If you’re looking for a great place to do some traveling, you don’t have to look far. Golden Gate Park is a grand place to do some traveling. Whether exploring the museums and other educational facilities, taking advantage of the events it hosts, boating on one of the lakes, hiking the numerous trails or enjoying a picnic in one of the secluded greenswards.
Many of the facilities now, unfortunately must charge an entry fee in order to maintain themselves. Time was however when, with the exception of special visiting exhibits, all of the parks facilities were free to the public. As a child we took full advantage of all the park had to offer and I virtually raised my children in the park’s museums. The wonderful stuffed animal displays in the old Academy of Sciences were all like family friends.
The parks facilities are non-the less an excellent value. Hell, the price of admission for kids isn’t more than a trip to McDonalds, and there’s no fat, cholesterol or pink slime and their minds will be fed.
The Conservatory of Flowers is a real feast. This wonderful relic from the Victorian era is a repository for a marvelous collection of tropical plants, and one room is dedicated to a staggering display of orchards.
The M.H. de Young Museum plays host to some of the world’s most important works of art, both in it’s permanent collection and in their traveling exhibits.
Those of you of a scientific frame of mind won’t want to miss the California Academy of Science. With it’s novice friendly displays of the earth sciences, in both the planetarium and the hall of man, plus one of the world’s finest aquariums, it’s a must for either casual entertainment or serious study. AND, it is so interactive. In the aquarium there is even a tide pool petting zoo.
Between the de Young and the Academy of sciences is large tree shaded picnic and seating area with a band shell at one end where there are frequently free to the pubic concerts.
And oh, at Children’s Playground is The Carrousel where on you can be swept away on a magical, glittering ride astride a gryphon, a dragon, an ostrich, a unicorn, a seahorse or other enchanted steed. At $2.00 per adult and $1.00 per child it’s the best travel value in town. A trip to enchantment for less that the cost of a cup of coffee or a coke – hey! You can’t beat that!
As you drive or walk about the park you may encounter one of the Two Windmills, now relics, but once they supplied the water that fed the grand landscaping of the park, and in spring, in traditional fashion, there is a glorious display of Dutch tulips around the Dutch windmill. How cool is that?
There is so much to do and see in the park. Stow Lake offers boating, hiking and picnicking. There are numerous secluded greens for picnicking, places for a rousing ball game, equestrian and hiking trails or just nice places to sit quietly and read a book. Golden Gate Park is a true treasure and it is ours:
And to your heirs for ever, common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves…”
Julius Caesar –