Golden Gate Parkcast Back in 1870, it was just dunes in a part of the city dubbed the Outer Lands. 150 years later, Golden Gate Park is the crown jewel of San Francisco. Home to world-class museums, gardens, and events that draw millions of tourists each year. It's also where locals go to work out and hang out. In honor of the parks' 150th birthday, KALW is gathering stories about the history and sights of what some call San Francisco's backyard.
Golden Gate Parkcast

Golden Gate Parkcast

From KALW

Back in 1870, it was just dunes in a part of the city dubbed the Outer Lands. 150 years later, Golden Gate Park is the crown jewel of San Francisco. Home to world-class museums, gardens, and events that draw millions of tourists each year. It's also where locals go to work out and hang out. In honor of the parks' 150th birthday, KALW is gathering stories about the history and sights of what some call San Francisco's backyard.

Most Recent Episodes

Go Back In Time With The Windmills

We're heading to the far west side of the Bay Area for our last stop on the tour... for now. And, we're going back in time. At the end of the 19th century, when Golden Gate Park was just a few decades old, engineers built a pair of windmills to irrigate it. They harnessed the power of the ocean winds to pump water through the barren sand and nourish the verdant landscape. Over time the windmills fell into disrepair and slowly disintegrated. But, in the early 21st century, some visionary San

Take Aim At The Archery Range

We're continuing our journey westward, toward the ocean, and we're getting close now. Less than a mile to go. We cross over Chain of Lakes Drive. And as we pass, just to our right is the simply named North Lake. We're walking through this urban forest, and the trees have gotten especially thick to our right. Look closely and you can see ... there's a golf course in there! A lot of people who live in San Francisco don't even know that. But we're not here to play golf, today. We're targeting a

Roam Over To The Bison Paddock

We're heading out from the ponds of the Golden Gate Casting and Angling Club. It's just a hop, skip, and a jump to our next stop. As we approach John F. Kennedy Boulevard, again, we come across a site you won't find on any map — but one that locals return to year after year. About 30 feet up one of the park's majestic tall trees, there's a great horned owl nest. Every year, the owls return to the same spot. Right now, though, we're crossing the street to see some much bigger creatures. We're

Pause

We hope you've been enjoying this audio tour celebrating the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park. We've still got a few more stops on our route, but in the wake of protests against the systemic race-based violence that plagues our country, we are going to take a break for the moment. We'll be back with more episodes later this summer.

Cast A Line At The Angling Club

We're down in the wilder spaces of the park, now. The lower side, with its hiking and mountain bike trails, its hidden gardens, its untamed forests. We continue westward, exploring this less cultivated area where there's more space and more animals, too. You'll see coyotes out here sometimes. Plenty of raccoons in the evening. Foxes, if you're lucky. We turn off the road, back into the forest. It's quiet except for the occasional whizzing sound, gentle crank, and quiet chatter. We're at Golden

Put The Wind In Your Sails At Spreckels Lake

Most of the cultivated features of Golden Gate Park are found on its eastern side. Now we're heading for the wilder west — an area more frequented by locals than tourists. And as you'll see and hear, there's plenty to discover. There are lots of grassy areas here where people like to picnic. It gets foggier ... and we pass by one of Golden Gate Park's more dramatic features. It's a waterfall cascading down from a man-made hillside, right next to an overpass. We continue on, under the bridge, and

Nose Around The Rose Garden

We've just left the Shakespeare Garden, in a thicket off 9th Avenue. We're going to head back toward the north side of the park, and to get there, we'll take a circuitous route down a hill into the parking garage serving the California Academy of Sciences and the DeYoung Museum. Soon we're back in the sprawling music concourse. We go down a path to the left of the Japanese Tea Garden until we get to John F. Kennedy Boulevard, where our destination is just across the street. It's a garden. Sheer

Reflect In The Shakespeare Garden

The music concourse can be seen as the cultural heart of Golden Gate Park. This wide oval plaza is filled with fountains and framed by museums and the bandshell housing the venerable Golden Gate Park Band. Now it's time to head out from here to go to a place that's even more timeless. We climb up stairs as we head south, around the California Academy of Sciences, into a wooded area. Back in the trees, you'll find flowers from the writings of William Shakespeare. It's a place dedicated to English

Rest Stop

We're taking a quick breather this week as our staff adjusts to reporting on how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting our lives. But do not fret! We'll take you back to the park soon. We have six more episodes planned and, in the meantime, there's a special virtual park event celebrating Golden Gate Park's 150th birthday, this Saturday, April 4. Check that out at goldengatepark150.com and stay subscribed for more updates.

March To The Beat Of The Golden Gate Park Band

We just got a fun workout with the swing dancers on John F. Kennedy Drive. Now, let's catch our breath and wander into the Music Concourse. As we walk along Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, we can see the California Academy of Sciences in front of us, with its skylights and living roof. To our right, the M.H. De Young Memorial Museum looks like a copper-clad battleship beached in the middle of a forest. In between the two cultural attractions is an open-air, oval-shaped plaza with many levels. If you