San Francisco - Presidio

San Francisco - Presidio

Presidio of San Francisco

The Presidio was a military post for two centuries under the flags of Spain, Mexico and finally the United States. Today, the Presidio is a national park and a National Historic Landmark District and a huge city park.

More than five million people visit the Presidio each year, but it does not feel crowded, and you can always find here a place to escape the city, hike or relax.

The Presidio, a 1,500-acre park is a major San Francisco outdoor park.

It has forested areas, miles of trails, and scenic overlooks. It is also a place to relax and have a picnic or enjoy the food trucks at the Main Parade Lawn during weekends.


The main park section is located south of the 101 and on the north side you can find the grassy Crissy Field with Golden Gate Bridge views and Fort Point National Historic Site just below the Golden Gate Bridge.

The park west ocean side you can find the Golden Gate Overlook and the WW2 bunkers, Marshall's Beach below the ocean cliff, and the popular sandy Baker Beach.

The Presidio Visitor Center is in Building 210 Lincoln Blvd. at the bottom of the Main Post parade ground near the corner of Montgomery Street.

You can visit there to learn about the Presidio history and up to date information.


There are many things to do and see here and with the park 24 miles of trails, the Presidio offers a variety of hiking and biking experiences for everyone.

This is a relatively large park, and you need to plan your visit.


Visiting and hiking in the main park section:

From Main Parade Lawn walk south to Pershing Square, find your way to Lovers' Lane and Andy Goldsworthy's Wood Line.

In the area of the large park you can find few outdoor art works made by Andy Goldsworthy, some are really impressive.

·       Lovers' Lane and the nearby Wood Line: Thais is probably the most beautiful of the fore artist outdoor Presidio sculpture. The wood line is hidden inside a large eucalyptus grove (located near Lovers' Lane). The curvy Wood Line climbing up the hill, the twisting line sculpture is more than 1,200 feet in length.

·       The Spire: Standing at 100 feet tall at its tapering peak this statue work is created from old cypress trunks joined together. The Spire is located Spire on the Bay Area Ri​dge Trail just north of the Presidio Golf Course parking lot​.

·       Earth Wall

·       Tree Fall

From here walk up the wood path and climb to the top of Lyon Street Steps. This is a great place to rest and enjoy the view.

Walk down all the way to Palace of Fine Arts (on the way you can visit Yoda Fountain and the nearby garden).

From Palace of Fine Arts walk north to Marina Yacht Harbor, Crissy Field Beach, cross the 101 south over Outpost Playground and walk back to the main park section.


Visiting the north side of the park:

From the Palace of Fine Arts walk along the bay ocean coast to Crissy Field, enjoy the bay and Golden Gate Bridge view and visit Fort Point National Historic Site.

You can walk up to the Golden Gate Bridge or walk back to your car.


Visiting the northwest section of the park:

Park along Lincoln Blvd, preferably at Langdon Court Parking or other parking lots. Enjoy the “classical” Golden Gate view from Battery Godfrey and walk to the bridge Vista Points, cross the 101 and walk on the Golden Gate as far as you want.

This is a perfect destination for bike ride with trail connecting to the Golden Gate Bridge and east to the Fisherman's Wharf piers.


Another area to explore the ocean side is to walk down the cliff to Marshall's Beach.

Find the Battery to Bluffs Trail at the south side of Langdon Court Parking (Battery Godfrey), walk down the trail and at the first official junction take the trail that is leading down to the ocean level.

At the small Marshall's Beach, you can have an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Probably the best time to visit here is at sunset when the wave crashing on the rocks and the sun setting in the ocean or also after dark where the bridge orange lights are reflected by the water.



Fort Point:

Fort Point defended the San Francisco Bay starting at California's Gold Rush (1853).  In 1861 with the Civil War the Army mounted 55 guns at the fort to guard the Pacific coast's most important harbor. The last use of this fort by the US Army was during World War II.

Its beautifully arched casemates display the art of 3rd system brick masonry and interact gracefully with the Golden Gate Bridge.

When Golden Gate Bridge was built, they changed the initial bridge design adding a massive metal arch over Fort Point and preserved the venerable fortress.

Tours of interior fort building can be guided, or self-guided, open hours may vary so check the National Park Service website to learn when it is open to the public.


Additional attraction points located in Presidio Park:

·       El Polin Spring

·       San Francisco National Cemetery Overlook

·       Lyon Street Steps: Located in the southeast section of the park on a tall hill. From the top of the stirs you will have a nice view of the bay and Palace of Fine Arts below you.

·       Walt Disney Family Museum

·       Lucasfilm company buildings, with its Yoda Fountain.

Picture Gallery