Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Tour San Francisco

Travel Tips

San Francisco
City of Food and Fog


The infamous Alcatraz, located in the San Francisco Bay
Alcatraz

SAN FRANCISCO TOUR DAY 3: GOLDEN GATE PARK

A trip to San Francisco would not be complete without a playful day in Golden Gate Park. Begin the morning at Boulange de Cole. This quintessentially French bakery (complete with French locals chattering away) is located in Cole Valley, a charming upscale neighborhood. La Boulange serves up espresso drinks, flaky pastries, quiches and sandwiches that can be enjoyed at a sidewalk table or packed for a picnic. When you’re finished, explore the tiny neighborhood’s few boutiques while walking towards the park.

Conservatory of Flowers
Conservatory of Flowers

With more than 1,000 acres stretching nearly halfway across the peninsula, Golden Gate Park is a glorious playground for residents and visitors, offering both cultural and recreational venues. The entrance to the park is on Stanyan Street and Haight Street — at the foot of the colorful Haight Ashbury neighborhood — and extends to the Pacific Ocean. Inside you will find rolling lawns, lakes, an expansive variety of flowers and trees, museums and even a bison paddock.

The Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers inside the Park are well worth their small admissions. The peaceful garden houses Japanese temple architecture, bridges and a lily pond (you can enjoy a cup of tea here), and the oldest glass and wood Victorian greenhouse in the western hemisphere features spectacular plant life from around the globe.

While in the park, don’t miss the spectacular California Academy of Sciences, featuring a model rainforest, aquarium, planetarium and fish and animals of all types housed in a futuristic building designed by Renzo Piano. Facing the Academy, the de Young art museum features a sculpture garden, world-class art and design exhibits, and a towering observation deck with panoramic views.

Haight-Ashbury, the famous intersection in San Francisco
Haight-Ashbury

From Golden Gate Park, head directly west to Ocean Beach for a stroll along the Pacific Ocean and casual lunch or dinner at the Park Chalet. Or head east out of the park to the Haight district and see how the colorful neighborhood has changed (or not) in the more than 40 years since the Summer of Love. Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery, located at the intersection of Haight and Masonic, offers the perfect respite and a locally brewed beer and burger.
 
Finally, a trip to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without seafood. Every local has their favorite spot. Try the legendary Tadich Grill for a taste of old San Francisco, Farallon for sophisticated coastal cuisine, or Woodhouse Fish Company for a deeply satisfying pile of fish and chips.

It’s a packed few days, but we guaranteed you’ll leave hungry for more.

For more information, visit the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com, 415-391-2000.

MORE SAN FRANCISCO INFORMATION

Alcatraz

San Francisco Hotels
San Francisco Restaurants
San Francisco Attractions
California Travel Guide

* Images courtesy of San Francisco Travel

PAK082707 (Updated: 11/18/13 CT)


Whether looking to travel across the Australian Outback, the Canadian Rockies or historic Europe, these opulent trains will let travelers see the countryside in comfort.
Boutique fleets are the hottest thing on the high seas, promising smaller passenger lists, larger staterooms and sophisticated resort facilities.