• Dawn Sabato

What's New at the Presidio of San Francisco - National Park Experiences at the Golden Gate


San Francisco, CA (December, 2020) – Opportunities for enjoying the Presidio, San Francisco's national park site, continue to evolve this winter as the park adheres to shelter in place guidelines from the city and county concerning COVID-19. Parks are vital to our health and well-being, and the Presidio's open spaces have remained available to provide essential access to outdoor space, fresh air, recreation, nature, and views. The safety of visitors and staff in the park is paramount and Presidio Like a Pro guidelines provide a road-map for visitors to do their own part in this important process towards re-opening the park to leisure travel. (Note: many of the park's indoor activities like dining, museums, and gyms are not currently open.)


Presidio Lodging is Open for Essential Travel

The Presidio has two historic boutique hotels that remain open for essential travelers. The 42-room Lodge at the Presidio is the closest hotel in San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge, featuring unparalleled views of the bridge, San Francisco Bay, and the city skyline. Its central location on the seven-acre Main Post public greens is the perfect jumping off point for active visitors looking to explore the Presidio's recreational areas. There are a variety of room types, from king and queen-bedded rooms, ideal for couples and solo travelers, to the 830 square foot Family Suite.


An intimate 26-room retreat, the Inn at the Presidio is perfect for those seeking a quiet retreat. Nestled in a secluded area tucked away off the Main Post, there's a lovely wooded walking trail accessible just out the back door of the inn. The Inn's nearby Funston House annex offers an intimate guest experience in a renovated historic officer's home just 30 yards from the main building. This beautiful Victorian-style house is comprised of four guestrooms, a living room, and dining room and can be rented in its entirety or as individual rooms.


Trails, Beaches, and Open Spaces

Throughout the pandemic, the Presidio has been a refuge for its Bay Area community, appreciated for offering open space, beautiful views, and nature for all visitors to enjoy. The park has 24 miles of hiking trails and 25 miles of biking trails to offer, as well as three miles of scenic coastline, eight overlooks, multiple picnic areas, large lawn areas like the seven-acre Main Parade Ground, and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the City skyline, and the Bay. Crissy Field – with its Golden Gate Promenade Trail – is a popular area , but there are plenty of other hidden gems to explore in the park, off the beaten track. Lobos Creek Valley Trail for example, is a flat boardwalk winding through renewed dune habitat with fragrant wildflowers, reminiscent of early San Francisco. Several of California's larger trail systems pass through the Presidio. The Bay Area Ridge Trail is a continuous 550-mile multi-use loop that circles the entire San Francisco Bay with a 2.5-mile stretch running through the Presidio. The Park Trail runs north/south right down the middle of the Presidio to Crissy Field with accesses mid-way to a short trail leading to the tranquil National Cemetery Overlook.


Nature and Interpretive Sites

Educational adventure is always possible at the Presidio with self-guided tours that help guests explore and learn about natural science in the park. During the winter months, bird watchers seek the 323 species of birds, including raptors, that pass through the park on the winter Pacific flyway. In addition, the Presidio has 60 bee species and 30 butterfly species. It's also home to 40 acres of wetlands, three watersheds, and 14 native plant communities at sites like the Tennessee Hollow Watershed, Mountain Lake, and Crissy Marsh, where wildlife and native plants thrive. Interpretive signage tells the story of the park's ecological restoration and several of world-renown sculptor Andy Goldsworthy's pieces are accessible along the self-guided Goldsworthy Art HikeSpire and Woodline are beautiful examples of the ephemeral nature of his site-specific style of work.


NEW! This December, a new trail extension traversing seven new acres of just-restored wetland called Quartermaster Reach is now open to the public. This new area of the park, adjacent to Crissy Marsh, allows park visitors to enjoy a complete tour of one of the Presidio's longest watershed, the Tennessee Hollow Watershed, from the headwaters at Inspiration Point to the bay. Visitors can download a map and take this self-guided hike.


The Presidio Golf Course

The Presidio Golf Course is open for play! With new sanitation and social distancing protocols in place, golfers can enjoy an historic 145-acre, 18-hole course located in the scenic, urban national park. The Presidio Café at the course clubhouse is open for take-out daily, serving dishes like local artisan cured meats and cheese, inventive salads, and fresh fish tacos, with a full bar. For golf course hours, safety guidelines, and more information, visit https://www.presidiogolf.com/ and book a reservation by telephone at 415.561.4661.


Other Take-Out Dining Options

Restaurants in the Presidio are currently offering take-out only. The Presidio Social Club has a new name and a new flavor—Presidio Social Club Exchange. While Chef Ray Tang's dining room and patio are closed, his kitchen, bakery, and bar are turning out their best American classics Tuesday through Saturday, 4:00 -9:00 PM for pick-up and delivery. Offerings include ready-to-eat dinners, sides, salads, and baked goods and ready –to-pour cocktails and wines. Provisions for the freezer and larder include house made pasta and sauces, roasted meats, a beloved meatloaf,and ready-to-toast grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato dip. Sessions at the Presidio also offers take-out seven days a week, 11:30 AM – 8 PM. See their website for a list of seasonal and special menus, including cocktails, and wines from the Skywalker Vineyards.


Looking Forward to 2021

At the Presidio there's so much more! We look forward to the time when it's safe to resume operations of such visitor destinations as the Presidio Visitor Center, the Presidio Officers' Club Museum, Presidio Theatre, Walt Disney Family Museum, Planet Granite, House of Air, Sen Spa, park restaurants, special event venues, and more. In addition, the Presidio is working with San Francisco's transit agency the SFMTA to provide access to the park using public transportation, in addition to the park's own free PresidiGo shuttle. We look forward to improvements in transit service plus e-bike options as travel opportunities resume. Please check back with us often.


Coming Next! Presidio Tunnel Tops

The Presidio is home to the future site of the Presidio Tunnel Tops, an innovative urban project designed by visionary landscape architect James Corner Field Operations, the makers of New York City's High Line. A seismic upgrade which put the Doyle Drive highway into tunnels allows for the creation of a spectacular new 14-acre landscape, gathering spots, views, educational facilities, playscapes and more—opens fall 2021. Visit our website to learn more about this exciting project www.presidio.gov/tunnel-tops.


About the Presidio and the Presidio Trust

The Presidio Trust is a federal agency that manages the Presidio of San Francisco, a national park at the heart of the 82,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In partnership with the National Park Service and the non-profit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Presidio Trust brings alive the park's historic, natural, and recreational assets for the inspiration, education, health, and enjoyment of all people at no cost to taxpayers. Spanning nearly 1,500 acres in a spectacular setting at the Golden Gate, the Presidio is defined by its history, spectacular views, natural habitats, and beautiful open spaces. It is home to 3,000 residents and 200 tenant organizations, many of which welcome and serve the public. The Presidio Trust is focused on welcoming all to the national park experience, protecting and enhancing the environment, and operating in service to the public. Learn more at www.presidio.gov.

Please check our website for the most up-to-date information https://www.presidio.gov

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