Boat in Golden Gate Park

San Francisco Stow Lake

Added by Jennifer Heifferon

  • Chill in a rowboat. On a lake. In SF.
  • Perfect for families, couples, and anybody else.
  • A really fun, outdoorsy date idea.
  • Duration: 1-2 hours

Not too many people know that you can rent a rowboat at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park, but you can. And you should! This is one of my favorite ways to spend a few hours on a beautiful day in San Francisco.

Grab your loved one, your favorite bottle of wine, some snacks, and hop in a rowboat. You’ll float under a couple of bridges, past the waterfall on Strawberry Hill, and along shore where you’ll see turtles and other wildlife. It’s a fun little adventure that’s exciting, romantic, and scenic.

Boats are available for rent at Stow Lake, from the Stow Lake Boathouse . You have the option of renting pedal boats and electric boats, but I prefer the classic rowboat. Besides, it’s fun and challenging to figure out how to row backwards without hitting anything.

When you’re done on the water, unfurl a blanket for a picnic in the park, or head over to the California Academy of Sciences, which is a quick 10-minute walk away.

Pack List

  • Snacks
  • Picnic supplies
  • Sunscreen
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Skill Level:



Year Round



Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

about 1 year ago

Looking for a fun/alternative date idea? You can't really go wrong renting a row boat on Stow Lake. You'll have a blast goofing around and awkwardly trying to figure out how to row a boat in a straight line. Pack some snacks and bring a few of your favorite beverages and it will definitely be a day to remember.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

A great romantic place to take the girlfriend. The lake is a pretty good size so you can easily spend a few hours paddling or rowing around the lake. There's a bunch of fish, turtles and birds that also call stow lake home. I recommend visiting the center island as there are some cool waterfalls and views.

over 1 year ago

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