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Tour Golden Gate N.R.A.
MainTour San Francisco Vacation Adventure
[ Overview / Recreation / Fort Point / Farallones / Presidio /
Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of the largest urban national parks in the world and offers many historically significant places and spectacular natural areas to visit where a wide variety of recreational activities are possible.
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Tour Overview - Golden Gate

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is one of the largest urban national parks in the world. Established in 1972, as part of a trend to make national park resources more accessible. GGNRA’s 75,398 acres of land and water extend north of the Golden Gate Bridge to Tomales Bay in Marin County and south to San Mateo County, encompassing 59 miles of bay and ocean shoreline.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
NPS Website
Presidio of San Francisco
Part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, The Presidio of San Francisco offers many historically significant places and spectacular natural areas to visit where a wide variety of recreational activities are possible.

Bay Bridges Tour
Five famous historic bridges span the San Francisco Bay. Discover each in this special feature tour. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay Bridge, Dumbarton, San Mateo-Hayward, Richmond-San Rafael bridges.

Downtown San Francisco Hotel Guide


Historic Landmarks Adventure

The park contains numerous historical and cultural resources that contain a variety of archeological sites, military forts and other historic structures which present a rich chronicle of two hundred years of history, including Native American culture, the Spanish Empire frontier, the Mexican Republic, evolution of American coastal fortifications, maritime history, 18th century and early 20th century agriculture, military history, California Gold Rush, Buffalo Soldiers, and the growth of urban San Francisco.

including

  • Alcatraz,
  • Marin Headlands,
  • Nike Missile Site,
  • Fort Mason, as well as
  • Muir Woods National Monument,
  • Fort Point National Historic Site
  • Presidio of San Francisco

    Milagra Ridge
    239 acres of open space at south end near Pacifica;
    A place of breathtaking views and diverse resources that was once a site of a Nike missile complex. Surrounded by human development, Milagra Ridge is an island of protected habitat for native plants and animals. Today it is one of the last remaining habitats for two federally endangered butterflies - the Mission Blue Butterfly and the San Bruno Elfin Butterfly.

  • Trailhead - Exit off Sharp Park Road and take College Drive north ¼ mile to the trailhead.

    Sweeney Ridge
    Located at the northern tip of a nearly 50 mile habitat corridor from San Bruno to San Jose, Sweeney Ridge takes you through rich wildlife habitat and historic landmarks.

  • Wildlife - Mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, fox and black-tailed deer live among the coastal scrub of Sweeney Ridge. Biologists and volunteers have also found a variety of smaller animals, such as woodrats, rabbits, voles, shrews and lizards.
  • Wildflowers - Sweeney wildflowers span the spectrum from scarlet Indian paintbrush, orange monkeyflower and yellow aster, to purple lupine and blue-eyed grass.
  • Nike Missile Site - Hikes along the ridge also pass the ruins of a former U.S. Army Nike missile control station. Nike Missile Site SF-51, which helped protect the peninsula from 1956 to 1974.
  • Sweeney Ridge Trail - Trail leads you 2.5 miles from Skyline College south past the Nike ruins to the Discovery Site.


    Recreational Adventure

    With 19 separate ecosystems and 7 distinct watersheds, Golden Gate Park is home to over 1200 plant and animal species. These include some 80 sensitive, rare, threatened, or endangered species including the Northern Spotted Owl, California Red-legged Frog, and Coho Salmon.

    Recreation Destinations

  • Baker Beach - mile-long stretch of rocky shoreline located west of the Golden Gate popular for hiking, fishing, picniking and photography.
  • The Coastal Trail - extends along the wind-swept coastal bluffs, where some of the most intact natural habitat in the Presidio harbors rare plants adapted to serpentine soil and cool foggy conditions. Gun batteries built in the 1890s for coastal defense and abandoned after World War II are scattered along the bluffs.
  • Crissy Field Marsh and Beach - The Golden Gate Promenade provides access to the newly restored tidal marsh and beaches along the bay shore are popular for walking, running, biking, birding or merely contemplating the natural views.
  • El Polin Spring - water bubbles from a rock wall at the head of this riparian valley and meadows. Visitors can explore the surrounding forest and grasslands.
  • Julius Kahn Park -located along the southern border of the Presidio this park has playgrounds and ballfields for the general public.
  • Lobos Creek Valley - home to the last free-flowing stream in San Francisco and important native plant and wildlife habitat in an otherwise urban area.
  • Lovers Lane - An easy, one-mile walking trail that begins at Funston Avenue & Presidio Blvd. and crosses a tiny brick footbridge over El Polin creek.
  • Mountain Lake - Hidden at the southern edge of the Presidio is the 1776 campsite of the Anza settlement party. Today it is home to ducks and other waterfowl.
  • Presidio Forest - A mature forest of pine, cypress, eucalyptus and other non-native trees that the army planted these trees from the 1880s through the 1940s.

    Golden Gate Park Campgrounds
    NPS; (415) 331-1540; NPS Website;

  • Bicentenial Campground - located near Battery Wallace -
  • Hawkcamp Campground - high above Gerbode Valley at the end of a 4-mile trail from Marin Headlands Visitor Center.
  • Haypress Campground - located in Tennessee Valley at north end of Marin Headlands.
  • Kirby Cove - Camping and picnic area with spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate.
  • Rob Hill Group Camp - Presidio Park Eucalyptus Grove campsite.


    Attractions

    Exploratorium - at the Palace of Fine Arts
    3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123; (415) 561-0399; Museum Website;
    Open Tues-Sun 10AM-5PM (Closed Mondays except is open for major holidays);

    An experimental, hands-on museum designed to spark curiosity – regardless of your age or familiarity with science, with hundreds of exhibits to touch, look through, pick up, and tinker with, let curiosity be your compass to endless discoveries!

  • Traits of Life - Exploratorium's Life Science exhibits - Featuring over 30 new and revitalized biology exhibits and demonstrations, the Traits collection examines the fundamental elements common to all living things.
  • Tactile Dome - Discover the unseen world of the Tactile Dome—an interactive excursion through total darkness, where your sense of touch becomes your only guide!
  • The Learning Studio - the Exploratorium’s library/computer center, supports the educational and informational needs of its patrons by providing a wide variety of electronic, multimedia, and print-based learning resources.


    Tour Fort Point National Historic Site

    Fort Point National Historic Site
    Presidio of San Francisco; (415) 556-1693;
    Open Fri-Sun : 10AM-5PM (Exc: major holidays); NPS Website;

    Massive bay fortress was built by the U.S. Army 1853-1861 and is nearly identical in design to Fort Sumter, S.C. Although it never fought in any battles it was defended by 102 cannon and 471 men and was the principal center of defense on the West Coast until 1900.

    Today it is a museum with videos showing the history of the fort and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge which looms massively overhead.

    Cannon-loading demostrations are given at Noon.

    To reach the fort turn off Lincoln Blvd at Long Ave.


    Tour Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

    Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
    Crissy Field Visitor Center; Sanctuary Website;
    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 are part of a nationally significant marine ecosystem. Encompassing a diversity of highly productive marine habitats, the Sanctuary supports an abundance of species.
    Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association - dedicated to protecting Sanctuary wildlife and habitats.


    Tour Cliff House


    386-1170; Open Mon-Fri 11-7 and Sat-Sun 10-8

    Located where Point Lobos Ave intersects Great Highway and directly overlooking the ocean is Cliff House. A viewing platform helps you to see nearby Seal Rocks - habitat for sea lions Sept - June. Free Admission.

    Mechanical Museum is also here with a collection of coin-operated musical instruments. Free Admission.


    Tour Lands End

    Lands End is a special memorial located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near Cliff House. It is dedicated to the many men who died on the USS San Francisco during the Battle of Guadalcanal - Nov. 12-13, 1942. A portion of the ship's bridge is here.

    Lands End has a great view of the Pacific Ocean and of Golden Gate Bridge.

    Grand Hyatt San Francisco MainTour Online Hot Rates Available Here!
    345 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA, 94108; [ Overview / Rates / Map / Video ]

    Grand Hyatt San Francisco Luxury Resort Hotel - California Vacation Getaway This luxury hotel, located on historic Union Square, is a traveler's delight with cable cars, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, the theatre district, financial district and Moscone Center all within walking distance. There are 685 guest rooms elegantly decorated in rich tones of dark walnut, blue taupe, olive, beige, cream and black with gold and brass appointments.
    Grandviews - located 36 stories above Union Square, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Grandviews specializes in eclectic California cuisine served with a generous view of the city and bay.

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