The Not-So-Secret Yerba Buena Gardens

A lovely pearl in Downtown San Francisco’s concrete oyster shell, Yerba Buena Gardens lives up to its multi-faceted mission to help locals “revel in culture, find green relief, and curate inspiration.” The artistically designed two-block outdoor expanse shines in the city’s SoMA district and is just steps around the way from Market Street’s frenetic hustle. Here, workers in the area find relief from daily business alongside rec enthusiasts meandering through nearby museums.

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Yerba Buena Gardens is a short walk from Powell or Montgomery Street BART stations, and offers some respite from the bustle of Market Street. 

To explore this stage-dotted rolling garden terrain that satiates both the culture-seeker and nature-hungry alike, take BART to either Powell or Montgomery stations and find a pocket of peace sandwiched between Mission and Howard Streets at 4th Street.

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial waterfall features glass panels inscribed with Dr. King's words and photographs of Dr. King and local civil rights activists.

What will you find? The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial waterfall pours down auditory and visual bliss as a signature emblem of the space. The towering rouge architecture of St. Patrick Church looms in beautiful view. SF MoMA is nestled across the way as a staple landmark on the perimeter. The Children’s Creativity Museum lures families to the second block of the gardens.

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The Children's Creativity Museum is an art and technology museum designed to ignite the imagination of young people. 
 
While the Butterfly Garden and Reflection Pond quietly call visitors to the landscaped Esplanade at all times, the Yerba Buena Gardens Stone Stage hosts a slew of free entertainment spanning live jazz, classical music, ballet and contemporary dance performances — to name a few. Check the calendar to keep tabs on this year’s Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, which kicks off May 1.
 

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Yerba Buena Gardens offers free outdoor activities throughout the spring and summer months, including live music, children's entertainment and dance performances. 

Note: If you choose not to unfold a leisurely picnic on the lawns, head to the upper terrace where Samovar Tea Lounge serves up indoor and outdoor seating brandishing a menu of refined sips and eats (try the squash dumplings or OCHAZUKE Japanese tea soup paired with a warm cup of masala chai!).

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A view of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which borders Yerba Buena Gardens. 

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