They may not be as grand as Yosemite’s Bridal Veil or Vernal Falls, but the artfully designed—and totally artificial—Huntington Falls in Golden Gate Park are an endearing close-to-home alternative. The falls were reportedly inspired by outdoor pioneer John Muir and were paid for in 1894 by railroad magnate Collis Huntington as a gift to the city. Plunging into Stow Lake, the rushing water is a haven for the egrets, great blue herons, and other birds that make the lake their home. For more exploration, hire a paddle boat and cruise around—or cross the bridge to get a better look at the falls. Climb up to the top and soak it all in. Mr. Muir would approve.
The falls are on the eastern side of Strawberry Hill, in Stow Lake.