California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
A four-story living rainforest and awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem will delight visitors of all ages, while immersive planetarium shows will transport audiences through space and time for a new perspective on our planet. Dynamic daily programs, from penguin feedings to coral reef dives, offer a wealth of opportunities to dive deeper. In addition to general admission tickets, the Academy offers a variety of opportunities to enhance any visit, including daily Behind-the-Scenes Tours, weekly NightLife events and NightLife VIP Tours (ages 21+), and Penguins and Pajamas sleepovers. The museum is also available for special events for up to 3,000 guests. Let the wonder begin!
Conservatory of Flowers
100 John F. Kennedy Dr.
This historic landmark in Golden Gate Park has housed rare tropical flowers and plants from around the world since 1879, making it the oldest building in the park. The Conservatory of Flowers curates an endless parade of rare and unusual flowers for display and aims to transport all who enter the Victorian doors to a faraway place. Immerse yourself in their five distinct galleries, each focusing on a different ecosystem, ranging from the dense tropical rainforests of Sumatra to the cloud forests of Ecuador and beyond. There is also innovative community programming like Night Bloom that highlights the Conservatory in a new light!
The de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.
Founded in 1895, the de Young museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors for more than 125 years. The de Young showcases an extraordinary permanent collection of American art from the 17th through 21st centuries, modern and contemporary art, photography, international textiles and costumes, and art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. The ninth-floor Observation Level of the de Young's Hamon Tower, free to everyone, offers breathtaking 360-degree views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.
Japanese Tea Garden
75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.
Constructed in 1893 for the California Midwinter International Exposition, the Japanese Tea Garden is graced with torii (gates), pagodas, a moon bridge and a 1.5-ton Buddha. The garden comprises rock sculptures, “dry” or zen gardens, Japanese architectural structures, and waterfalls. Its open spaces contrast with tighter corners of hedges. There is a thoughtful design throughout, and the cultural influences are everywhere, from edges trimmed to resemble Mt. Fuji in Japan to the Drum Bridge almost floating over reflective waters below. Fortune cookies were first created and served here in 1914 and can still be enjoyed in the teahouse.
San Francisco Botanical Garden
1199 Ninth Ave.
The San Francisco Botanical Garden offers 55 acres of beautiful gardens displaying nearly 9,000 different kinds of plants from around the world. With San Francisco’s famous fog and mild climate, the Garden enjoys a range of climatic conditions that exists in few other botanical gardens in the world, allowing it to grow and conserve a highly diverse and critically important botanical collection. This garden is a beautiful, calm oasis.
The SkyStar Wheel (Music Concourse)
This 150-foot tall observation wheel rises high above the trees and grants riders incredible views of the park, the city, and even the Pacific Ocean. Each gondola carries six passengers for a 12-minute ride. Tickets are $18 per person ($12 for seniors or children under three). Learn more
The Park's Hidden Treasures
While several top attractions should be on your list to see inside Golden Gate Park, visitors will be surprised to find other hidden treasures in the park. For a different perspective of the park, make your way to Stow Lake, where you can rent a boat. The surrounding views are also gorgeous atop Strawberry Hill, the highest point in the park, situated in the middle of Stow Lake. And don’t forget to meditate at the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, a Chinese temple-like structure that was a gift from the city of Taipei to commemorate early Chinese settlers.