The current location of Presidio Park in San Francisco once housed a military installation called the Presidio. Since the military installation shut down, the area transformed into the park space it is today. Everyone from history buffs to hikers and nature lovers will find something to enjoy at this beautiful national park that spans nearly 1,500 acres.
Presidio Park Visitor Center
Although currently closed due to the coronavirus, the William Penn Mott, Jr. Presidio Visitor Center should soon be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff and volunteers are available to provide maps, directions, and suggestions to visitors as well as answer their questions. The location of the visitor center is 210 Lincoln Blvd. at the Main Post of the Presidio.
Visiting the Presidio Promenade
The Presidio Promenade is a paved 2.1 mile trail available for walking or biking. The trail, which cuts through the park’s northeast section, is an easy pathway that begins at Lombard Gate. Restored to look the same way it did in 1896, the Lombard Gate serves at the park’s historic entrance. At the end of the 2.1 mile trail is the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.
While strolling or walking through the Promenade, park visitors will pass 790 old military buildings that include soldier’s barracks, officer’s quarters, stables, and air hangars. Visitors will also enjoy learning more about these buildings from the plaques commemorating people and events. The San Francisco National Cemetery is also within the boundaries of Presidio Promenade.
The Historic Golden Gate Bridge
Erected in 1937, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge attracts millions of visitors every year. The bridge stretches out for 1.7 miles and connects San Francisco to Marin County with the expansive Pacific Ocean underneath. Not surprisingly, the Golden Gate Bridge holds the distinction of being one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the world.
Depending on where visitors start their visit of Presidio Park, they may be able to walk to the bridge. However, they should expect crowds. People starting their visit on the south end of the park might want to park near Chili House located at 726 Clement Street. Choosing this location to park makes a great excuse to grab a meal either before or after the park visit.
Letterman Digital Arts Center
Formerly the Letterman Army Medical Center, the Letterman Digital Arts Center sits on 23 acres of land. The site reopened under its current name in 2005 after redevelopment efforts by George Lucas Films. The center holds the following businesses and attractions:
- George Lucas Educational Foundation
- Industrial Light and Magic
- Lucasfilm Ltd
Visitors to the Letterman Digital Arts Center who enjoyed the Star Wars films should appreciate the detailed explanation of film memorabilia they find here. The Star Wars theme continues with a Yoda statue that appears larger than life at the Building B main entrance.
The main building houses a Darth Vader statue surrounded by film memorabilia. Outside the building is a park that extends 17 acres with a lagoon, flowing creek, and professional landscaped walkways. This location makes an ideal spot to view the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance.