Stow Lake San Francisco

Image by Brooke Ekdahl

Stow Lake – Paddle the afternoon away

Do you want to go somewhere different in the city? There is a place that I never hear anybody going to, yet it is one of the neatest little nooks in town.  In Golden Gate Park, there is a wee lake called Stow Lake. When you go, you’ll find people sitting in their cars on their lunch breaks, or elderly couples walking hand in hand, or couples strolling their kids around. I think what makes this little haven special is not only the beauty of the lake and the island in the middle of it, but how time just tends to slip by when you’re there.

I love renting a paddleboat with a friend or date and just enjoying people watching and checking out the birds. You can cruise by and find adorable turtles sunbathing on rocks. Be sure to name them all, like I do. Ha! Bonus points if you can do voices along with it. If you’re looking for something different to do in the city, this is it. It’s relaxing and easy.

Oh, and are you into ghost stories? I’ve heard that there is a famous story (from the early 1900s) of a couple who fell asleep next to the lake on a warm afternoon, only to wake up and find their baby missing! Some say they have encountered a frantic woman who screams “Where is my baby?!”  I hope that doesn’t scare you away from visiting Stow Lake. It’s full of charm and summer vibes.

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Details about this spot



50 Stow Lake Dr. , San Francisco

Telephone number


Opening Times

Mon - Fri 10:00 - 17:00


Boat rental: US$ 30


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)