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“Awesome views of SF with two bridges”
Review of Treasure Island

Treasure Island
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Ranked #99 of 546 things to do in San Francisco
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Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Awesome views of SF with two bridges”
Reviewed July 10, 2014

Go to Treasure Island during sunset on a clear day and get rewarded with beautiful views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the Bay Bridge. Beautiful sunset views from the viewing point. It was really windy too!

Visited July 2014
Thank Anna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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193 reviews from our community

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Tracy, California
Level 6 Contributor
211 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
“"Spectacular views"”
Reviewed July 6, 2014

Did you know that “Treasure Island” was built originally for the “World’s Fair” or that this was once occupied by the United States Army and Navy?

This was also originally planned for the “San Francisco Airport” before the military swapped it for “Mills Field” along the San Francisco Peninsula near the city of Millbrae?

A lot of “tourists” who have visited the Bay Area over the years pass by this island without ever knowing the history of this island. This island should a part of every tourist’s itinerary, if not for the historical values, for the breath taking views of the city itself!

During my military career, I have traveled to this island for joint operations with the navy. Growing up in the bay area, I have also taken advantage of the fishing off of this island. I don’t know of any other place where you can fish and take in a view of the golden gate bridge, the city as well as the eastern span of the new Oakland-san Francisco bay bridge!

Although the navy has since left, a lot of the former buildings are still standing. It’s worth the drive onto this island for fantastic pictures of the city skyline!

“During the last decade, the world’s two largest bridges have been flung across San Francisco Bay... and to celebrate their completion, the world’s largest artificial island rose from the waters of the bay.”

In 1775, the Spanish came into San Francisco and anchored near a small island in the bay. They gave the island the name, “Yerba Buena.” In Spanish, it means "Good Herb" and given to the island for the wild mint that grew there in abundance and was used to flavor their tea.

From 1895 to 1931, the island was known as Goat Island, from the herds of goats raised there for food.

In 1866, the United States Government turned the island into an Army post.

In 1898 the Unites States Navy took over the island and established a training center.

In 1931, the name Goat Island was officially changed back to Yerba Buena Island.

In 1935, the City of San Francisco drew architectural plans for a “World’s Fair” on the island to celebrate the engineering feats of the areas bridges.

• The island is named after the novel, “Treasure Island,” by Robert Louis Stevenson, who lived in San Francisco from 1879 to 1880.

In 1936, the construction of Treasure Island began.

In 1939, the island was completed and approximately 259 thousand tons of rock was used to create the Island. The World’s fair was also constructed during this time period.

In 1939, the “Golden Gate International Exposition” was opened even before the Bay fill dried. Many San Franciscans at the time simply referred to the exposition as the "Fair".

The Golden Gate International Exposition was held on the island to showcase the city’s two new bridges, “Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge.”

• Observed at night from the shores of San Francisco Bay, the Exposition was a floating, fairytale island of light. The enormous buildings were fantastically lit with indirect lighting. Multicolored spotlights projected their beams more than a mile up into the night sky. The Exposition was observable for more than 100 miles in every direction. It came to life for only two seasons and was nicknamed “The Magic City.”

On September 29, 1940, over 200 thousand people attended the last day of the fair.

• Originally, the island was scheduled to be used as an airport when the Navy offered to exchange Mills Field on the San Francisco Peninsula near the city of Millbrae for the island. The City and County of San Francisco accepted the swap, and “SFO” was built at Mills Field.

On April 1st, 1941, the island became a military base known as Naval Station Treasure Island, which also included portions of Yerba Buena Island.

By 1945, more than 800 women officers and enlisted women were stationed at Treasure Island.

In September 1993, the Department of Defense decided to close the Naval Station and return it to civilian use.

In 1996, Treasure Island and the Presidio Army Base were decommissioned and opened to public control, under stipulations. Treasure Island is now part of District 6 of the City and County of San Francisco. Oddly enough, it is still owned by the Navy.

1990s to 2000s, Treasure Island's old aircraft hangars served as sound stages used in film and television productions.

In 1988, Treasure Island stood in for the Berlin airport in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Robin Williams was filmed on the island, including Flubber, What Dreams May Come, Patch Adams and Bicentennial Man.

Sigourney Weaver's character in the thriller Copycat lived in an impressive private compound on the island.

The island plays host to numerous events throughout the year, including the Treasure Island Music Festival, the California International Dragon Boat Festival, and private events such as weddings and family picnics.

Visited May 2014
11 Thank Holdtheair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Beautiful Island”
Reviewed June 30, 2014

This used to be a Naval Station and we wanted to visit because my husband used to live on this base (many years ago). I can understand why everyone wanted this station. The views are breathtaking. I do understand that there has been clean up due to some waste, but I find it very sad that San Francisco has not done something with this Island. The base housing still stands...a lot of it empty and other houses are for low income. Many of the old Naval buildings are empty and dilapidated and again it is shame on the city for not utilizing this space. So much could be done with this. It is such a beautiful island with million dollar views. There is a lot of places to walk so if you want to enjoy the view and the opportunity to get onto a naval station (even one that is now decommissioned) then it is a great opportunity. It was worth the view for us and the added memories for my husband. Just sad that it is being under utilized and good buildings are going to waste.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank Jamie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great Views - Cool Sports Venue”
Reviewed April 3, 2014

The view of San Fran and Alcatraz from Treasure Island is pretty cool. You can also get some good shots of the Bay Bridge. I've been here a couple of times for rugby events at the San Francisco Golden Gate pitch which is on Treasure Island - very cool area. There is a wine merchant that hosts tastings here sometimes too.

Visited February 2014
Thank EkennecH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norridge, Illinois
1 review
“Wedding Wonderland”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

I was there for the wedding of my nephew and his beautiful bride. The view of San Francisco was beautiful. The whole experience was wonderful.

Visited December 2013
Thank Patsy19622011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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