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San Francisco Bay Area Parks and Recreation

Golden Gate Park



  • Alcatraz Island
    Alcatraz Island is one of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's most popular destinations, offering a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison long off-limits to the public. Visitors to the island cannot only explore the remnants of the prison, but can also learn about the Indian occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications (the first U.S. fort on the coast), and the West Coast's first (and oldest operating) lighthouse. These structures and the island's many natural features - gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare - are being preserved by the National Park Service which is working to make it accessible to visitors, preserve its buildings, protect its birds and other wildlife, and interpret its history.


  • Angel Island State Park
    Angel Island is a hilly, grass and forest-covered island, the largest in San Francisco Bay. It is located one mile from the Tiburon Peninsula. The park covers 740 acres and is 788 feet high at the top of Mt. Livermore. It provides spectacular views of Marin County, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate, and the entire Bay Area. In addition to recreational facilities (hiking, biking, camping, boating), it is rich in historical significance.


  • Crissy Field Park
    Once a rich tidal marsh and home to Ohlone people, Crissy Field was a pioneering U.S. military airfield in the 1920s. Now, with generous community support, Crissy Field has undergone another transformation, becoming a stunning national parkland at the Golden Gate.


  • Fort Point
    Fort Point was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1853 and 1861 to prevent entrance of a hostile fleet into San Francisco Bay.  The fort was designed to mount 126 massive cannon. Rushed to completion at the beginning of the Civil War, Fort Point was first garrisoned in February of 1861 by Company I, 3rd U.S. Artillery Regiment. The fort was occupied throughout the Civil War, but the advent of faster, more powerful rifled cannon made brick forts such as Fort Point obsolete. In 1886 the troops were withdrawn, and the last cannon were removed about 1900. The fort was then used for storage and training purposes for many years.


  • Golden Gate Bridge


  • Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area
    The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is one of the largest urban national parks in the world. The total park area is 75,398 acres of land and water. Approximately 28 miles of coastline lie within its boundaries. It is nearly two and one-half times the size of San Francisco.


  • Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary 
    The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary protects an area of 948 square nautical miles (1,255 square miles) off the northern and central California coast. Located just a few miles from San Francisco, the waters within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are part of a nationally significant marine ecosystem. Encompassing a diversity of highly productive marine habitats, the Sanctuary supports an abundance of species.


  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
    The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a Federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the MBNMS encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 5,322 square miles of ocean. Supporting one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, it is home to numerous mammals, seabirds, fishes, invertebrates and plants in a remarkably productive coastal environment.


  • Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
    The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary was established in 1989 to protect and preserve the extraordinary ecosystem, including marine birds, mammals, and other natural resources of Cordell Bank and its surrounding waters.


  • San Francisco Maritime 
    Located at the west end of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, this park includes the fleet of national historic landmark vessels at Hyde Street Pier, a visitor center, a maritime museum, and a maritime library. Visitors can board turn-of-the-century ships, tour the museum and learn traditional arts like boat building and woodworking. The Park offers educational, music and craft programs for all ages, and provides unique opportunities for docents, interns and volunteers to learn more about the nation's maritime heritage.


  • San Francisco Presidio
    The Presidio preserves an astonishingly complex cultural and natural heritage within its 1480 acres.  For thousands of years, Native Americans called the Ohlone managed and harvested the natural bounty of what is now the Presidio. In 1776, Spanish soldiers and missionaries arrived, forever disrupting Ohlone culture and beginning 218 years of military use of the area just south of the Golden Gate.  The Presidio served as a military post under the flags of Spain (1776-1822), Mexico (1822-48), and the United States (1848-1994). As a U.S. Army post, the Presidio protected commerce and trade, and played a logistical role in every major U.S. military conflict from 1848 until closure. World events and those on the home front  from military campaigns to the rise of aviation, from World Fairs to natural disasters  left their mark here.


  • San Francisco Zoo
    The new Zoo is becoming a reality. In Summer 2002, the new Lipman Family Lemur Forest opened along with a whole new main entrance experience for visitors. The lemur forest features five different species of these amazing primates from Madagascar in a large outdoor setting. And not only will you find the main entrance facing the Pacific Ocean, you'll find all new services just for you! The Friend and Taube Family Entry Village offers a new gift shop, restrooms, and membership and information booths. It will be a central place for you to meet up with friends and family. You'll also enjoy the new Leaping Lemur Cafe that offers an indoor dining experience with a wide variety of food choices including personalized, made-to-order pasta and pizza. And near the the Cafe, don't miss the intricate restoration of the famed Dentzel Carousel.


  • Oakland Zoo
    The Oakland Zoo is nestled in the rolling hills of 525-acre Knowland Park. Each year thousands of families and school groups from around the Bay Area come to visit 440 native and exotic animals that live in naturalistic habitats at the Zoo.


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