Sometimes the most exciting adventures are found being a tourist in your own city. Take the 5 Fulton bus west towards Golden Gate Park, get off near Crossover Drive, and head towards Stow Lake. Since 1893, the lake has given San Franciscans a place to escape the city and enjoy natural vistas and hiking trails. Stow Lake is an opportune spot for a picnic or a paddleboat ride. Escape the sun under the bright red Chinese pagoda – a gift given to the park from San Francisco’s ‘sister city’ of Taipei. Some say the lake is haunted by the White Lady, leaving only the courageous to journey there after nightfall. She is said to appear after dusk when the statue in her honor comes to life.
For us the best places are found when you venture off the paved pathways to see the Stow Lake from above. We love to hike to the top of Strawberry Hill overlooking the rolling neighborhoods of the city. As the sun sets over Ocean Beach watch the paddle boaters race to get their skiffs to the boat house before it closes. During festival season music revelers filter through the park to pack into Polo Fields. If you are looking to relax away from the crowds pack a blanket and some wine to listen to the echoes of the music above Stow Lake.