Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

Apr 16th, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #1  
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Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

We are planning to spend a day in Golden Gate Park taking in the museums, Tea Garden, enjoying the beauty, etc... I had originally planned on doing this on the Friday of our vacation (in July), but have now learned that on the weekends part of the park is partioned off from trafic, and that there was a shuttle last year (which they think will run again this year) to move you around from one end of the park to the other end - should we so desire..... So now, I'm wondering if we should plan on a weekend day instead of a week day? Is the shuttle feature nice? The park seems rather large - but yet we are avid walkers..... Any suggestions regarding the shuttle, museum attendance or any other recommendations is appreciated. Thanks, Vacationmom
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Apr 16th, 2003, 10:23 AM
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Mom, are you aware that DeYoung is closed for renovation and the Asian Art museum moved out of the park to the new location? It leaves only one museum - Science, a very nice one by the way. Don't miss arboretum, bring bread for ducks and nuts for squarrels.

I saw the shuttle last year, runs every 15 minutes or so. Try MUNI website for more info.
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Apr 16th, 2003, 10:39 AM
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I think most of the sites you may be planning on seeing are located within easy walking distance of each other.

The Tea Garden is across the street from the Steinhardt. Then right near there is the Arboretum. The Asian Art Museum used to be right there, but I recently read they've moved to the old library near city hall. Stowe Lake is close too, and a fun to rent a peddle boat.

Have a great time.
Marge
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Apr 16th, 2003, 11:07 AM
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The crowds are always much larger on the weekends, so I think the Friday would be a bit nicer.
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Apr 16th, 2003, 11:09 AM
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Vacation Mom,

You should have no trouble walking through the park no matter which day you choose to go. If you go on a week day, it will be less crowded, which is particularly nice for the Japanese Tea garden, less of an issue for the arboretum (botanical garden). If the day is particularly foggy, it shouldn't be much of an issue at all, as people spend less time when it's cold & damp.

The best parts of the park (arboretum, Shakespear Garden, Japanese Tea Garden & Stow Lake are all clustered together, within a 2-5 minute walk one from another.

On Saturday, the road that is closed is pretty insignificant. On Sunday, the road that is closed becomes a pedestrian zone very popular with families with baby strollers, bicyclists and beginning rollerbladers.

Because of that last group, I avoid the park on Sundays.

It's about a 3 mile walk from the area where Stow Lake is, down to the ocean end of the park. On your way you pass a pen with bison, and a reflecting pond where they sometimes sail little boats. Down at the very end is a Dutch windmill. You can cross PCH 1 there and go out directly onto Ocean beach. The way back takes a little longer as it's a gentle to moderate uphill.

Adjacent to the park, the 9th Avenue entrance on the south side is a neghborhood with a lot of inexpensive eateries, coffee shops and a few bars, also some interesting shops. I highly recommend Canvas cafe at the corner of 9th & Lincoln, and Park Chow a few doors up on 9th, if you need to get a bite to eat.
BayArea is offline  
Apr 16th, 2003, 11:42 AM
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Wow!!! Thanks to all for the wonderful replies and suggestions... I'll have to give this some thought.... We are SO excited about our trip......
vacationmom is offline  
Apr 18th, 2003, 03:08 AM
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I think you should go on the Friday, just because it'll be less crowded and it's a lovely park to get lost in and feel that you're alone.

Plus, the park is pretty big. It can be helpful to have the car along so that you can wander in one area and then maybe drive to the next.

Of course you can walk the length of the park and back, but it's a pretty long haul and the roads and trails are twisty.

Most important, whichever way you go, be sure to bring a good map of the park with you. It is extraordinarily easy to get twisted around and find it hard to determine where you are (not in a "lost" way but in a "oh damn, we walked up the wrong road and now we have to double back" way.)

I don't know if the Steinhart Aquarium is still there, but if it is, be sure to go look at the Fish Roundabout. Kind of weird and creepy and interesting all at the same time. But after you're there for 2 minutes, you start thinking about what would happen if there were a big earthquake. Go and see what I mean.
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