An Evening at Golden Gate Park

Last weekend I found myself back in the City by the Bay to to attend the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. It was a fantastic event (which I’ll tell you all about soon) but I couldn’t spend my entire trip in a darkened theatre! So, one evening my family and I headed out to explore Golden Gate Park.

In all my previous visits to the city I had never yet explored the park. I usually stay in Union Square and spend most of my time in that general area but this time home base was in the Castro (at the fantastic Beck’s Motor Lodge) and provided a whole new region to see. The main purpose of our park visit was to see the de Young Museum which happened to be open late that evening but we ended up parking near Stow Lake and couldn’t resist its siren call.

It was early evening and we were among several visitors, both human and fowl, enjoying its serene atmosphere. I’m guessing the birds are well fed by park goers because we managed to walk right among them with no incident.

Stow Lake was created in 1893 and has a small island at the center called Strawberry Hill. Accessible via a small bridge we headed over there to explorer. A path winds around the exterior and made for a lovely stroll.

We happened upon both the Chinese Pavilion, a gift from Tapei and a lovely waterfall surrounded by lush foliage.

Speaking of foliage, flowers were abloom everywhere and added an extra dose of loveliness.

We eventually made our way to the de Young which was hopping with people. With limited time to explore were decided to hit two different spots – the Hamon Tower and the American Wing.

The Hammon Tower rises 144 feet and offers a panoramic view of the city. Since it was dusk the fog was starting to roll in and the views were spectacular.

The de Young has an eclectic collection of art ranging from the ancient era to contemporary. Since we didn’t have time to view it all we decided to focus on the collection of American Art.

I was quite impressed by the variety on display. From sculpture to painting to decorative art representing every America movement I found several pieces I admired.

Anytime I come across a Frank Lloyd Wright piece I’m pretty happy.

Soon enough it was closing time but we had one more stop before we left the park entirely.

Located on the far western side adjacent to the ocean are two historic windmills initially used to pump water for the city. Now relegated to historic artifacts they’re a beautiful and quite large reminder of San Francisco’s past. We enjoyed walking around the unique structures and would have lingered longer had we not spied a nearby coyote.

I’m so glad I finally had a chance to visit Golden Gate Park even if I only saw a portion of what is has to offer. I look forward to returning in the future and discover much more of its hidden gems.



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