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The Presidio

The Presidio was established in 1776 as a Spanish fort to guard the bay from other European powers and protect the nearby Mission San Francisco de Asís.  It changed hands over time but remained an important military installation until 1994, when it became a National Park.  It continues to offer the best views of the Bay and serves as a natural refuge to city life.  While there is very little crime in the Presidio, don't leave anything visible in your car when you venture into the city; break-ins are a problem, and tourists are a target. Also, San Francisco has a large homeless population, which can be unsettling. While most are harmless, some display signs of mental illness or drug addiction, so just be aware. Lastly,  bring a jacket! As Mark Twain once said, "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  Summers can be chilly, with foggy mornings followed by a strong sea breeze in the afternoon. 

We hope that the weekend offers nice weather for exploring the park.  Whether you seek nature (a hike through the eucalyptus groves) or history (a walk through the Disney Family Museum, where you can see the earliest known drawing of Mickey Mouse), the Presidio offers something for everyone.  The Main Post is the heart of the Presidio and marks the site of the original Spanish fort. The Presidio Visitor Center  (located in the Main Post)  tells the story of this unique national park. The Presidio Tunnel Tops connect the Main Post to Chrissy Field (over Highway 101) with trails and scenic overlooks. Chrissy Field is a former airfield and now a much-loved hiking / biking trail, which takes you from Marina Green (the yacht club) to Fort Point (under the Golden Gate Bridge). The Warming Hut is also a great spot to enjoy a refreshment and watch the windsurfers on the Bay. Other Presidio restaurants and cafes are listed below:


Near the Presidio

The abundance of options make it hard to choose, so we have complied a list of our favorites in and around SF.​​

Day Trips

 If you have already taken a ride on a cable car, explored Chinatown, counted the sea lions at Pier 39, and zigzagged Lombard Street,  you may want to venture outside of the city.  South of SF is Half Moon Bay, a crescent shaped stretch of wide, sandy beach and dramatic bluffs. If you continue along Highway 280, you will reach Palo Alto, where it all started for us! Even further south along the Pacific Coast Highway is charming Carmel and breathtaking Big Sur.  Alternatively, drive North to hike in an old-growth costal redwood forest such as the Muir Woods National Monument or to Napa and Sonoma, home to thousands of wineries.

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