Golden Gate Park and the Haight
Perhaps the most spectacular “sight” in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is, well, Golden Gate Park (main entrance at Stanyan St. at Fell St., McLaren Lodge Visitor Center at JFK Dr., 415/831-2700, www.golden-gate-park.com). Acres of land roll from forest to desert to formal garden to museum to buffalo pasture. Enjoy a free concert in the summertime, or a walk under the trademark fog in the summertime.
Haight-Ashbury (locally known as “the Haight”) is best known for the wave of counterculture energy that broke here in the 1960s. The area became a magnet for drifters, dropouts, and visionaries who preached (and practiced) a heady blend of peace, love, and psychedelic drugs. If the door to the promised new consciousness never swung fully open, it nevertheless remains ajar here today, where head shops and tie-dye emporiums hold their own amid an influx of upscale boutiques.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition