Golden Gate's Blue Heron

Row or pedal-boat around Lake Heron in Golden Gate Park

If you’re prone to poetic moments in nature, you’re going to love paddling the waters of Golden Gate Park’s Blue Heron Lake. This popular spot is home to birds of many feathers, turtles lounging on rocks, visitors from afar, and locals who love this urban oasis in San Francisco.

Rent a rowboat or a peddle boat at Blue Heron Boat House and get out on the water for scenery worthy of a soliloquy. (BONUS: Blue Heron Boat House has a “Boats and Breakfast” on the second and fourth Sunday of each month; have breakfast here and get $5 off your rental.)

Row or pedal a big loop around the 400-foot-tall center island, Strawberry Hill. Pass under Rustic Bridge (made out of sharp, bulky stone) and Roman Bridge (one of the oldest surviving concrete bridges). You’ll cruise past camouflaged turtles sunning themselves on giant rocks.

You’ll also get some classic scenery of the shoreline pathways: folks feeding the birds, and visitors with selfie sticks. Just row with it!

Blue Heron Lake is in Golden Gate Park off John F. Kennedy Dr., just west of the de Young Museum. The area around the lake is dog-friendly!

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