Rock and Roll Golden Gate
Bike, Roller Skate, Paddle Boat and Picnic in Golden Gate Park
Chalk road closures in Golden Gate Park into the “plus” column of 2020 (that column is quite sparse, and needs some love!). San Francisco’s largest park—the heartbeat of the city—traditionally closes part of JFK Drive on Sundays for walkers, bike riders, and roller skaters. But since April 2020, the road closure has been in effect seven days a week, creating more open space in the city for outdoor exercise. SF Mayor London Breed is keeping things that way for the foreseeable future.
The museums are closed, but the wide-open grassland and outdoor areas are mostly open, as is the Japanese tea garden (though you’ll need to reserve a space to visit). Grab your bike, roller skates, or walking shoes and enjoy a couple of hours in this beautiful park without contending with cars. You can rent a bike along JFK Drive. A few must-visit highlights:
Skatin’ Place: This might be the happiest place in the park. Just try not to crack a smile while disco skating in the park—fresh air, good tunes, and fun people. And it’s free. Whether you want to join in the rolling party and just chill out and watch, it’s a good time. The Skatin’ Place is at JFK Drive just west of the Conservatory of Flowers. It’s open every day. Organized skates happen Sunday from 12 – 5 p.m., Wednesday from 3 – 5 p.m., and Saturday from 1 – 5 p.m.
Jazz Quartet: Missing live music? Get a dose of jazz in the park on the weekends with Sueños. These four musicians blend classic jazz with modern styles of hip-hop and indie rock. Hang out for a song or two or an hour or two. They usually set up along JFK Drive by the de Young Museum.
Stow Lake: Golden Gate Park’s boathouse is open. Rent a rowboat or pedal boat to explore the little human-made lake that dates back to 1893. Or just have a picnic on the shore of the lake watching birds and boats pass by. There’s a nice loop hike around the lake, and up to Strawberry Hill if you’re so inclined, and includes passing by a waterfall highlight.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In the episode “Post-apocalyptic Pandemic Edition” Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss their explorations of Golden Gate Park.
JFK Dr. in Golden Gate Park (from Kezar to Transverse) is currently closed to cars seven days a week. Dog-friendly!
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