The Presidio (Spanish for fort), which lies to the south of the Golden Gate Bridge, emerged in the mid-90s from its long military history which dates back to the Spanish settlement in 1776. Part of the GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreation Area), it is run by the Presidio Trust and the NPS. You can visit the parade ground and the barracks which have been repurposed as the Presidio Trust Museum, the Disney Family Museum, and the Commissary Café You can also wander a cemetery where Buffalo soldiers, a female Civil War spy, and other military personnel are buried – all described in Walking Tour #8 of my book Chronicles of Old San Francisco.
If you park on MacDowell Blvd., just south of Crissy Field (part of Tour #8), you can walk up to the Presidio. On the way, under the Doyle St. ramp that leads to GG Bridge, there is a pet cemetery. Here the pets of military families continue to rest, despite all the building activity to construct a seismically safe new on ramp.
Into the Woods
View from Inspiration Point
Seeded with trees by the Army in the 1890s, the Presidio is also a green swath of enchanting paths that criss cross its forests. There is information about the many trails such as Lover’s Lane and the Bay Ridge Trail to discover amidst the Monterey Pines and cypress. There are also bike trails and overlooks such as Inspiration Point with cinemascope vistas of the city and bay.
This area made the walking tour too long so I couldn’t put in the book. You can reach it by car or use the free PresidiGo shuttle buses which have bike racks.