The Ocean Speedway is a theme park that opened its gates to the public in 2019. Inspired by the 1926 world’s fair, the park spans six acres on the beach in San Francisco. It is located adjacent to the Presidio, and features rides, an art gallery, live music and food trucks serving organic snacks and microbrews. You’ll find a variety of amusements for children, as well as families.
The centerpiece of the Ocean Speedway is the orb. This spherical sculpture is perched atop the park’s central hill. If you approach the statue from the north, it curves its arms out in welcome. In the evening, the glow from the light fitting above its head bathes the statue in a warm orange hue.
The creation of designer Stephen Burks, the orb was inspired by the “evolving shapes of the atoms” that he observed while working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. This particle accelerator produces subatomic particles for researchers to study. “The design goal was to pay homage to this amazing phenomenon, while also using it as a focal point,” says Burks. You’ll find other sculptures dotted around the park, including a life-sized bronze of a crab and a seated figure made of aluminum. The sculptures were designed by Burks and Tony Oursler, with technical assistance provided by Tobias Baer.
The Park Opened To The Public In November 2019
The park opened its gates to the public on Saturday, 11 November 2019. It is easily accessed from the Bay Bridge via the Eastside and Cliff Lift Bridges. Alternatively, you can reach the park via the Franklin Street or Golden Gate Bridge.
While you may not have heard of the Ocean Speedway, the park is well worth an afternoon of your time. It’s a bit of a drive from the city centre though, as the location is actually in the suburb of Pacific Heights.
Tickets, Merchandise And More Available At The Entertainment Complex
The Entertainment Complex is located at the northernmost end of the park. Here you’ll find shops, eateries and a movie theater. The complex also houses the park’s Visitor Center. Buy tickets for the park at the Entertainment Complex, or pick up some postcards at one of the shops to take home a piece of Ocean Speedway.
The shops at the Entertainment Complex are open during the day, selling T-shirts, hoodies and other souvenir items featuring the Ocean Speedway logo and theme. You’ll also find restaurants open for lunch and dinner. These serve American classics such as chicken tenders and hot dogs alongside sustainable seafood and organic produce. One of the restaurants is even called Deep Sea Fish, and serves lobster, crab and sea bass.
If you’re looking to buy a gift for a seafood lover, or if you’re just a fan of the ocean and its inhabitants, then you can get a basket full of goodies at the Deep Sea Fish Restaurant. This includes a salmon pizza, clam chowder, a snow crab cake and a lobster tail. There’s also a selection of microbrews on ice for the beer lovers among your recipients.
Things To Check Before You Visit The Ocean Speedway
If you’re planning on visiting the Ocean Speedway, then it’s a good idea to check the weather so you don’t end up in a spot of bother. As San Francisco is prone to wildfires during the summer months, it would be best to visit the park during the autumn or winter.
Another thing that you might want to do before you visit the Ocean Speedway is to book tickets for one of the park’s attractions. The Sphere, the Big Top and the Fun House are the most popular attractions at the park. Booking tickets in advance will save you both time and money, as well as provide you with greater flexibility. What’s more, tickets for some of the attractions are available online. You can also purchase them at the park’s Visitor Center.
If you’re a visitor to San Francisco, then you have two places to visit: the Ocean Speedway and the Golden State Museum Of Art. The latter is located in the city centre, and is easy to reach using public transport. However, it is worth making a special trip to the former. The Ocean Speedway is easily accessible from the city’s northern and eastern borders, and has a variety of services and amenities available to its visitors.
The park is open every day of the year, with the exception of Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. The Visitor Center at the park is open from 10am to 5pm daily. In addition to selling tickets and merchandise, it is also a place that you can get more information on local events and attractions. A range of special exhibits and projects are on show here too, which you can explore with an admission ticket. In addition, the park closes at sunset, so you can enjoy the beach setting and perhaps catch a glimpse of some marine animals in their natural habitat.
San Francisco is situated in California, and it’s quite a drive from Los Angeles. The trip takes about three hours (not including traffic). The best way to reach the city is by car, as there is no public transport available. Alternatively, you can fly to San Francisco from Los Angeles. The closest airport is San Francisco International Airport, which is just over an hour away from the city. From here, you can take a taxi or shuttle van service to the Ocean Speedway.
It’s a short drive from the airport to the park. However, at a distance of about 6.7 miles, it is well worth making the trip. You’ll find parking available near the airport, and nearby streets are also validated. The closest walkable shopping area to the airport is The Piers, featuring popular retailers including Dillard’s and Tiffany & Co. There is also a Whole Foods Market here, as well as a number of bars and restaurants. Nearby streets also feature trendy eateries, as well as trendy bars such as Hotel del Mar and Hotel Blobber.
The best way to get around the park is by car. There are plenty of parking spots available, both inside and outside the park. The closest parking garage to the entrance is the Presidio Park Garage, which is only a few minutes’ walk away. You’ll also find paid street parking available on nearby streets. What’s more, there are several pay lots located along the route to the amusement park. Parking here is free. However, it is advisable to arrive early, as parking spaces are limited and there is often a queue forming by the time you arrive at the park.
Access For Those With Disabilities
The Ocean Speedway is a non-profit organization that relies on goodwill and sponsorships for funding. It is well equipped for those with disabilities, and there are a number of accessible seating areas and viewing platforms around the park. In addition, the park is laid out in a way that makes it easy for those with limited mobility to move around. There are also braille and large text labels throughout the park, making it easier for the blind to navigate. You can contact the park directly to find out more about their accessibility policies.
Distance From Major Airport
The closest major airport to the Ocean Speedway is San Francisco International Airport. However, as previously mentioned, there is also a San Francisco airport. Located about 8.5 miles from the park, this former general aviation airport now features scheduled commercial air service. There is a budget airline that operates from this airport, called FlyBe. Tickets here are quite affordable, and flights to destinations such as Amsterdam, Dubai, Helsinki and Istanbul are available.
What’s more, this airport has direct connections to major cities. For example, you can fly to Los Angeles, Sacramento or San Diego without having to stop off in San Francisco. Traveling to San Jose, meanwhile, is quite easy too, as this airport is also served by budget airlines. Getting to the airport is easy, as the closest subway station is the Diridon station. This station features an AirTrain to connect to the airport. The train runs every 15 minutes and takes about 15 minutes to reach the airport. If you’re driving, then there is also a George Brown Tollway nearby that takes you directly to the airport. You can get there in about an hour.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway close to home, then consider visiting the Ocean Speedway. This is definitely one of the city’s best kept secrets – it’s very easy to get to, and there is so much more here than meets the eye. Plus, did you know that you can buy an orb in the shape of a whale? It’s not often that you find such synergy between art, science and the natural world. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sure, and a unique glimpse of what is possible when nature and man work together for the greater good.