Golden Gate Park
One of the largest urban parks in the world, Golden Gate Park stretches for three miles on the western edge of San Francisco. There’s not a single “Keep Off the Grass” sign and its 1,017 acres are a tonic for mind and body. Two major museums, splendid gardens and facilities for more than 20 sports confirm that this is a playground in every sense of the word. Among the ever-evolving attractions located in the park are the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, the Conservatory of Flowers and the Koret Children’s Quarter. Buy tickets to California Academy of Sciences or the de Young Museum.
Experience miles of green lawns, bridle paths, lakes, flowers amid countless trees and 7,000 kinds of plants right in the heart of San Francisco. Here you’ll enjoy a treasure of varied attractions from top museums to exquisite gardens to extraordinary events like Outside Lands—you can even see buffalo roam.
The de Young Museum
A top destination while visiting San Francisco, the de Young museum 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 offers breathtaking 360-degree views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. Open Tuesday–Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Fridays (March–November) until 8:45 p.m. Closed most Mondays and holidays.
California Academy of Sciences
Explore an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum all under one living roof. 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 of up to 3,000 guests. Let the wonder begin! calacademy.org
Conservatory of Flowers
Historic San Francisco landmark in Golden Gate Park since 1879 boasting rare tropical flowers and plants from around the world. Architectural gem with five distinct galleries. Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; open holidays except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Discount available for visitors with proof of San Francisco residency. conservatoryofflowers.org
San Francisco Botanical Garden
Stroll through New Zealand, the Mediterranean or Central American rain forests. The garden is a beautiful, calm oasis. Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10 a.m.–5 p.m.. Tours Monday–Friday 1:30 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. sfbg.org
Japanese Tea Garden
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. Fortune cookies were first created and served here in 1914 and can still be enjoyed in the teahouse.