How large is Golden Gate Park? 1,017 acres (about 175 acres larger than Central Park in New York)

How many people visit Golden Gate Park each year? 13 million

How long is Golden Gate Park? 3 miles

How wide is Golden Gate Park? ½ mile

How many different ways can I enter Golden Gate Park by car?
The main drive-in entrance is located from the Panhandle via Fell St to JFK Drive. The second most-used entrance is from 9th Avenue (off of Lincoln Blvd), which offers easy access to many different park sights. There are 19 other access points for people driving into the park.

How much does it cost to enter Golden Gate Park?
During the day, Golden Gate Park is free. Special attractions, such as the museums require fees (including Japanese Tea Garden and Conservatory of Flowers).

When is the park closed? On foot, visitors are not allowed in the park between midnight and 5am.

Is the park ever closed to cars?
Half the day on Saturdays and all Sundays, JFK Drive is closed to cars from Stanyan to Park Presidio – a delight for bikers and skaters.

How popular is Golden Gate Park?
The park is the third most visited park in the United States – beaten only by Central Park in New York City and Lincoln Park in Chicago.

What kinds of trees are at the park?
Many different trees, flowers, plants, and bushes are found at the park, including the Blue Gum Eucalyptus, Monterey pines, redwoods, and the Monterey cypress.

How many bodies of water are found at Golden Gate Park?
There are two prominent bodies of water at the park – Stow Lake (located by Strawberry Hill) and Spreckels Lake (close to 36th Avenue). Additional selections include North Lake, Mallard Lake, South Lake, Metson Lake, Middle Lake, Elk Glen Lake, Lloyd Lake, and Lily Pond.

What kind of birds will I find at Golden Gate Park?
Countless species of birds fly about the park, including the Belted Kingfisher, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Green Herons, Song Sparrows, Great Blue Herons, Pygmy Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-shouldered Hawks, Hermit Thrushes, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, and White-crowned Sparrows.

What are some of the historical sites at Golden Gate Park?
Some of the historic attractions of the park include Beach Chalet, Conservatory of Flowers, as well as the Dutch Windmill (North Windmill) and Murphy Windmill (South Windmill).

What is so special about the California Academy of Sciences?
It is one of the largest museums of natural history in the world, offering access to the Steinhart Aquarium and Morrison Planetarium. Some of the exhibits on the premises include reptiles, astronomy, prehistoric life, gems, minerals, earthquakes, and aquatic life.

Where can I go to rent a boat to use at the park?
Stow Lake Bike & Boat Rentals (50 Stow Lake Drive; 415- 752-0347)

Where can I take my dogs?
Dogs can run without a leash in the section of park surrounded by Lincoln Way, South Drive, 5th and 7th Avenue; at Stanyan between Hayes and Fulton Streets; and the section bordered by King Drive, Middle Drive, 34th and 38th Avenues. Dog-training usually takes place at 38th Avenue and Fulton Street. Do not bring your dogs to Big Rec.

Where can I see a lot of flowers?
The Conservatory of Flowers and the Japanese Tea Garden are some of the most popular floral locations at Golden Gate Park, but you can also visit the Strybing Arboretum, Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, Rhododendron Dell, Rose Garden, George Washington Bicentennial Grove, Redwood Memorial Grove, and Shakespeare’s Garden.

Where can I play sports Golden Gate Park?
The park offers a Municipal Golf Course; Soccer Fields; Golden Gate Park Stadium (Polo Fields); Flycasting Pools with the Anglers Lodge; softball diamond at Lindley Meadow; two reservable diamonds at Big Rec; an Archery Field; handball courts behind Big Rec; lawn bowling greens; tennis courts near Sharon Field, Kezar Stadium, horseshoe pits, and basketball courts on the Panhandle.

There are also numerous fields for pick-up games for soccer and volleyball.

Where is the carousel?
The children’s playground with a historic carousel is located near Sharon Field. Additional playgrounds are situated at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (near 18th Avenue), and Lincoln Way at 47th Avenue.

Can I donate or plant a tree in memory of a loved one?

Sadly, at this time there is only commemorative benches for dedication of a loved one/friend. Please contact the SF Park Alliance here:

When are free admission days to some of the attractions in the park?

Depending on when you visit, you can take advantage of current free admission days, such as:

  • Conservatory of Flowers – first Tuesday of the month.
  • California Academy of Sciences – The free Sunday days for 2012 are: February 5, 2012, June 3, 2012, September 16, 2012 & December 9, 2012.
    Also, free “neighborhood” days for San Francisco residents (proof of residency required) two times per year. Zip codes are designated scheduled weekends.
  • deYoung Museum – Friday Nights at deYoung is a free event with tons of cultural exhibits, live music, dance, film, and art activities – fun for all ages. This is from 6pm to 8:45pm. Sometimes, deYoung Museum has announced free museum days.
  • SF Botanical Garden – FREE DAY for absolutely everyone the 2nd Tuesday each month

How can I purchase tickets for attractions in Golden Gate Park?

California Academy of Sciences –

Purchase at the door or online. Tickets purchased online are valid for one year from date of purchase.

deYoung Museum –

Purchase at the door or online. Tickets purchased online are good anytime on day of visit unless it is a dated and timed ticket for special events. Note: Friday Nights at deYoung is a free event from 6pm to 8:45pm.

Japanese Tea Garden –

Pay admission fee onsite

Conservatory of Flowers –

Pay admission fee onsite

San Francisco Botanical Garden (Strybing Arboretum) –

Admission fee (paid onsite) for non-San Francisco residents

Who do I contact if I want to volunteer in Golden Gate Park?

Contact the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department or San Francisco Parks Trust to learn ways on how to donate your time at the park. The contact information for SF Parks Trust is: (415) 750-5105 and The contact information for SF Rec & Parks is: (415) 831-2700 and [email protected]. The SF Parks Trust will also assist organizations and corporate businesses interested in setting up something for larger groups, such as clean up days and gardening projects.

Who do I contact for a job or internship at Golden Gate Park?

The park is home to many different attractions, including the deYoung Museum, California Academy of Sciences, and Conservatory of Flowers. In order to find job openings or internship opportunities within Golden Gate Park, you should contact specific places of interest. For example, the California Academy of Sciences posts their internship, volunteer, and job listings here:

Is there a shuttle to the park on the weekdays?

No, the park-wide shuttle is available on Saturdays, Sundays, and major holidays. The cost is $2/person for a round trip ticket. The shuttle runs between 9 am and 6 pm – every 15 to 20 minutes. More information on the shuttle service, including a map of stops is found here:

When was Golden Gate Park first established? Who is in charge?

Golden Gate Park was created during the 1870s. It is a public park that was deeded to the people in 1870 with the appointment of the first park superintendent (William Hammond Hall) in 1871. In the five years to follow, Hall laid the groundwork for the original design of the park, including the Panhandle. He is responsible for bringing in the different kinds of grass, trees and other plants that you still see today in the park. The 1894 Midwinter Fair was also a turning point for the park, as many significant buildings (like the current Japanese Tea Garden) were built for the event. In 1899, control of the park passed from the State to the City of San Francisco.

Who do I speak to about reserving the park for a picnic or other event?

To hold an event at Golden Gate Park, you will need to make a reservation, as well as pay applicable permit and other fees through the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department. Additional information regarding prices, as well as rules and regulations for reserving various areas in the park includes: Corporate Events or Family/School/Non-Profit Organizations. You can make reservations in person at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park (501 Stanyan St.) or call (415) 831-2700.

Where is Peacock Meadow located?

Peacock Meadow is located on 240 John F Kennedy Drive – close to the Conservatory of Flowers. The meadow is on the north side of JFK Dr and on the east side of Conservatory Dr East.

Can I have a wedding at the Japanese Tea Garden?

No, the Japanese Tea Garden is a public venue. They are unable to close off any part of the garden because it would deny paying customers the opportunity to enjoy the entire attraction.

Can I bring a keg to the park?

You can serve beer and wine at events, but kegs and hard alcohol are not allowed in the park. Also, alcohol is not allowed within 100 feet of a playground.

What buildings in the park can I rent out for a corporate meeting?

If you are looking for indoor buildings to rent in Golden Gate Park for a corporate meeting or event, contact the Conservatory of Flowers (100 John F. Kennedy Drive, San Francisco, CA 94117; (415) 831-2090;; California Academy of Sciences (55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; (415) 379-5868; ); and the deYoung Museum (50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; (415) 750-3683;

Can I bring my own grill to Golden Gate Park?

Yes, you may bring personal grills into designated picnic areas at Golden Gate Park, but they must have legs or a stand so that your BBQ is not touching the grass or picnic tables. Please make sure you thoroughly extinguish your barbecue fire, as live coals cannot be placed in the grass or trash cans. You must bag and remove your charcoal before leaving the park.

Does have a newsletter?

At this time, we do not have a newsletter. We update the site with monthly events and important information about the park. The contact submission allows us to create a growing FAQ based on the questions received by the public.

Can I make vendor reservations through does not handle vendor reservations for festivals or any event in the park. For special events, you would need to speak with the specific contact person for the event you are interested in participating in.

Does mail out brochures or maps for Golden Gate Park?

No, we do not personally mail out information or maps.

Are there wheelchairs at California Academy of Sciences?

Yes, wheelchairs are available for visitors of the California Academy of Sciences at the Coat Check on a first come, first served basis.

Can my dog walk around the park with me beyond the designated off-leash areas?

Yes, your four-legged friend may accompany you throughout the park if you both obey the leash laws of California.

Are there any employee discounts or incentive programs offered for Golden Gate Park?

Golden Gate Park is made up of many different attractions (such as the deYoung Museum and Japanese Tea Garden) that operate independently. For example, the California Academy of Sciences will often offer discounts and free admission for specific work groups, such as the military, teachers, firefighters…etc. Contact specific attractions to learn about available opportunities. Under certain circumstances, they may offer unadvertised discounts and specials.

Can I camp out or park my RV/camper at Golden Gate Park?

No, camping in the city of San Francisco is prohibited, and there is no overnight parking allowed inside of Golden Gate Park.

Can I go horseback riding in Golden Gate Park?

Sorry, the stables are currently not open at Golden Gate Park, and although plans are in the works to rejuvenate the stables – there will be no horseback riding this year.

Where is the best place for a BBQ? 38th and Fulton, and by Lake Lloyd.

Where can I find…?

National AIDS Memorial Grove? At the intersection of Bowling Green and Middle Drive East.

Rose Garden? Between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive

Tennis Courts? 21 courts found off Middle Drive East, near John F. Kennedy Drive.

Guiseppe Verdi Memorial? Near the Spreckels Temple of Music

John McLaren?
Memorial statue located near the entrance of the John McLaren Rhododendron Dell.