• rosanna

Travel Guides: Visit the Golden Gate Park Windmills

One of my favourite roads in San Francisco to drive down is the Great Highway that runs right alongside Ocean Beach. It has the most incredible view of this enormous stretch of sand and you go past these undulating sand dunes, and when the sun sets everything turns pink and orange like a sherbet sundae. The first time we drove down there I noticed that on the other side of the road were these huge windmills, on the edges of Golden Gate Park. Their sails poke out above the tree line and I was so intrigued to go and get closer and this week we finally made it down there! It was late afternoon so the sun was on her way down, meaning a glorious walk along the beach made sense too.


In amongst our wanderings, we learned all about the windmills, where they came from, what they do and why they are there! Visiting the Golden Gate Park Windmills is just one of many great outdoor activities in San Francisco and it's well worth getting a closer look.


The Golden Gate Park Windmills


They are known as the South or Murphy windmill and the North, or Dutch windmill.

Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

The Dutch windmill was built first in 1902 and stands at 75 feet tall. It was constructed to pump water around the park seeing as it was on a sand dune and in need of irrigation! It is nestled in the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden so it's especially good to visit in February/March when they are in bloom.

Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

The sail length is 102 feet, they are enormous!

Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

The Murphy windmill was constructed after the huge success of the Dutch windmill and completed in 1908.

Murhpy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Murhpy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

One main difference between them is that the Murphy windmill has sails that turn clockwise, whereas windmills the Dutch windmill's turn anti-clockwise like all windmills from the Netherlands. Which is a fun fact about windmills that I did not know!

Murhpy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Murhpy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Both windmills have undergone multiple renovations and repair and are now fully motorised. They are also designated San Francisco Landmarks

Murhpy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Murhpy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

I just love the way they peek out above the tree line!


To give you an idea of how close they are to the ocean, here is a pic of me on the other side of the road!

It was a beautiful sunset, one of my last ones here in California for a little while as my ESTA is up next week so I am off to Belize to work remotely from there. It will certainly be an adventure, stay tuned to hear all about it and check out my instagram for more BTS stuff!