A U.S. Army post for nearly 150 years, San Francisco's Presidio has been a national park since 1994 and a national historic landmark since 1962. Archaeological digs have uncovered remains from some of the city's earliest structures here. More than 5 million people visit the Presidio every year to hike or bike its miles of trails or take...
A U.S. Army post for nearly 150 years, San Francisco's Presidio has been a national park since 1994 and a national historic landmark since 1962. Archaeological digs have uncovered remains from some of the city's earliest structures here. More than 5 million people visit the Presidio every year to hike or bike its miles of trails or take in some of the many historic sites within the park's 1,491 acres. Two accessible trails run east-west through the northern section: the spectacular Golden Gate Promenade
, a four-plus mile stretch of the Bay Trail that runs along the waterfront through Crissy Field's restored marshland to Civil War-era Fort Point
; and the Presidio Promenade (see trail description, below), which travels through the heart of the historic Presidio, from the Lombard Street gate past the Main Post and San Francisco National Cemetery to the Golden Gate Bridge
. West of the bridge, a short stretch of Coastal Trail brings you to an overlook atop the Presidio's rugged western bluffs; or you can visit Baker Beach
and Battery Chamberlin, with its "disappearing" gun.
An accessible free shuttle bus, PresidiGo, runs through the Presidio, making several stops (not all are accessible). The bus has space for two people in wheelchairs.
Before setting off to explore the Presidio, you may want to stop at the small visitor center at the Main Post to orient yourself. Staff here can answer your questions and provide maps and brochures, and a few historical photos and items are typically on display. A new, permanent visitor center is planned to open in 2014; the temporary location is Building 105, Montgomery Street, at the northwestern edge of the parade ground. Other visitor centers within the Presidio are at the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary and Fort Point, along the Golden Gate Promenade; the pavilion at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza provides visitor information and has a few exhibits, but is primarily a gift shop.
At Golden Gate Bridge Plaza. Be prepared for long lines at this restroom.
Inside the transit center on Lincoln Blvd., across from the Main Post parade grounds; open Mon.-Fri., 6:30 am-8 pm; weekends and holidays, 8 am-7 pm. Toilets are only 15" high.
Restrooms in the temporary Presidio visitor center in Building 105 on Montgomery St. are only partially accessible; the turnaround space is narrow and the toilet height is 14."
Reviewed by Eileen Ecklund, July 28, 2012