Golden Gate Park is a beautiful recreational destination, and it can be found in the beautiful city of San Francisco. This dazzling urban park covers 1,017 acres, making it larger than New York's Central Park. In addition to being one of the largest city parks in the United States, Golden Gate Park is also the most highly visited. Around 13 million people come to enjoy the attractions in Golden Gate Park every year. Golden Gate Park offers something for everyone, including lovely gardens and the revered M.H. de Young Museum, arguably the best art museum in the city.
Golden Gate Park has been a favorite gathering place in San Francisco ever since it started to take shape in the late 1800s. One of the main longstanding attractions in Golden Gate Park is the Conservatory of Flowers, which is among the largest of its kind in the country. Renovations have served to maintain this wonderful botanical greenhouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside the greenhouse are more than 1,700 plant species for visitors to enjoy.
Beautiful gardens figure among the top attractions in Golden Gate Park. The famous Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco can also be found within the boundaries Golden Gate Park, and it has been there since 1894. That makes it the oldest Japanese garden in the country. Others include the fragrant Rose Garden and the splendid botanical garden that can be found at the Strybing Arboretum. In addition to more than 7,000 plant species, the impressive Strybing Arboretum also features a large horticultural library. To get some help making sense of the many attractions in Golden Gate Park, visitors can stop by the McLaren Lodge and Park Headquarters, which can be found where Stanyan Street meets Fell Street. Park maps can be purchased for a small fee at the headquarters, which is open daily.
Golden Gate Park also features an array of recreational facilities, including soccer fields, tennis courts, and riding stables. The wooded paths that wind through the park can be used for jogging or strolling, and the paved paths are ideal for cycling. Visitors can also rent boats and get out on one of the lakes. Golden Gate Park is adjacent to Ocean Beach, which is a fun beach to visit on the side, and it is also bordered by the historic Haight Ashbury district. In other words, the park enjoys an excellent location.
Golden Gate Park wasn't always the amazing city park that it is today. Two names stand out in Golden Gate Park history: William Hammond Hall and John McLaren. Hall was a field engineer, and the original designer of the park, and McLaren was his assistant. Together, these men not only planned the layout of the park. They also set to work planting trees and flowers. McLaren apprenticed in Scotland, which was where many of the top gardeners of the nineteenth century hailed from. When it comes to Golden Gate Park history, it is interesting to note that Hall, who was head of the project, selected McLaren to serve as his successor in 1875. At the time, 60,000 trees had already been planted, effectively stabilizing the ocean dunes that covered much of the park's area.
To learn more about Golden Gate Park history, visitors can enjoy a guided tour that focuses on the historical side of things. These tours can revolve around various topics, and they aren't only of the walking variety. Segway tours have become popular in San Francisco, and Golden Gate Park is one of the destinations of choice for these kinds of tours. It doesn't cost anything to access the park, though most of the tours that are on offer will require a fee. It also costs money to access some of the main attractions, such as the de Young Museum and the Strybing Arboretum. All of the fees for the various attractions in Golden Gate Park are fair, and they should fit into most budgets.