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Guide to the Presidio

This rugged National Park in the heart of the SF is a hiker's paradise.


Guide to the Presidio
Will Elder
What it is:
Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio was a military post for more than 200 years. Today this national park is comprised of 1,400 acres of woods, beaches, grasslands, and tidal marshes. Sometimes overlooked by travelers because of its out-of-the-way location, the Presidio is one of San Francisco’s most beautiful natural treasures and is often referred to as the largest urban park in the world. The area is home 350 historic buildings and 150 species of birds, a beautiful golf course, and an impressive national cemetery. This is a great place to hike, wander, take in some history, and enjoy gorgeous views of the bay. The park's trail network offers many different experiences - from the sandy shoreline to rugged coastal bluffs to enchanting forests and creeks.

The Presidio is situated in San Francisco’s Northwest corner.

What do to:
  • Walk or bike the 3 ½ mile paved Golden Gate Promenade, San Francisco’s most scenic trail.

  • Sunbathe, stroll or bring a picnic to the sandy Baker Beach and enjoy stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge

  • Stroll through Crissy Field, a shoreline recreation area with terrific vistas and the lovely Warming Hut Café and Bookstore.

  • Visit the Historic Fort Point, built in 1853 to house some 500 soldiers. Its beautifully arched structure shows off the art of brick masonry from the Civil War period.

  • Experience one of the many ongoing exhibits that blend art and nature. British installation artist Andy Goldsworthy has designed two pieces for the Presidio in recent years.

Getting There: There is a free Shuttle Bus to the Presidio from downtown.

Photo Gallery: The Presidio in Pictures
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