"Best Free Thing #14: the Presidio" The Presidio of San Francisco Tip by goodfish

  Senior non-commissioned officer housing, 1909
by goodfish
  • Senior non-commissioned officer housing, 1909 - San Francisco
      Senior non-commissioned officer housing, 1909
    by goodfish
  • SF National Cemetery - San Francisco
      SF National Cemetery
    by goodfish
  • Pershing Square, Presidio - San Francisco
      Pershing Square, Presidio
    by goodfish
  • Officer's Club with 18th-century wall exposed - San Francisco
      Officer's Club with 18th-century wall exposed
    by goodfish

I ended up here on a rainy, windy, cold day and it eventually got the best of me. Pick a dry and sunny one, OK?

This land was home to the native Ohlone for 5,000 years until a band of Spanish colonists and soldiers arrived in 1776 and established a fort (presidio) that included an adobe building whose walls still support parts of the Visitor Center/Officer's Club today. The outpost was successively occupied by Mexican (1821) and US (1846) military forces and subsequently expanded to nearly 1500 acres of parade grounds, barracks, hospitals, officers quarters, airfield, coastal bunkers, administration buildings, stables, cemetery and a few smaller forts. Its last significant military function was as the Western Defense Command Headquarters during WWII, and medical center for wounded Vietnam troops and other military personnel until base closure in the 1990's. In 1994, the property was transferred to the NPS and now comprises part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The Presido grounds include 470 historic structures, Crissy airfield, hiking trails, picnic areas, visitor centers and restaurants/ cafes. The park is also on track to become financially self-suffient by 2012 so some of the buildings have been rented out to businesses or as private homes, and there's a public golf course, bowling alley and new Walt Disney Family Museum (fees for these), among other enterprises.

Way too much to do/see to cover here but exploring at least a piece of this very old and very important piece of San Francisco history is a must!

See the park website for directions, downloadable guides, hours and other good stuff to know.

Address: Northwest-ish side of SF - near Golden Gate Bridge
Directions: MUNI bus 28, 29, 43 and 82X lines.
Phone: (415) 561-4323
Website: http://www.nps.gov/prsf/index.htm

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 2, 2010
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