of the greatest cultural institutions and gardens of San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park Plan. Image credit:

Over 1,000 acres in size, it’s easy to get lost in Golden Gate Park. There’s a seemingly endless amount of recreational and educational experiences and places to explore in the park from a Buffalo Paddock to a Japanese Tea Garden. Designed by William Hammond Hall, Golden Gate Park’s layout was largely influenced by the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., of whom Hall was a contemporary.

Cycling east to west across this massive expanse of parkland was one of the highlights of my trip to San Francisco. With windmills, waterfalls, museums, manmade lakes, redwood groves and more, it’s impossible to detail all that Golden Gate Park has to offer. One of the greatest treats, however? Cycling all the way to the west end and ending the ride at the huge, glittering Pacific Ocean.

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