After our last trip to the ocean, I want to show you San Francisco’s green side at a glance: the Golden Gate Park.
First of all, Golden Gate Park ist huge – really really huge! The park consists of 1,017 acres (412 ha) of public grounds which means it is more than 3 miles (4.8 km) long east to west, and about half a mile (0.8 km) north to south. That makes it more than 20% larger than New York’s Central Park. But they have something in common: Both have a perfect rectangle shape. The Golden Gate Park is located in West San Francisco and its border reaches the Ocean Beach.
Within the park, there are a lots places you can discover like the De Young Museum, the Academy of Science, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, the Botanical Garden, the Polo Fields, the Windmill, … You can spend days there without having seen everything. On the park’s website you can find many useful maps including also an interactive one.
I liked two places most, and that’s why I’m going to tell you a little bit more about them:
The De Young Museum is San Francisco oldest museum – a fine arts museum named after the newspaper magnate M. H. de Young. Originally, it was part of the 1894 Midwinter Exposition, but was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1906. The museum then was rebuild within the 1920s and the tower was added as its signature feature. Unfortunately, the museum was severely damaged by the 1989 earthquake again. So it was completely replaced by a new building in 2005 – only some elements in the garden are remaining originals.
Inside, you can find American Art from the 17th through the 21st century, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes as well as art from South America and Africa. I personally think that the tower is still one of the museum’s best places since you have an amazing from up there. You can reach the last level only by elevator since all other floors only have management purpose and don’t host any exhibition. Up there, you can oversee the park and its neighborhoods like Richmond District or Haight-Ashbury.
The exhibitions are also great and I was fascinated by the African Art as well as by the Photography Exhibition about life in San Francisco in the 1950s through 1970s. Therefore I can highly recommend a visit – btw. admission is free every first Tuesday of the month.
Next to the De Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden is located. Like the De Young, this garden was also created for the 1894 Midwinter Exposition as part of the fair’s Japanese Village exhibit. The Japanese Tea Garden features – of course – a teahouse, several (Koi) ponds, bridges and sculptures, a Zen garden, a five-story pagoda and a big Buddha. Together with all the well arranged flowers and plant, a walk in this park feels like meditation and let you forget about the rush outside for a moment.