With two blocks of public green space in downtown San Francisco, Yerba Buena Gardens offers a refuge in the middle of one of the city’s busiest areas. Located next to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the gardens include public art, waterfalls, and landscaped lawns for relaxing and people-watching.
There’s no need to make a special trip to Yerba Buena Gardens. It’s within a few blocks of some of the city’s top museums, shopping centers, and entertainment venues, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the California Historical Society, the Children’s Creativity Museum, Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center, Westfield Shopping Centre, and the Metreon complex with restaurants and movie theaters.
In addition to pairing a visit to Yerba Buena Gardens with a museum visit or other amusements, tourists can enjoy the gardens as part of a guided walking tour, or an independent excursion via Segway or a classic VW Bug.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There are several places to eat and drink around the gardens, mainly along Yerba Buena Lane, on the gardens’ Upper Terrace, and at the Metreon.
- Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the gardens.
- There is a management office on the second level, near the Howard Street pedestrian bridge, in case you have any special needs or questions.
How to Get There
The Yerba Buena Gardens are bordered by Mission, Howard, 3rd, and 4th streets in the city’s South of Market (SOMA) district. It’s a short walk to the gardens from the BART and MUNI train stations on Powell and Montgomery streets. By city bus, take the 14, 15, 30, or 45 route. Metered street parking is available around the gardens, but check posted signs for limits.
When to Get There
The gardens are open daily from 6am until 10pm. Special events, such as an Easter egg hunt and Halloween Hoopla, and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, showcase musical and cultural programs throughout the year.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
This cultural center, spread across two buildings—the YBCA Theater and the Gallery & Forum Building—features music and dance performances, contemporary art exhibits, art installations, and film screenings. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is open Tuesday through Sunday.