Stow Lake: Paddle Boating and Other Activities

September 15, 2017
Category: Tourist Attractions

Stow Lake is a charming manmade wonder located in Golden Gate Park. The small lake with the island at the middle is a gem and a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Boating or pedal boating, walking and bicycling are the most popular activities at Stow Lake. Spotting wildlife, marveling at the waterfall and unwinding at the Chinese pavilions are favorite pastimes.

About Stow Lake

Stow Lake has idyllic wooden pathways. There are turtles and ducks, a café where you can get some delicious munchies, pedal boats on rent and enough parking spaces. The snack bar is open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can rent a boat every day at the boathouse from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rowboats can be rented for $22 an hour, pedal boats for two to four people can be rented for $27.50 an hour, large pedal boats for four to six people can be rented for $37.50 an hour and electric boats cost $37.50 an hour. You cannot rent boats after 5 p.m. Life jackets are mandatory and you can get them at the boathouse. There are some new rowboats made of fiberglass that can accommodate a maximum of three people at a time. Dogs were allowed earlier but the rules have changed.

There is an old stone bridge at Stow Lake. You may want to sail under it and by the waterfall. The Chinese pavilion is a lovely little place that you can go around. There are seagulls and ducks. You can feed them if you want. The entire trip, boating around the island and back to where you started usually takes an hour. You can finish it sooner if you row or pedal faster. Even if you take a little longer than an hour, you would not be charged for an additional hour. Most tourists and locals also indulge in a quick bike ride. You can rent surreys and bikes at Stow Lake Boathouse. Bike rentals are $8 an hour or you can pay $32 for the whole day. Surreys can be rented for $35 to $45 an hour.

Stay at Marina Inn

Stow Lake is less than six miles from Marina Inn. The hotel near Golden Gate Park is next to the Marina District with Lombard Street to its east. You would be conveniently close to Ghirardelli Square, Fort Mason and the Presidio. Marina Inn San Francisco is a comfortable hotel. You would find the best rate if you book your accommodation directly at our hotel’s website.