Dear Park Visitor,
You’re emotionally and physically exhausted. Life is good, but the days seem to be getting longer. Your love life is its usual roller coaster. Your family is driving you up the wall. Your computer broke down after that guy accidentally sent you a virus. You missed the bus. Your car keeps flashing arcane-looking symbols at you, none of which seem to say, “You’re doing a great job.”
You need a break from the hassles of day-to-day existence. Cast off your technological shroud—put your computer to sleep, turn off the coffeemaker, TV, and stereo. Put the thermostat up a few degrees—you’re not going to be home for a few hours. Don’t forget to bring your phone, though; you never know when they may call, tweet or email. Get away from it all, meet some new people, and become part of a tight, active community.
Golden Gate Park, one of the world’s largest man-made havens, awaits you in all its splendor. It covers over 1,000 acres of San Francisco’s downtown and ranges more than 50 city blocks. The Golden Gate Park is home to the world-renown California Academy of Sciences, the tranquil Japanese Tea Gardens, and the oldest glass and wood Victorian greenhouse in the western hemisphere, where more than 800 live butterflies flitter around you as you stroll through the home of over 10,000 plants from around the globe.
If you’re hungry, visit the Beach Chalet on the west end of the park for a fantastic ocean view (not to mention great food and micro brewed beer). As the seasons change and winter’s chill creeps in, find yourself a spot close to the huge stone fireplace and enjoy the company of close friends and loved ones while watching the waves crash against the shore, or cast your gaze towards the Murphy Windmill, built in 1905, and at the time the largest windmill of its kind.
If you’re feeling more contemplative, take a quiet walk through the National AIDS Memorial Grove, the first AIDS memorial ever created in the United States. It was built and is maintained by volunteers and can be found at the corner of Bowling Green Drive and Middle Drive East.
Consider this website a portal into the lush, green world of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The site features a forum that allows you and anyone else to discuss current events, news, activities in the park (which include everything from archery to free swing dancing lessons every Sunday), an event calendar so you won’t miss anything that catches your eye, printable maps for new visitors, bike and running paths, and additional Google maps to help you find exactly what you’re looking for in the Golden Gate Park.
Come down, meet new people, get some sun and exercise, take up a new hobby, read a book, visit a museum, see an opera, hike up Strawberry Hill, or pick a path and walk as far as your heart desires. The Golden Gate Park has it all. This website will help ensure that you don’t miss a thing.
Ryan (GGP Treehugger and founder of GoldenGatePark.net)