Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

On our way back to the car from the San Francisco Botanical Garden (see post from yesterday), we took a little detour to visit Stow Lake.  We first discovered the lake on a visit to Golden Gate Park a few weeks ago.  Now, how did we “discover” a lake that’s been there since 1893?  Let alone Golden Gate Park’s largest body of water?  We simply didn’t know it was there!  And we usually park on the street just below the lake when we visit the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, or, now, the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Here’s how we found it.  My son just had to know what was at the top of these steps…

When we reached the top, here’s what we saw…

A lake!  And a Chinese pagoda!  The pagoda was presented to San Francisco by Taipei back in 1976.  The lake has a path around it, with many benches and little areas to sit and take in the beautiful views.  We’ve been here twice now, and what my son likes to do here is check out the waterbirds (primarily geese, ducks, and seagulls).

What a great spot in the middle of San Francisco to take kids!  What to do?  Follow the path around the 12-acre lake, watch the birds, enjoy a picnic, or check out the Huntington Falls (a 110 foot artificial waterfall).

Interested in going?  More information about Stow Lake can be found here…  You’ll find a map of Golden Gate Park here…


  1. It is a gem. I’ve boated around it a few times. Stowe Lake used to be a great place to park to get to the Arboretum and the museums. More people have discovered it over the years.


    1. It’s all about discovery, isn’t it? I try to make (well, allow… or give it the space to happen… I know I’m not in control…) every outing into a discovery of something…


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