Dutch Windmill up close

Golden Gate Park

Dutch and Murphy Windmills

If you’re lucky enough to miss the fog and enjoy a sunny day at Ocean Beach, you may notice some odd structures at the edge of Golden Gate Park. No, Toto, you’re not in Holland. What you’re seeing are the Dutch and Murphy Windmills, which helped create Golden Gate Park.

Golden Gate Park was formerly sand dunes; it was the “outside” part of San Francisco that not many people bothered to visit. After all, why would you go see endless sand dunes?

But after observing the success of Central Park in New York City, officials decided to protect the “outside lands” and create their own green area, naming it Golden Gate Park.

In the process, San Francisco shipped in dirt to slowly change the soil composition from sandy to earth capable of supporting trees. But they needed help.

To aid the process along, the Dutch and Murphy Windmills were created in 1903 and 1908, respectively.

And after 30,000 gallons of water per hour and 100 years, we have the Golden Gate Park we know today, able to support giant gum trees and a diverse plant life, which means the Dutch and Murphy Windmills successfully aided in changing the sandy soil composition of Golden Gate Park.

Tulip Garden

Do you want to tour other cool spots? —if so, CLICK HERE.

The windmills went into a state of neglect in the 1950s but have since been restored. You can see them at the Ocean Beach entrance to Golden Gate Park, and they are best viewed on a sunny day.

Like San Francisco, they are unique, visually appealing and great to photograph.

And don’t forget to tiptoe through the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden which is located next to the Dutch Windmill.

Queen Garden

How Do I Find the Dutch Windmills?

  • The Dutch Windmills are located on the beach side of Golden Gate Park, just a short distance from the Bison Paddock.
  • You can use public transportation routes 5, 7, 16ax, 18, 21, 28, 28L, 29, 31, 33, 37, 38, 43, 44, 71 and the N to reach Golden Gate Park. For the Dutch Windmill specifically, you want to ride the 5R toward Ocean Beach.
  • To reach the Dutch Windmills from Union Square you can ride bus 5R (the R stands for Rapid —less stops) and walk. The ride and walk should be around 1 hour (go to the last stop).

Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

The Dutch Windmills are best photographed in blue skies, which for Ocean Beach in summer, is rare. If you do find a good day, though, soak it up. Riding a bike through Golden Gate Park is the most scenic way to reach the attraction.

Location of the Dutch Windmills