Presidio of San Francisco

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Explore that splotch of green on the map between Baker Beach and Crissy Field and you’ll find parade grounds, Yoda, a centuries-old adobe wall and some fascinating art projects. What started as a Spanish fort built by Ohlone conscripts in 1776 is now a treasure hunt of surprises. Begin your adventures at the Main Post to get trail maps at the visitor center and inquire about site-specific art installations by Andy Goldsworthy.

Brush up on your history at the free, renovated Spanish-Moorish Officers' Club, which dates from the late 1700s and now hosts a small museum of local history, plus a lovely club lounge and restaurant. Fans of Mickey Mouse head to the Disney Museum; while fans of the macabre hike directly to the Pet Cemetery off Crissy Field Ave, where handmade tombstones mark the final resting places of military hamsters. Head east of the parade grounds toward the Palace of Fine Arts and you’ll come across the Letterman Campus, home to nonprofits and Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas, whose offices require a special pass – but you can pay your respects to the Yoda statue out front. Thursday evenings, spring through fall, Off the Grid sets up food trucks at the Main Post, creating a giant party on the grass.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers attractions

1. Presidio Officers' Club

0.38 MILES

The Presidio's oldest building dates to the late 1700s, and was fully renovated in 2014, revealing gorgeous Spanish-Moorish adobe architecture. The free…

2. Walt Disney Family Museum

0.48 MILES

An 1890s military barracks in the Presidio houses 10 galleries that chronologically tell the exhaustively long story of Walt Disney's life. Opened in 2009…

3. Crissy Field

0.83 MILES

War is for the birds at Crissy Field, a military airstrip turned waterfront nature preserve with knockout Golden Gate views. Where military aircraft once…

4. Palace of Fine Arts

1.02 MILES

Like a fossilized party favor, this romantic, ersatz Greco-Roman ruin is the city's memento from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The…

5. Baker Beach

1.03 MILES

Picnic amid wind-sculpted pines, fish from craggy rocks or frolic nude at mile-long Baker Beach, with spectacular views of the Golden Gate. Crowds come…

6. Internet Archive

1.06 MILES

Follow trails of deleted White House tweets, lost Grateful Dead tapes and defunct Nintendo gamer magazines to this 1923 Greek Revival landmark. In a…

7. Lyon Street Steps

1.08 MILES

Two blocks of Lyon St, between Broadway and Green St, are flanked by forests and glamorous mansions – including Senator Dianne Feinstein's – and offer jaw…

8. Fort Point

1.12 MILES

This triple-decker, brick-walled US military fortress was completed in 1861, with 126 cannons, to protect the bay against certain invasion during the…