We actually stumbled on this historical Fort by chance on a Saturday driving to SFO. What gets your attention initially is the dramatic, up-close view of the Golden Gate Bridge.The Fort was built on a promontory overlooking one inlet of the Bay to help fortify defenses during the Civil War, the Gold Rush era; WW11 and interestingly the guns were never fired. Other uses included a barracks for single officers of the Presidio and a detention barracks (never used) in WW1.
While we walked around we couldn’t help noticing the masonry and brickwork that looks like it was laid yesterday and is an amazing testament to the abilities of the Army Engineering Corp – built to last and thankfully remains in the care of the National Park Service.
Located at the end of Marine Drive on the Presidio – Free entry - Open Fri – Sun 10am to 5 pm, Small bookstore and a separate snack /souvenir kiosk inside the Fort with restrooms located outside - a little stroll along the road. Parking is all along the promenade but we saw bikes and walkers everywhere.
We did a self-guided tour with some info (at the gate entry point) but 30 min guided tours with a ranger start mid - morning (check times) called - the Fort History Tour. Also of interest are a couple of short videos in the theatre near the bookstore. One shows an historical timeline of the Fort and the other shows footage on the Company that built the Bridge (construction and the men who worked on it). Other exhibits talk about the importance of lighthouses here, ‘gatekeepers’ and the story of African-American soldiers.
What you’ll get on a visit here is a sense of history, a look at flawless building techniques, cannon loading demos (check times), spectacular Bay views on the ramparts, an ’underworld’ look at the Bridge and a variety of stories/videos on the life and times of this Fort – just remarkable!
Enjoy your experience!
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