North of the Sunset district and south of the Richmond district sits a heavily-tourist, rectangular park area called Golden Gate Park. The park expands 1,017 acres and stretches east to the Pacific Ocean and west to the Haight-Ashbury district. Golden Gate Park provides a natural destination in San Francisco that mixes the beauty of outdoor activities, historic landmarks, must-see venues and a mix of cultures from the combination of tourists and residents.
Although many people in San Francisco soak in the Golden Gate Park experience, so do people outside of the area. According to The Trust for Public Land, Golden Gate Park is the fifth most visited park, yearly. Around 13 million people visit the park each year.
The high visitor rates are no surprise because of the surplus of activities in Golden Gate Park. Visitors can search the area for historical landmarks and must-see venues.
Two historical landmarks that people can see in Golden Gate Park are the Dutch Windmill and the Murphy Windmill, both located in the Western side of the park. The Windmills were originally constructed to create irrigation for the Park. The Dutch Windmill was built in 1903 and the Murphy Windmill was built in 1908. Although the windmills are not used anymore, they still provided a sight-seeing opportunity in Golden Gate Park.
Another visiting area is the Japanese Tea Garden. The Garden is a strong representation of Japanese culture. A combination of nature and religious background is displayed by the Tea Garden. It was built in 1894.
Visitors looking for a more hands-on experience can check out the Academy of Sciences, the De Young Museum and the Conservatory of Flowers. There are also land areas worth visiting, such as Spreckels Lake, Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill, Hippie Hill and Bison Paddock.
Golden Gate Park is also known for its connection with music and sports. The park is home to two popular Bay Area concerts, Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Although one can walk around the entire park and be entranced by the music. Whether it’s live music performed by a musician or band, or just music blasted through a device, it mixes in with the environment and culture.
Like the music, sports can be seen being performed throughout Golden Gate Park. Anything from archery to soccer to baseball and many more sports can be seen in the park. The park also holds golf courses and a horseshoe pit. Sports landmarks located in Golden Gate Park include Kezar Stadium and the Polo Field. Kezar Stadium was built in 1920 and was home to both the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders at one point. Although, the stadium was renovated and holds high school football matches now. Polo Field was where polo began in California in the late 1800s.
With so much to do in Golden Gate Park, one can really grasp the truly diverse aspect of San Francisco and California by just embracing the natural beauty of this area.