This huge urban park includes some 412 hectares (1,017 acres) of landscaped grounds, as well as some of the city's leading museums and a botanical garden. While Frederick Law Olmsted, responsible for New York's Central Park, believed that the arid landscape here would never support a park of this scale or size, his ideas influenced William Hammond Hall, who was selected to design the park. Hall embraced the mix of carefully crafted "natural" areas along with the more-formal gardens that characterize Olmsted's creations. Today, Golden Gate is one of the United States' most popular urban parks, though even with 13 million visitors arriving each year, there's plenty of green space, and pastoral peace and serenity, to go around.
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