Best American Beaches

Golden Gate Park encompasses 1,017 acres, which makes it San Francisco's largest park. Landscape designer William Hammond Hall and gardener John McLauren transformed the area during the Victorian period, from 1870 to 1871.

Although the lush setting of lakes, wooded groves, and grassy fields looks natural, originally this space was covered with sand dunes. The park extends almost to the beach on its western end, which means that fog often floats in from the Pacific Ocean in the early morning and late afternoon.

Within this vast green space are many attractions, including unique gardens and museums. Thanks to the city's temperate climate, the gardens bloom throughout the year.

Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

Some of the highlights of Golden Gate Park include the 55-acre

San Francisco Botanical Garden, which features over 8,000 different varieties of plants; the

Conservatory of Flowers, a Victorian landmark that dates to 1879; the

Shakespeare Garden, which is cultivated with flowers that are described in the Bard's works; and the

Japanese Tea Garden, with its crescent-shaped bridge, ornate five-story-high pagoda, and teahouse serving traditional Japanese snacks.

Two noteworthy museums are found within Golden Gate Park: the

California Academy of Sciences, a top attraction for youngsters (or anyone) curious about the natural world, and the

de Young Museum, which displays a collection of American art and presents interesting exhibits.

Families with kids especially enjoy Golden Gate Park's

Stow Lake, where rowboats and paddleboats are available for rent. Stow Lake also has a historic boathouse with a

café that offers seasonal, organic sandwiches and salads for lunch, as well as pastries, ice cream, and refreshments.

In the middle of Stow Lake,

Strawberry Hill is a great spot for bird-watching and picnics. Other good places to visit for picnicking in Golden Gate Park include

Bunny Hill meadows;

Pioneer East Meadow; and the shaded

Sharon Meadow, which has picnic areas that you may reserve.

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Americas Top Dog to be Revealed November 12 at the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards Gala


Americas Top Dog to be Revealed November 12 at the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards Gala