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Stow Lake

Stow Lake: Our most recommended tours and activities

California Academy of Sciences Thursday NightLife Admission

1. California Academy of Sciences Thursday NightLife Admission

Visit the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-natural history museum at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Enjoy all 4 attractions under one living roof, with exhibits and shows that explain the universe. Explore these exhibits and more during Thursday’s festive 21+ only NightLife event, and sip on a beer, wine, or unique specialty cocktail available for purchase at the bars throughout the museum. Once in the museum, catch the latest spectacular digital planetarium show and rocket through the galaxy at the speed of light to the far reaches of the universe. Journey deep into the oceans of the world in the aquarium. Come face-to-face with snakes and piranhas, meet Claude the albino alligator, and hang out with a South African penguin colony. Stroll through the rainforest dome with its free-flying birds and butterflies. Each week features a unique theme, blending fun with science in an informal social environment. Past highlights have included pop-up art galleries; science-themed comedy; sustainable seafood cooking demonstrations; and talks by notable figures like Buzz Aldrin. Academy scientists are also on-hand to discuss the “science love stories” behind their infatuations with spiders, sea slugs, parasites, and other fascinating topics. During summer months, the Academy presents NightLife LIVE, a music series featuring emerging bands and musicians live on an outdoor garden stage, cutting-edge art installations, and hands-on science demonstrations.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Park Segway Tour

2. San Francisco: Golden Gate Park Segway Tour

Experience Golden Gate Park as you glide on the new Segway i2 with lean-to-steer technology. Enjoy a guided tour narrated through a compact single earbud sound system as you follow a combination of designated trails, bike paths, and low-speed, light-traffic streets. Discover more of Golden Gate Park in less time on a modern Segway. Receive hands-on training with an instructor. Go thorugh a skills practice session, a rider courtesy instruction, and review the Golden Gate Park rules of the road.  Set off to see the sights of Golden Gate Park on an 8-mile (13 kilometers) route through the eastern part of Golden Gate Park, which covers both the famous landmarks and as well as some hidden and less-explored areas. Roll past local institutions like the De Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Music Concourse and Temple of Music. Take in the sculpted landscapes of the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, the Lily Pond, and the Fern Grotto. View a large stone Celtic cross sculpture at the Storybook Cross, and let the the Historic Carousel awaken your nostalgia. Cruise by the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, the Lawn Bowling Courts, the National Aids Memorial, and the Shakespeare Garden. Admire views of Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill, the Rose, Rhododendron and Dahlia Gardens, Redwood Grove and the Pioneer Log Cabin. Feel good about discovering this landmark in an eco-friendly way. 

San Francisco: Golden Gate Park Private Segway Tour

3. San Francisco: Golden Gate Park Private Segway Tour

Experience Golden Gate Park from a different perspective on a private Segway tour. Glide through the urban park by personal transporter, and stop to spend time at its many treasures. Get a fascinating commentary through a compact single earbud sound system as you follow the designated trails. Journey along streets of light traffic at low speed for your comfort and safety. First, benefit from a personal, 1-to-1, 30 to 35-minute safety briefing to ensure you feel confident on the self-balancing vehicles. Then, set off to discover the many landmarks, museums and gardens of Golden Gate Park, such as the Japanese Tea Garden, Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory of Flowers. Encounter hidden gems along the way! Golden Gate Park is larger than New York's Central Park, and once consisted of sand dunes now covered with more than 75,000 trees. The 7-mile (11.2-kilometer) route you will take explores the eastern section of the 1,017-acre (411-hectare) park. See highlights such as the De Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Music Concourse and Temple of Music, Lily Pond and much more. Experience the beauty of the park’s trees, flowers and plants as you traverse the winding trails and bike paths past sites such as the Fern Grotto, San Francisco Botanical Gardens and Rose, Rhododendron and Dahlia Gardens.

Golden Gate Park: Full-Day Self-Guided Bike Tour

4. Golden Gate Park: Full-Day Self-Guided Bike Tour

On this full-day self-guided bike tour you’ll ride through the historic Haight Ashbury neighborhood, once home to peace, love, and the Grateful Dead! Check out the gorgeous Victorian homes you’ll see throughout the area before heading into Golden Gate Park. Inside the thousand-plus acre park, the opportunities are endless. Visit the Conservatory of Flowers, Arboretum/Botanical Gardens, Shakespeare Garden, and Japanese Tea Gardens. Lock up your bike and visit 2 world-class museums, the California Academy of Sciences and the DeYoung, before circling around Stow Lake. Head to the beach, and ride along the oceanfront bike path. Real adventurers can continue on to the zoo before heading back past the Bison paddock and Spreckels Lake. Other options include riding north along the coast by the Cliff House, Sutro Baths, and Land’s End to the Golden Gate Bridge. You could decide to explore Alamo Square, the Civic Center area, the Mission, and the Castro. You’ll ride with maps mounted on the handlebars, clearly detailing 3 different routes to choose from! 

San Fancisco: Golden Gate Park Surrey Rental

5. San Fancisco: Golden Gate Park Surrey Rental

Pedal through the designated surrey route in the majestic Golden Gate Park. Your two-person surrey will fit two adults and one or two small children in the front child seats, and the four-person surrey will fit four adults and one or two small children in the front child seats. You'll enjoy your hour-long surrey rental by traveling on a designated route in Golden Gate Park. Starting from the music concourse, you'll ride down JFK drive, passing the botanical gardens and Japanese Tea Garden and exploring the beauty this 1,000-acre park has to offer. Later, circle around the Stow Lake Boathouse, where you can see boaters paddling and birds nestling by the lake. The ride concludes past the museums back inside the Golden Gate Park. Particular points of interest that you will encounter include Kezar Stadium, Sharon Meadow, the Conservatory of Flowers, the California Academy of Flowers, the Shakespeare Gardens, the De Young Museum, and the Stow Lake Boathouse.

Other Sightseeing Options in Stow Lake

Want to discover all there is to do in Stow Lake? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Stow Lake

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 120 reviews

The Segway tour was fantastic! At first, the Segway seemed a little intimidating (during the tutorial), but it was very easy to navigate once the tour started, a very quick learning curve. Mariela, the tour guide, was friendly and very accommodating. Ultimately, the people are what make the difference between a good tour and a bad one, and this one was excellent. Highly recommend.

It was a great way to see and learn about the park! Our guide, Johannes (Yo-yo) was knowledgeable and friendly. The Segways were easy to ride and our whole group enjoyed the tour!!

Super tour through the Golden Gate Park, with which you see a lot and on which you also drive great paths! We had a great guide!

Really good fun and a way to get to know golden gate park quicker, would 100% recommend! It can get cold at times though

First time on a Segway, so much fun. Kelsey is a fun and knowledgeable guide.