Golden Gate Park

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Golden Gate Park

Written by Scott Messmore

Golden Gate Park is home to the fine arts, culture, recreation and scientific exhibits that draws thousands of visitors each day. Golden Gate Park was deeded to the people of San Francisco in the late 18th century to provide for open space for urban dwellers. A fine arts museum and Japanese Tea Garden were built as part of a fair to promote San Francisco. While few things are left from that fair, Golden Gate Park has plenty to offer visitors.

Golden Gate Park Attractions

The Conservatory of Flowers is housed in aVictorian style greenhouse which is designed to resemble Kew Gardens in England. Different climates from around the world have been created inside the greenhouse. The Japanese Tea Garden is a maze of paths and ponds set among quaint teahouses and sculpture that was built during the original exhibition in the late 1890s. A huge 70-acre area called the Strybing Arboretum has thousands of beautiful flowers on display. The Strybing was built by the Work Projects Administration in 1937 during the Great Depression. The Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers was built in 1928 to highlight the flowering plants of the famous English playwright. One hundred and fifty plant specimens are designed with one of ihakespeare's plays in mind. The California Academy of Sciences boasts a planetarium, library, research lab and natural history museum. As the oldest natural science museum on the West Coast, dozens of exhibits are on hand. The M.H. deYoung Museum of Fine Art was opened in 1919 to display great works of art for the people of San Francisco. Famous collections collected by the Rockefeller family and the works of El Greco are alongside fine Tiffany glass.

Golden Gate Park Recreation and Sports

Tourists who just can't resist the urge to work out can take advantage of Golden Gate Park's dozens of recreational activities. Golden Gate has a nine-hole golf course, an archery field, miles of trails for inline skating, bikes, running, walking, model boating, horseshoes, lawn bowling, tennis and ultimate Frisbee games. If your pooch made it with you all the way to the city by the Bay, there are three locations to walk your dog. Kezar Stadium can handle 10,000 spectators for track and field events. San Francisco's only horse stable is located on the western side of Golden Gate Park with 12 miles of trails for equestrians. Reservations are required and can be made at 415-668-7360.

More and More Events at Golden Gate Park

Spreckels Lake is dotted with dozens of small model boats whereas fly fisherman head for Stow Lake. Paddle boats and row boats are the preferred type of vessel for Stow Lake. Also nearby Spreckels Lake is the Buffalo Paddock, a home to herds of bison since 1892. McLaren Lodge is a an old Mission-style home built for one of the original park organizers, John McLaren. McLaren Lodge has a park information center that can be reached at 415-831-2700.

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