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3.9
13 votes

The Presidio of San Francisco

1 Lincoln Boulevard, San Francisco, California 94123 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Closed Now
Opens Sat 10a
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Wifi
Add to Trip

“diverse natural and cultural history”

Seriously, we love San Francisco. It's a perfect storm of culture, history, gorgeous views, amazing food... we could go on and on. Anywhere you visit in the city is bound to be interesting and well worth your time, but if you get the chance, stop by The Presidio, one of the City by the Bay's coolest parks. Like most of San Francisco, it has great weather, stunning coastal views, and a rich history, but the Presidio is unique. It's been used for military operations pretty much since the first humans settled along the Bay, and tucked away among its forests and hills are historic sites, museums, breathtaking overlooks, and tons more. 

The Presidio owes a lot of its untouched beauty to the fact that the Army owned the land-- they didn't bother developing most of the land they owned, and when the military left in the 1990's, the National Parks Service and the Presidio Trust moved in the continue preserving the space as a public park. A lot of the military buildings have been saved and turned into museums, like the Officer's Club. There's also a museum dedicated to the life of Walt Disney, and a fountain featuring Yoda (because George Lucas's LucasFilms is headquartered in The Presidio). There are airfields, chapels, a National Cemetery (and a pet cemetery with dogs, hamsters, cats, and other furry friends of the Army families), and even a brewery, Fort Point Beer Company, operating out of an old Army motor pool building (they don't have a tap room, but contact them for info on tours). The natural features of the park are just as cool-- beaches, dunes, forests, the famous Lovers' Lane... there are even lakes and natural springs!

The best way to experience all the Presidio has to offer is a tour. This guided urban hike will guarantee that you see every site worth visiting, and give you all the fascinating backstory needed to have a total appreciation for the park. As you stroll along Lovers' Lane, you'll learn how it earned the name because soldiers would visit their sweethearts there all the way back in the mid-19th century. At the park's spectacular Inspiration Point, you'll get views of some of San Francisco's most famous landmarks, likeAlcatraz IslandAngel Island State Park, and the Palace of Fine Arts. You'll get to see Spire and the Woodline, which are beautiful, nature-inspired art installations from respected sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.

Take some time to explore the San Francisco National Cemetery, the final resting place of of more than 30,000 citizens. It's one of only two cemeteries remaining in the San Francisco city limits! You'll also get to wander through the park's largest redwood grove, and take a relaxing breather at the Presidio Chapel. Its beautiful stained glass windows and Spanish Mission Revival style make it well worth a stop. The whole hike covers about five miles in roughly three hours, so once you're done, you'll have earned a treat-- head to the nearby Joe's Ice Cream to cool off with an old-fashioned sundae. -Roadtrippers


For 218 years, the Presidio served as an army post for three nations. World and local events, from military campaigns to World Fairs and earthquakes, left their mark. Come enjoy the history and the natural beauty of the Presidio. Explore centuries of architecture. Reflect in a national cemetery. Walk along an historic airfield, through forests or to beaches, and admire spectacular vistas.

The Presidio has a rich history spanning back to the time of the native Ohlone people. The Spanish arrived in 1776 to establish the northernmost outpost of their empire in western North America. The Presidio fell under Mexican rule for 24 years before the U.S. Army took control in 1846. Over 148 years, the U.S. Army transformed the Presidio grounds from mostly windswept dunes and scrub to a verdant, preeminent military post. Since 1994, the Presidio has been a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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Reviewed by
Erica Griffith

  • 92 Reviews
  • 93 Helpful
June 27, 2014

Check out this place at night. It's super pretty.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
wildchild41

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 18, 2016
Rated 5.0

Loved it

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Reviewed by
MilKent

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 08, 2016
Rated 5.0

This place is pretty cool

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Reviewed by
MilKent

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 08, 2016
Rated 5.0

Y

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The Presidio of San Francisco

1 Lincoln Boulevard
San Francisco, California
94123 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun, Thu - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Wifi
  • Street Parking
  • Private Parking
  • Free Parking

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