Golden Gate Park - East end
Image by Chris Makarsky under Creative Commons License.

California, San Francisco Guide (A): Golden Gate Park - East end

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park hosts many sites and events. This is a place to visit museums or to go to a concert; to climb a four story-rainforest or to see a white alligator; to see fine art, folk art, street art, or sidewalk art; to discover exotic plants, flowers and trees; to ride a boat, a bike or the carousel, to play tennis or golf, to rollerblade or to meditate. On a sunny day, you will want to stay all day.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Walk Route

Guide Name: Golden Gate Park - East end
Guide Location: USA » San Francisco
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: De Young Museum   Japanese Tea Garden   Music Concourse & Spreckles Temple of Music   Academy of Sciences   Shakespeare Garden   Botanical Gardens (former Strybing Arboretum)   National AIDS Memorial Grove   The Conservatory of Flowers   Children's (historic) Carousel & Playground  
Author: Francoise Herrmann
Author Bio: Born in Paris, France. Lost my heart in San Francisco more than 20 years ago! Live next to the GG Park. Love to share San Francisco treasures.
Author Website:
De Young Museum

1) De Young Museum

The De Young Museum, since 1895, is the oldest museum of San Francisco. Completely rebuilt, the new De Young museum re-opened in 2005, and in the process doubled its footprint, and now includes a 144 foot, 360 degree, Observation Tower. The museum façade is entirely made of copper (950,000 pounds with 1.5 million embossings). The De Young Museum is home to several permanent collections of American Painting, American Decorative Art, African Art, Oceanic Art, Art of the Americas and Textile Arts....
Image by Gaurav1146 under Creative Commons License.
Japanese Tea Garden

2) Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States. It is the original garden, built as the Japanese Village, in 1894, for the California Midwinter International Expo. After the Fair, a Japanese gardener and immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara approached city officials to convert the exhibit into a permanent park. Hagiwara thus engineered the transition, and was named Official Caretaker of the garden. He and his family lived there maintaining the garden until they were...
Image by Joe Mabel under Creative Commons License.
Music Concourse & Spreckles Temple of Music

3) Music Concourse & Spreckles Temple of Music

Sandwiched between the De Young Museum and the Academy of Sciences, the Music Concourse is an open-air plaza, landscaped with poplars. The plaza was originally excavated for the California Midwinter International Expo in 1894, and then it became a place for music venues. The Spreckles Music Temple, or “Bandshell”, at one end of the Concourse, was designed in 1899 by the Reid Brothers, and the first concert was held there in 1900. Since then the Bandshell was twice severely damaged during the...
Image by Joe Mabel under Creative Commons License.
Academy of Sciences

4) Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences, since 1853, re-opened in 2008, completely rebuilt as a spectacular museum, research and education center, and possibly the greenest museum on earth. The Academy of Sciences hosts the Steinhart Aquarium with 38,000 animals including penguins, stingrays, piranhas and “Claude” the albino alligator; the Morrison Planetarium with the largest existing all-digital dome and a 75-foot diameter projection screen; a 4-story rain-forest contained within a 90-ft...
Image by BrokenSphere under Creative Commons License.
Shakespeare Garden

5) Shakespeare Garden

Shakespeare Garden, originally called The Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers, is a themed garden, home to more than 200 plants and flowers mentioned in the Great Bard’s plays and sonnets. The brainchild of Alice Eastwood, Director of Botany at the Academy of Sciences, the garden was created in 1928. Entrance to the garden on a wooded pathway leads you through an arched iron-wrought gate to a brick path covered with a canopy of cherry blossom trees. Midway on the path there is a sundial; and...
Image by Lorenzarius under Creative Commons License.
Botanical Gardens (former Strybing Arboretum)

6) Botanical Gardens (former Strybing Arboretum)

The San Francisco Botanical Gardens spread across 55 acres, where more than 7000 varieties of plants from around the world are grown and conserved. The garden is divided into several areas: Mediterranean with native plants from California and other parts of the world; Mid-tropic which includes a Japanese moon garden, Montane tropic with Mesoamerican and Southeast Asian Cloud Forest varieties and Specialty collections, which include the Zellerbach Garden of Perennials, the Garden of Fragrance,...
National AIDS Memorial Grove

7) National AIDS Memorial Grove

The AIDS Memorial Grove was created as a place to honor and to grieve all victims of the AIDS epidemic. In 1996 the Congress and the President of the United States approved the “National AIDS Memorial Grove Act” recognizing the AIDS Memorial Grove, in Golden Gate Park, as a National site dedicated to all victims of the illness and to ease the pain of all who are left behind. Covering 7 acres of land, the grove contains many areas of meditation and contemplation, where circles emerge,...
Image by Luis Villa del Campo under Creative Commons License.
The Conservatory of Flowers

8) The Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers offers both magnificent Victorian architecture, and a fabulous collection of close to 2000 exotic tropical plants. The building, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was one of the first erected in the Golden Gate Park, in 1879, and it is the oldest remaining wood and glass conservatory in the United States. Closed for several years after a devastating storm in 1995, the Conservatory reopened in 2003 after major renovations. There are five galleries:...
Image by WolfmanSF under Creative Commons License.
Children's (historic) Carousel & Playground

9) Children's (historic) Carousel & Playground

The Golden Gate Carousel was built in 1912 by the Herschell-Spillman Company. It was used at amusement parks in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, and at the 1939 World Fair on Treasure Island, before it was installed at the Golden Gate Park in 1940. Initially powered by steam, the carousel then switched to an electric motor. The carousel was shut down in 1977, restored and repaired, and re-opened in 1984. The carousel boasts 62 elaborately carved, and vibrantly painted animals, including a...

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Divine Artisan Chocolates in San Francisco

Divine Artisan Chocolates in San Francisco

San Francisco is home to the most delicious artisan chocolates! From the historic Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory to New American TCHO chocolates, there are many local chocolate boutiques and factories to visit where you might be treated to a few samples. From exotic flavors such as lavender-walnut...
14 Souvenirs That Scream San Francisco

14 Souvenirs That Scream San Francisco

Home to many historic landmarks, such as Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and Alcatraz, San Francisco is closely associated with many iconic images of the American culture, such as Levi's jeans, baseball, and hippie movement. Modern Frisco carefully preserves its legacy by keeping it alive...