The CCC’s San Francisco Favorites #1: Stow Lake

Although my cocktail camping lifestyle allows me to travel to fun and interesting places both in California and beyond, some of my most favorite adventures are in my adopted home town of San Francisco. I do love living in San Francisco! It’s an easy and gentle place with friendly people, instant access to natural beauty, and an urbane sensibility which means that a delicious cocktail or yummy snack is never far away. For all these reasons, San Francisco is a top tourist destination. As the CCC, I want to do my part to encourage visitors to come appreciate this wonderful place by sharing my favorite spots with you!

For many years, I have taken solace in the beauty of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.  Developed in 1893, this man-made lake was created as an escape for for city-dwellers.  During Stow Lake’s early days, the 3.5 mile path also served as a promenade for horse-driven carriages.  It is a special place with verdant landscaping, romantic stone bridges, a 114-foot water fall, and a Chinese Pagoda. There are even rumors that the lake is haunted by the White Lady, a young mother who drown in the lake while searching for her missing baby.  Perhaps most enjoyable is that the path around the lake is completely flat – a rarity in hilly SF.

stone bridge
A beautiful stone bridge built in 1894. It connects the main path to the lake’s inner island, Strawberry Hill.  Strawberry Hill is Golden Gate Park’s highest point at 400 feet.
pagoda 4 from a distance
The Golden Gate Pavilion given to San Francisco by its sister city, Taipei, in 1976. It is a perfect place to contemplate one’s deep and not-so-deep thoughts.
pagoda 3
A closer view of the pagoda.
pagoda 2 close up
Every aspect of the pagoda is finely detailed.
pagoda bridge 1
Crossing the bridge to the pagoda takes one to a far away place. No tickets or passport required.
DSC_0089
The man-made waterfall. Located on Strawberry Hill, it’s a short walk from the Pagoda.
row boat and paddle boat
Another favorite Stow Lake activity is renting paddle or row boats and tooling around the lake. A completely different vantage point for enjoying the lake or taking a selfie! (Note the young lady in the row boat.)
boat house cafe
Need a break from your paddling, rowing, or strolling? Never fear, the Stow Lake Boathouse Cafe is always near. On a chilly day, their hot chocolate hits the spot! (The Boathouse is also where you rent paddle and row boats.)
it's it
My last visit was on an unusually hot, sunny day. Definitely not hot chocolate weather. An It’s It, the other San Francisco treat, called my name.  Truly one of my favorite ice cream goodies. Now, if they could only make that in a cocktail (wink)!
selfie
It’s selfie time! The CCC happy, relaxed, and lucky to live in SF – the home of Stow Lake and the It’s It.
peaceful lake view
A parting view of Stow Lake, until my next visit.

If you are planning a visit to SF, there are many great resources to consult, and I am happy to be another!  Feel free to contact me for ideas about your visit to San Francisco.

2 thoughts on “The CCC’s San Francisco Favorites #1: Stow Lake

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