Preparations for Day Tour 2: Bring a cloth sack to carry picnic food, and a towel to spread out on the grass. The plan for this day requires at least decent weather. If it's stormy or freezing, alternate plans are recommended. If it's merely foggy or overcast, you can carry on, but dress warmly. Fog in the park can be thick.
Muni gates inside the Powell Street station
From any underground Muni Station (including Montgomery or Powell Street), take the outbound N-Judah train.
The N-Judah Train, on Irving Street at 9th Avenue
The train will emerge from the tunnel at Duboce Park and then enter a second tunnel to Cole Street. Stay on the train until 9th Avenue at Irving.
Crepevine on Irving Street at 7th Avenue
On weekends there may be a short line to order, but this will be a fast sit-down breakfast with a wide range of menu items, including Pumpkin Spice pancakes.
Crepevine is at 624 Irving Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Phone: 415-681-5858. Website: www.crepevine.com.
Arizmendi Bakery, on 9th Avenue between Irving and Judah Streets
This tour will keep you in Golden Gate Park for a big chunk of the day. Get sweet and savory baked items (and water/bottled drinks) to take with you into the park from this local co-operative.
Arizmendi Bakery is at 1331 9th Avenue between Irving and Judah Streets. Phone: 415-566-3117. Website: www.arizmendibakery.com.
9th Avenue between Irving Street and Lincoln Way
Go back on 9th Avenue and cross Irving Street again, continuing north on 9th Avenue toward Lincoln Way.
Park Chow, in 9th Avenue between Irving Street and Lincoln Way
Breakfast here may take a little longer, but can be worth it for the neighborhood atmosphere and organic home-made dishes.
Park Chow is at 1240 9th Avenue between Irving and Lincoln Way. Phone: 415-665-9912. Website: www.chowfoodbar.com.
Entrance to Golden Gate Park at 9th Street and Lincoln Way
From 9th Avenue at Lincoln Way, cross Lincoln to enter Golden Gate Park at 9th Avenue.
Main entrance to the Botanical Garden, near 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way
Just inside the park, on the left side, enter the main gate to the Botanical Garden. Thousands of plant varieties from all over the world are showcased here. Website: www.sfbotanicalgarden.org.
Bookstore at the main entrance to the Botanical Garden
This tiny bookstore stocks books on city and park history, as well as general references on gardening and horticulture. The available map of Golden Gate Park is highly recommended.
Walking paths inside the Botanical Garden, near the east entrance
From the big lawns near the main entrance, follow the walking paths toward the left.
Bamboo grove near south edge of Botanical Garden
Follow the paths leading into the gardens toward the left, which feature lily ponds, bamboo groves, and plant specimens from Asia.
California Redwoods inside the Botanical Garden
Following the paths around the circle of the Botanical Garden clockwise, you'll reach the gardens with native California plants, and the trail through the shady redwoods.
The Succulent Garden inside the Botanical Garden
Continuing clockwise around the edge of the garden, you'll pass through the sunny succulent garden, with varieties of cactus and desert plants.
Bridge near the Moon Viewing Garden inside the Botanical Garden
On the far west side of the garden, the landscaping is Japanese in style, with short bridges and stepping stones. From here, cut back toward the middle of the garden, past the lawns and meadows.
Cape Province Garden, near the middle of the Botanical Garden
Cross through the lawns at the center of the garden towards the main gate you entered from.
Mexican Bell, in the Garden of Fragrance
From the main gate, follow the edge of the garden around toward the right this time, to this area featuring fragrant planting, the Mexican Bell, and the statue of Junipero Serra.
The Friend Gate entrance to the Botanical Garden, from MLK Drive
Continuing along the right edge (counter-clockwise), you'll pass wooden plank paths and reach the Friend Gate at the far north edge of the garden.
Sidewalk on MLK Drive in Golden Gate Park, facing west
Exit the Botanical Garden at the Friend Gate and go left (west) on Martin Luther King Jr Drive.
Steps leading up to Stow Lake from MLK Drive
Follow MLK Drive until you reach the steps on the right which lead up to Stow Lake.
Path around the outer bank of Stow Lake
At the top of the steps, follow the path towards the right, around the edge of Stow Lake.
Strawberry Hill and the Chinese Pavilion from the edge of Stow Lake
Follow the path around Stow Lake, and you'll see the Chinese Pagoda and Huntington Falls across the lake. The largest of Golden Gate Park's man-made lakes, Stow Lake was completed in 1894.
The Roman Bridge, connecting Strawberry Hill with the Stow Lake perimeter
When you reach the concrete Roman Bridge at your left, cross the bridge to the foot of Strawberry Hill at the center of the lake. This 1893 bridge was the first of two constructed to cross the lake.
Steps leading up to the top of Strawberry Hill
Towards the left, you'll find steps leading up alongside Huntington Falls to the top of Strawberry Hill.
Looking down over the top of Huntington Falls at Strawberry Hill
A bridge across the top of Strawberry Hill lets you look down at the lake and the city toward the east. This peak featured an observatory, which was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.
The top of Strawberry Hill
At the top of Strawberry Hill, you'll find a wooded area with partial views in all directions. Wild strawberries had originally taken root on this hilltop, giving hope to the park's founders that the area could be successfully cultivated. Go back down the stairs to the bottom of Huntington Falls.
Huntington Falls, from the bottom of Strawberry Hill
Cross the stepping stones at the foot of Huntington Falls towards the Chinese Pavilion.
Chinese Pavilion at the foot of Strawberry Hill
Pass through the Chinese Pavilion and continue on the path counter-clockwise around Strawberry Hill. This structure was a gift from San Francisco's sister city, Taipei, in 1976.
The Rustic Bridge at Stow Lake
When you reach the Rustic Bridge, cross the bridge back to the outer shore of Stow Lake and continue in the same direction around the other side of the lake. This bridge also dates back to 1893.
Stow Lake, looking south toward Strawberry Hill
Around the north side of the lake, you'll have views of the back side of Strawberry Hill.
Snack Bar and Boat Rentals on the north side of Stow Lake
Once you've gone all the way around to the lake's northeast point, you'll reach the snack bar and boat rental building.
Bike and Surry Rentals, at the back of the Boat House on the north side of Stow Lake
The back of the same building has bikes and surreys for rent. From this point, follow the path directly up northwest, away from the lake, to an elevated picnic area.
Picnic Area at the northwest side of Stow Lake, near the Bike Rental area
From this picnic area, you can see Rainbow Falls through the trees on the other side of JFK Drive. Find the path in back of the picnic area leading down toward JFK Drive.
Crossover Drive, from the walking path connecting JFK Drive with Stow Lake
Coming down this path, you'll see JFK Drive and the Crossover Drive overpass. Continue down to JFK Drive and go right.
Stream running along edge of JFK drive, near Rainbow Falls
As you go right on JFK Drive, you'll see the stream on your left which circulates the water to the falls.
Rainbow Falls, at JFK Drive near Crossover Drive
Follow JFK Drive, passing Rainbow Falls on your left. The falls are named for the colored lights that originally framed the falls at their dedication in 1930.
Pioneer Log Cabin, north of Stow Lake, just south of JFK Drive
Continue on JFK Drive until you reach the Pioneer Log Cabin on your right. The cabin was constructed in 1911 from redwood logs, to honor the pioneer women of California.
Colonial Historic Trees, just south of JFK Drive and north of Stow Lake
Just past the Pioneer Log Cabin, a meadow opens up on your right with a group of trees planted in 1896 for each of the original colonial states.
The Rose Garden
Continue along JFK Drive until you reach the entrance to the Rose Garden on your left. The roses are at their peak in late summer.
Redwoods in the Heroes Grove, near Fulton and 12th Avenue
Near the Rose Garden entrance, paths lead toward the left from JFK Drive into a wooded area. Follow the path into the woods, passing a stone monument, and continue east alongside JFK Drive.
Garden of Enchantment, near the Music Concourse and DeYoung Museum
The paths through the Heroes Grove come to an end at 10th Avenue. Cross JFK Drive towards the right and enter the Music Concourse and Museum area at the Garden of Enchantment.
DeYoung Museum, on the north side of Museum Plaza
To the right of the garden is the DeYoung Museum, hosting exhibitions of art and historic artifacts. Inside the museum is a free observation tower.
Inside the DeYoung Observation Tower, looking south over the Music Concourse
Take the elevator (towards the right after you enter) to the top of the observation tower for views over the park and surrounding area.
The Music Concourse, looking east
Return to the Music Concourse, and cross through the middle toward the Academy of Sciences building on the other side. This area and the Japanese Tea Garden were originally developed in 1894.
Front of the Academy of Sciences Building
From the Academy of Sciences building, continue through the Music Concourse toward the Music Stand. This facility was entirely rebuilt and re-opened in 2008. A visit to the Academy requires at least a couple of hours.
The Music Stand, at the west edge of the Music Concourse
This concert shell, part of the 1894 Mid-Winter Exhibition development, still hosts performances on Sundays. Just behind the Music Stand, towards the right, you'll find the path to the Japanese Tea Garden.
Crossing from the Music Stand to the entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden
Crossing Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive from the Music Stand, you reach the front entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden.
Entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden
A beautifully cultivated Japanese garden, and part of the city's history. Admission is $5/Adult. Phone: 415-752-4227. Website: http://japaneseteagardensf.com/.
Path from Tea Garden Drive to MLK Drive
Exiting the Tea Garden, go right on Tea Garden Drive toward Martin Luther King Jr Drive.
MLK Drive at Tea Garden Drive, facing east
Go left on Martin Luther King Jr Drive, with the Music Concourse on your left.
Crossing Music Concourse Drive at MLK Drive
Continue on Martin Luther King Jr Drive, passing the entrance to Music Concourse Drive.
Entrance to the Shakespeare Garden, from MLK Drive
After Music Concourse Drive, you'll reach a path with a sign pointing left toward the Shakespeare Garden. Follow this path.
The Shakespeare Garden
Enter the Shakespeare Garden and walk all the way to the wall at the end. Established in 1928, this garden features plants and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare's writings.
Opening at the back of the Shakespeare Garden leading out toward Middle Drive East
To the right of the wall at the back of the Shakespeare Garden is an opening leading back out to the road, which is now Middle Drive East.
Middle Drive East, toward the Big Rec Field entrance
Cross to the other side of Middle Drive East and go left (east) on the path along the road.
Entrance to the Big Recreation Fields and Handball Courts, from Middle Drive East
On your right, you'll reach the sign and path leading to the Big Rec Ballfields and Handball Courts. Follow this path toward the Handball Courts.
Path around the Handball Courts at the Big Rec Field
Walk around the Handball Courts to the left, with the Big Rec Fields ahead and on your right as you make the left turn around the Handball Courts.
Path from the Handball Courts and Big Rec Field toward the AIDS Memorial Grove
On the other side of the Handball Courts building, follow the unmarked path leading up a hill toward the trees.
Scattered stones at the bend in the path toward the AIDS Memorial Grove
At a bend in the path, you'll see scattered blocks of stone in the ground and around a tree on your left. Continue as the path bends to the right.
Path at the top of the steps leading to the Dry Creek area of the AIDS Memorial Grove
After passing a grassy slope toward your left, the path will divide left and right. Take the left, and then the steps leading down directly opposite a bench.
Circle at the beginning of the Dry Creek Trail in the AIDS Memorial Grove
After descending the steps, you'll reach the circle at the beginning of the Dry Creek Trail area. Take the trail on the left side of the Dry Creek.
Path in the dry creek section of the AIDS Memorial Grove
Follow the trail along the edge of the Dry Creek bed.
Exiting the Dry Creek Path to the lawn in the AIDS Memorial Grove
The trail will end at the opening to a lawn area. Continue in the same direction to the other side of the lawn area.
Path leading to the center of the AIDS Memorial Grove
At the opposite end of the lawn area, you'll reach a path leading to the AIDS Memorial Grove. Designed and landscaped by groups of volunteers, this grove was officially designated in 1996.
Exiting the AIDS Memorial Grove to Bowling Green Drive
Continue on the path and exit the AIDS Memorial Grove, turning right on to Bowling Green Drive.
Bowling Green Drive, near Middle Drive East
Follow Bowling Green Drive towards the right (south).
Lawn Bowling Courts on Bowling Green Drive
On your left and right, you'll pass the Lawn Bowling Courts. Continue until the road bends to the right, and you reach a path leading up a hill into a wooded area.
Paths between Bowling Green Drive and Children's Playground
Take the path up to the wooded picnic area and go left (east) toward the Children's Playground and Sharon Building.
Sharon Building, at the Children's Playground
Opened in 1888, this building was meant to be an indoor play area and extension of the playground. It now hosts an art studio. The Children's Playground is just beyond.
West entrance to the Koret Children's Quarter, or Children's Playground
Children have played here since 1888. From the playground, go left toward the large grassy area. This is Sharon Meadow.
Sharon Meadow and the path over Hippie Hill around the Tennis Courts
Cross Sharon Meadow toward Hippie Hill and the tennis courts. Take the path to the right of the tennis courts, going up over the hill.
Looking down over Sharon Meadow and the Children's Playground from the hill known as Hippie Hill
From the top of Hippie Hill near the tennis courts, you can look back over Sharon Meadow. This hill was a primary gathering point during the 1960s.
Path from Sharon Meadow leading through the Tennis Courts toward JFK Drive
As you follow the path, you'll pass tennis courts first on your left and then on your right. Continue on the path until you reach JFK Drive.
Conservatory of Flowers from the front at JFK Drive
When you reach JFK Drive, you will see the Conservatory of Flowers across the lawn toward your left. Follow JFK Drive toward the Conservatory.
Tree Fern Dell, south of the Conservatory of Flowers
Across the street from the Conservatory of Flowers is a grove of Fern Trees dating back to the park's early years.
The Conservatory of Flowers Building
Originally built in 1878, the renovated glass greenhouse now hosts plant galleries and special exhibits. Admission is $7/Adult. Phone: 415-831-2090. Website: http://www.conservatoryofflowers.org.
The Dahlia Garden, on the east side of the Conservatory of Flowers
Facing the Conservatory building, the Dahlia Garden is just to the right, down the steps from the entrance. From here, follow the paths behind the Dahlia Garden leading up and to the left.
Walking path near the Fuchsia Dell
Follow the paths due east past lawns and tree groves, to pass through the Fuchsia Dell near the northeast corner of the park.
The east edge of Golden Gate Park, where JFK Drive begins at Stanyan Street
Continuing straight east you'll exit Golden Gate Park on to Stanyan Street. Go right on Stanyan Street toward Haight Street.
The intersection of Stanyan and Haight Streets, across from Golden Gate Park
At the intersection of Stanyan and Haight Street, go left on Haight.
Haight Street between Stanyan and Shrader
This is the start of the six-block stretch of Haight Street that is the commercial heart of the Haight Ashbury area.
Amoeba Music on Haight between Stanyan and Shrader
On your right, you'll see Amoeba Music, a large independent store stocking CDs, vinyl, and movies. Phone: 415-831-1200. Website: www.amoeba.com/.
La Rosa Vintage, on Haight Street
Several vintage clothing shops are on Haight Street, including La Rosa.
Haight Street near Belvedere Street
Continue on Haight Street and cross to either side for any shops that call your attention.
Haight Street betwen Masonic and Ashbury Street
This corner today features a poster shop and a Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream store.
Haight Street betwen Masonic and Ashbury Street
Buena Vista Park marks the end of the Haight Ashbury (Upper Haight) area. From this point you can go back the other way on Haight Street.
33-Stanyan bus on Haight Street
When you're ready to move on to Clement Street, catch the Stanyan-33 Bus (on Haight, at Clayton, Cole, or Stanyan) going in the direction back towards the park.
Bus stop on Arguello Street at Euclid Avenue
The 33-Stanyan bus stops at Euclid Avenue at Arguello Street. Exit here and cross to the other side of Arguello.
The beginning of Clement Street at Arguello Boulevard
Just south of the bus stop at Euclid Avenue, Clement Street begins. Proceed west on Clement Street.
Chapeau! French Restaurant on Clement Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
This is French cuisine, and a charming neighborhood favorite. Reservations may be necessary if it's the weekend or prime dinner time.
Chapeau! is at 126 Clement Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Phone: 415-750-9787. Website: www.chapeausf.com.
Clement Street at 4th Avenue in the Inner Richmond
Continue on Clement Street toward 4th Avenue.
Burma SuperStar, on Clement Street at 4th Avenue
Notoriously popular, you get into Burma Superstar by signing your name to the list inside, and waiting. No one else serves Burmese dishes quite like this place.
Green Apple Books on Clement Street at 6th Avenue
Independent bookseller offering both new and used books (and music and movies, at a second store two doors down), knowledgable staff and great recommendations.
The 2-Clement bus, on Clement Street
From Clement Street, you can catch the 2-Clement bus (at any of the even-numbered avenue intersections) to return to the Union Square area via Post Street.