|Take a walk through Golden Gate Park, see most of the main attractions, and find out what is inside them. Also take a quick look at Haight Street.|
|To get to the Dutch Windmiil in Golden Gate Park, from downtown catch the #38 Geary - Ocean Beach bus, the #31 Balboa bus, the #5 Fulton bus, the N Judah streetcar,or you can ride the #38 Geary - Point Lobos to the end of the line and walk down the hill past the Cliff House.|
You are now entering the Golden Gate Park from the north-west side, as you enter the park you see one of the two windmills that pumped all the water for the park. This windmill called the "Dutch Windmill" has been restored, but it is no longer used for pumping water. The other windmill is located on the south-west side and it has not been restored yet. The park is nearly three miles long and a half mile wide, it covers 1,017 acres with over 4,000 different tree species.
Golden Gate Park has many ways to enter the park and you can easily get here using public transit, check your transit map. Admission to the park is free, but they do charge you to enter the museums and some of the other attractions in the park.
The photo above is just one of the many flower gardens in Golden Gate Park. From here you can take a scenic walk through the park on John F. Kennedy Drive, which is the main road that will take you to the other end of the park. A transit map of San Francisco is a must, but if you are on a really cheap budget you can rip the blue section out of the front of the Yellow Pages in a phone book, or just check them out while you are here, they have lot's of information you can use on your vacation in San Francisco.
As you walk along John F. Kennedy Drive you will see a herd of bison, or buffalo as some people call them. They have been a tradition at the park since the 1809s. Where else but the Golden Gate Park can you see a herd of buffalo and a Rembrant in the same park.
The young man above is throwing a stick in the water for his dog to fetch. There are several lakes in the park, and at Stow Lake you can rent boats.
This fountain sits in the middle of the Music Concourse. The view above is facing to the north, the photo below is facing to the south.
The Band Shell is where you can hear free concerts, at special concerts they fence the area in and charge admission. The best place to get information is to stop at the Visitor Center at Powell and Market.
When there are no events on the stage, you may see a group of people dancing on stage while listening to a boom box.
The M.H. de Young Memorial Museum is located on Tea Garden Drive just across from the Music Concourse. The museum is considered to be a World class museum that contains an American collection of art that is one of the finest in the country.
The Asian Art Museum is housed in a wing of the de young Museum, it contains a extensive collection of Asian art that was donated by Avery Brundage. Both museum's are open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., the first Wednesday of each month they are open until 8:30 p.m. and they are free that day.
The Japanese Tea Garden is located just to the left of the de Young Museum on Tea Garden Drive. In 1894 the Japanese Garden opened, it is on a four-acre refuge, built by a Japanese developer who introduced the fortune cookie here.
As you enter you travel on a foot path that crosses small bridges that gracefully arch over koi ponds filled with large goldfish. After passing many exotic plants and a 18th-century bronze Buddha you come to the Pavilion for tea and cookies. The garden is open daily, 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., and there is an admission charge.
At the California Academy of Sciences you can learn about the earth, ocean, and space all in one place, it is actually three museums in one. At the Natural History Museum you can find out about dinosaurs, earth quakes, meteors, and prehistoric life.
In the Steinhart Aquarium you can watch the sharks and alligators, and observe the penguins at feeding time.
The Morrison Planetarium takes you through outer space to explore the galaxies, black holes, and the Earth's solar system.
The museums are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day. The rest of the year the museums are open from 10: a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. The first Wednesday of each month they are open until 8:45 p.m. and the admission is free.
The carrousel above is located in the south-east section of the park. The easiest way to get here is to enter the park at the end of Haight or Waller Street and walk straight into the park until you come to the largest playground in the park, which contains modern climbing equipment, swings, sandboxes, slides and wheelchair-accessible play structures.
Another name for the carrousel is merry-go-round. This 1912 carrousel has been restored, they did some really good work on repainting the animals. The carrousel is open daily, 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day; the rest of the year they are open Friday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m..
Now walk back out of the park to Haight Street.
Do you remember the hippies? This is where it all started in San Francisco, at the crossing between Haight and Ashbury Street.The general headquarters for them and the community is at the Blue Unicorn Cafe behind me.
Jerry Garcia and his musical group The Grateful Dead lived near here at 710 Ashbury Street. Charles Manson and his group also lived near here. Look across the street at Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Shop, they have an ice cream named after Jerry Garcia, it is called Cherry Garcia.
Janis Joplin sang and sleep in the Panhandle Park just a few blocks away. It was 1967 and they called it "The Summer of Love", when all the hippies arrived en masse. If you take a look around you may see a hippie still lingering around, today they call them drug dealers.
Even today you can walk into some of the shops to find something from the past, how about a tie dyed shirt. The restaurants and cafes still reflect the individuality of the proprietors and the community.
|Now everyone get back on the bus, catch the #6, #7, #66, or the #71 bus going east. When you get back downtown on Market Street, get off at the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building. Or you could walk four blocks to the south and catch the N Judah streetcar all the way to the Pac Bell Park.|
|The next stop on my Photo Tour is "Pacific Bell Park", to go there Click Continue Tour below.|
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Photographed and created by David T. Smith