Bird’s-Eye View of Golden Gate Park

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Interactive Map
de Young Museum Portals of the Past Golden Gate Park Stadium California Academy of Sciences Original de Young Museum Conservatory of Flowers McLaren Lodge Uncle John's Tree Dahlia Garden Carousel Spreckles Temple of Music Powell Street Railway Shelter Vanished Bell Tower SF Model Yacht Club Japanese Tea Garden SF Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum Australian Tree Fern Dell Drum Bridge Vanished Sweeny Observatory Huntington Falls Bison Paddock Little Speedway Meadow Stow Lake Rustic Bridge Chain of Lakes Fly-Casting Pools Pioneer Log Cabin Vanished Aviaries Murphy Windmill Queen Wilhelmina Garden Vanished Gjoa Ship Dutch Windmill Vanished Millkeeper’s Residence Vanished U.S. Life-Saving Service Station

de Young Museum

The current museum building opened to the public on October 15, 2005. It was designed by the Swiss architectural firm of Hertzog and de Meuron.

Portals of the Past

With their grandiose name, these white marble pillars on Lloyd Lake conjure a romantic vision, but their history tells a tragic story.

Golden Gate Park Stadium

The take off in a competition flight by Robert G. Fowler in his Burgess-Wright biplane from the Golden Gate Park Stadium in 1911.

California Academy of Sciences

The academy is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring and explaining the natural world.

Original de Young Museum

The current city museum system started with the exotic, neo Egyptian style Fine and Decorative Arts Building, recycled from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition.

Conservatory of Flowers

The appeal of pre-earthquake Victorian San Francisco is alive in the park’s eldest structure and crown jewel. As a relic of the Gilded Age and the oldest public greenhouse in California, the splendid glass house is virtually unchanged in spirit since its assembly in 1878.

McLaren Lodge

The mothership of the park, McLaren Lodge stands framed by a green lawn, giving visitors a preview of the meadows and dells scattered throughout the park.

Uncle John's Tree

Located on the front lawn of the lodge is Uncle John’s Tree, which is an approximately 100-foot-tall Monterey cypress (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa).

Dahlia Garden

Located inside the oval of the Conservatory driveway turnaround, garden is tended by the Dahlia Society of California, whose members nurture its plants into full bloom for a riotous floral show starting in August, which lasts through October. The garden shows off the plant’s wide diversity of shape and color.


The current incarnation has swans, a stork, zebras, and a host of other exotic animals, even a mermaid, accompanied by boisterous organ music.

Spreckles Temple of Music

Audiences love the free Sunday afternoon concerts performed from April through October by the Golden Gate Park Band, a park institution since the 1880s.

Powell Street Railway Shelter

The quaint portal facing Fulton Street at Seventh Avenue served as a major entry and waiting room from 1888 to 1906.

Vanished Bell Tower

Another vanished building on the hill of the Rhododendron Dell was the lacy gingerbread, thirty-foot high, wood Bell Tower.

SF Model Yacht Club

The Model Yacht Club’s season extends from March through the end of October, and its membership is equally split between power boat (stinkpots) owners and sail boat (ragtops) owners.

Japanese Tea Garden

This historic garden is the oldest Japanese-style rustic garden in the United States.

SF Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum

Recognized as a world-class living museum of plants, these public gardens were initially funded by a bequest from Helene Jordan Strybing.

Australian Tree Fern Dell

As if a Tyrannosaurus Rex were about to come out from between the fronds of these prehistoric plants.

Drum Bridge

A high arched drum bridge (taiko-hashi) was original to the initial garden, but has been moved twice and renovated on many occasions, most recently in 1996.

Vanished Sweeny Observatory

The fabulous vista from atop Strawberry Hill inspired wealthy citizen Thomas U. Sweeny, a.k.a. Sweeney, to donate $8,000 for Sweeny Observatory.

Huntington Falls

The 110-foot-tall cascade started flowing on May 9, 1894, from its reservoir originally on the apex of Strawberry Hill and then via brooklets toward the cliff.

Bison Paddock

Unquestionably, the most unusual sight in the park today is of the huge beasts that roam the grassy valley along John F. Kennedy Drive.

Little Speedway Meadow

Its straightaway allowed drivers to reach exciting speeds on horses and later, with the newfangled horseless carriage.

Stow Lake

Completed in 1893, the lake was ready for the Midwinter Fair held nearby and it has three islands.

Rustic Bridge

Spanning the south side of Stow lake, this charming double-arch structure is clad in massive red natural boulders, creating its rustic appearance.

Chain of Lakes

Consisting of North, Middle, and South Lakes, the Chain of Lakes was formed partly from freshwater swamps, which span the width of the park.

Fly-Casting Pools

The current club, known as the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club, was organized in 1933 as an offshoot of the SFFCC.

Pioneer Log Cabin

The rustic interior has a fireplace and the building originally housed relics connected with California history, including furnishings brought across the plains or around Cape Horn.

Vanished Aviaries

Two enclosures for birds once stood on the hill just southwest of the Australian Tree Fern Dell, across John F. Kennedy Drive.

Murphy Windmill

This windmill, dedicated on April 11, 1908, held the distinction of having the largest wingspan outside of Holland when built.

Queen Wilhelmina Garden

Below the towering Dutch Windmill is the Queen Wilhelmina Garden, where some 10,000 tulip bulbs planted each fall blossom the following March.

Vanished Gjoa Ship

The vessel “Gjoa” was placed in the sands of Ocean Beach in 1909; today it resides in Norway.

Dutch Windmill

The Dutch Windmill, with its now vanished keeper’s house, remains a sentinel to seagoing vessels.

Vanished Millkeeper’s Residence

A picturesque brick cottage with raised gable ends and a Spanish clay tile roof was located on the rise just northeast of the Dutch Windmill.

Vanished U.S. Life-Saving Service Station

The U.S. Life-Saving Service Station compound, constructed in 1878, was an early form of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Illustration by Chip Sullivan