the romance of stow lake.
by victoria comment

2/12/15

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

as i prepare myself for the possibility of leaving san francisco, i can’t help but feel a bittersweet sense of nostalgia. san francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and one with so many hidden gems. i thought i’d start sharing a few of my favorite spots before i depart — i’ll always be back, but i’ll miss the spontaneity of spying daily eye candy on almost every corner. one of san francisco’s somewhat secret spots is the stow lake boat house, in gorgeous golden gate park.

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

i can’t think of a more romantic place to share on the cusp of valentine’s day — can you picture a romantic afternoon paddle around stow lake on valentine’s day with your sweetie? not that i’m recommending it (cuz, ahem, it’s probably illegal!), but i think bringing along a small split of champagne and some cupcakes or picnic lunch would seal the deal. stow lake has been providing boat rentals since 1893 and is one of the most beautiful places in the city. you can cruise around the serene, calm lake surrounded by lush, overgrown gardens, the waterfall on strawberry hill and the chinese pagoda in a paddle boat or row boat for hours and at quite a reasonable price (only $20/hour).

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

stow lake’s boathouse cafe is quite good too! the food’s delicious and its got a charming little indoor seating space — or eat outside in the sunshine watching your fellow boaters pass by. whenever i visit stow lake, or any part of golden gate park i can’t help but be astounded that the whole park was once just windswept sand dunes. for more than eleven decades, stow lake has provided san Franciscans and its many visitors with a place to escape from busy, crowded neighborhoods and spend time enjoying the great outdoors within the confines of the big city. amazing and romantic.

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

the romance of stow lake / sfgirlbybay

• all photos by sfgirlbybay.

12 responses to “the romance of stow lake.”

  1. I love this. My husband and I honeymooned in San Francisco 10 years ago and, through our newlywed love goggles, all of Golden Gate Park was spectacularly romantic. :)

  2. Eek! What will you call yourself when the LA move comes? Will you still blog (I assume? i hope?) I will miss my fix of lovely SF but I’m excited for your new adventure, whenever it finds you.

  3. Hello Victoria, I used to work at the DeYoung and would always park my car at Stowe Lake. Often, when I got out of work I would take a long walk around the lake. The light is so beautiful, and I love the essence the waterfall emits.. One season I had the extreme pleasure of watching goslings being born and growing up on the lake!
    May I also comment on how much I appreciate your ability to dream you new home into existence! The way I understand it 99.999% of manifestation takes place in our ability to believe and imagine how we would feel. living with what we desire, be it a relationship, a home, etc. The actual action component is a very small part of the equation.
    Happy dreams to you,

    Jacey

  4. Love this post. Its so nice to see the cafe and boat house looking so good. Fond memories of visiting and boating at Stow Lake with my little boy who is now 23. Some days were sunny, but most were foggy.

  5. I brought my youngest son to SF when he was 7. When the museums and tourist spots got old – although he never tired of the old time arcade by the wharf – we spent an afternoon on Stowe Lake driving around in a paddle boat. It was then that he fell in love with the city and Golden Gate park. How I wish we had a similar spot here in LA.

    Beautiful photos Victoria – as always!

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