Flowing and Glowing

See the Winter Lights and the Waterfalls at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park charms with splashy waterfalls, but in January it adds splashes of color too, thanks to its Winter Lights in Golden Gate Park displays, including the popular Entwined installation in Peacock Meadows. Brighten your winter with an afternoon visit to the park to check out its waterfalls, then see some of the park’s classic buildings and gardens light up the night in technicolor beauty.

Hunting falls in Golden Gate Park

There’s a nice loop hike around Stow Lake and up to Strawberry Hill, passing by a waterfall highlight, Huntington Falls. Then make your way to Rainbow Falls along John F. Kennedy Drive (near Crossover Drive). This oasis is created from water at nearby Lloyd Lake, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot egrets and herons enjoying the scene. The falls got their name from early days when its dedication celebration included colorful lights beaming on the falls. Those are gone, but there’s plenty of colorful light still to be found in the park, especially now.

Rainbow Falls in Golden Gate Park

Winter Lights in Golden Gate Park goes from sunset to 10 p.m. each night. And it gets glowing reviews! Follow the map to visit meadows and gardens and magical sites illuminated by gorgeous lights, including the Conservatory of Flowers and the spectacular SkyStar Wheel.

Skystar Wheel Golden Gate Park San Francisco

There’s also artist Charles Gadeken’s interactive exhibit—Entwined—found in Peacock Meadow. Back by popular demand and even better for interactivity in viewers’ ability to sequence light changes on the installations, the sculptures here resemble flowers and transpire the setting to a mystical forest and paths of possibility. Ideal for 2022.

Entwined lights photo by Jason Chinn

Photo of "Entwined" is by Jason Chinn.

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