What’s New: Summer at the Presidio

Community events, more food, and self-guided adventures await. For a quieter park experience, plan a mid-week visit

San Francisco, CA (April 25, 2023) – This summer the Presidio of San Francisco heats up with extended opening hours, community co-curated events, more food on the menu, and hidden gems to explore. The national park site is 1,491 acres of popular attractions like the Presidio Tunnel Tops, enjoying its one-year anniversary this July 16, and plenty of areas that offer a more secluded and natural feel—especially during a mid-week visit.

A visit to Battery Bluff, completed one year ago,reveals surprising views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, and the waterfront, as well as restored gun batteries that illustrate the history of the Presidio’s role in the U.S.’s turn-of-the-century western coastal defense. Picnic tables, paths, overlooks, benches, and gardens make this a prime area for relaxation. Download the self-guided map, and follow the Tennessee Hollow Watershed all the way from its origin at Inspiration Point, through El Polín Spring to the Bay at Quartermaster Reach, on a boardwalk and trail through native plant communities that draw hundreds of bird species to the Presidio each year. San Francisco’s only freshwater lake, Mountain Lake, features dog-friendly trails, spacious lawns, and an outstanding playground.

Family Fun

Families will want to visit the free two-acre Outpost nature playground and Field Station where kids can gear up for exploration with an Explorer Backpack, get some tips on a Geocaching Adventure or how to find the summer Field Notes, scattered around the park. The Walt Disney Family Museum is extending its hours by opening on Mondays, with a new free show, Pencils and Passion: A Student Art Exhibition. Other Presidio businesses offer plenty of activities, including Presidio Bowl, House of Air, Movement climbing gym, and the free NPS Fort Point historic site, located underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio Theatre presents a variety of performances from chamber music to dance, through July.

Community Events at the Presidio

This summer, park-goers can enjoy free community and cultural events featuring live music, dance, hands-on activities, art, and performances at Presidio Tunnel Tops and the Main Parade Lawn. The season kicks off Memorial Day weekend with Music Makers: Bands Behind Barbed Wire on Saturday, May 27, 1 pm-3 pm. This afternoon concert features jazz drummer Akira Tana, along with renowned vocalist and bassist, Bruce Hamada and taiko master, Jimi Nakagawa. Inspired by the music and life of interned Japanese American musician George Yoshida the concert is presented by the National Japanese American Historical Society at Presidio Tunnel Tops’ East Meadow. The San Francisco Amateur Astronomers offer stargazing parties on the Main Parade Lawn on May 27 and June 24 (check their website for times). In celebration of Pride month, contemporary dance company FACT/SF brings site-based, Queer Athletic Futurity (QAF) dance performances on to Presidio Tunnel Tops on June 4 and June 11. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and Headlands Brewing presents the first ever Parks4All: Brewfest on Saturday, July 29 at the Civil War Parade Ground, with all proceeds benefitting the parks. The annual Chuseok (Korean Harvest) Festival presented by the Korean Center, Inc. returns to the Main Parade Lawn on September 30. National Park Rangers offer drop-in campfire talks at the Presidio Tunnel Tops campfire circle, daily from 4-4:30 pm through Labor Day.

The Partnership for the Presidio is excited to announce the return of Sunday Afternoons. Every second Sunday from June through October is an opportunity for family and friends to gather and enjoy live music, dance, performances, and hands-on activities curated by our community partners. The season kicks off with FACT/SF’s “Fantastic Field Day” on June 11, a radically queer, intentionally inclusive and accessible sports gathering. The event will include a performance by CHEER SF and a fun opportunity to learn various sports skills. The second iteration of Ancestral Futurism: Looking Back to Repair the Future showcases the work of a new emerging Bay Area artist with a launch event on August 13. On September 10, World Arts West, the producers of San Francisco’s Ethnic Dance Festival, will curate a day of multicultural dance performances.  And on October 8 during Fleet Week a veteran’s band will greet visitors with live music as they arrive to enjoy the airshow. More information about these events will be released shortly.

New Art in the Park this August      

Originally created for the opening of the Presidio Tunnel Tops by Presidio Activator, artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez, Ancestral Futurism is a temporary art installation that honors the diversity and interconnectedness of all humans, land, flora, and fauna that have lived in this ecosystem throughout the centuries. The multi-site art installation depicts a vision for an interconnected future that begins with examining the colonial and repressive history of the Presidio. The artistic renderings uplift the stories, experiences, and images of BIPOC communities with an emphasis on the Ramaytush Ohlone, the original stewards of the land. This August, visitors are invited to view an installation created by a new artist at the Outpost Plaza. This Emerging Artist program led by Favianna, mentors and uplifts young artists of color, providing a platform for artistic expression and a resonant new way to experience the park for all. 

Presidio Pop Up Food

Don’t go hungry during a park visit! Presidio Pop Up features daily mobile food vendors serving up delicious food that celebrates the diverse cultures and cuisines of the Bay Area, seven days a week. Presidio Pop Up is located in and around the Presidio Tunnel Tops and Main Parade Lawn. Hours extend to 9 am to 4 pm weekdays and 9 am – 5:30 pm on weekends starting June 1. New vendors will join the rotating roster of over 35 vendors, with creative and tasty cuisine from Mexico, Algeria, Bulgaria, Indonesia, El Salvador, Pakistan, and so many more points around the globe. See link above for details on locations and vendors.  Visitors play an important role in making Presidio Pop Up environmentally friendly by helping to compost and recycle on site. Diverting waste away from the landfill makes our operations sustainable. Water refilling stations are available for those who bring a reusable water bottle. For a full list of additional brick-and-mortar restaurants in the Presidio, visit: https://www.presidio.gov/food/restaurants.

Picnic areas in the Presidio abound, including Picnic Place with group tables and grills reservable via recreation.gov. The tables range in length from 16 to 23 feet, are wheelchair accessible, and are shaded by Torrey pines. There are many other free, first-come-first-served picnic areas at Presidio Tunnel Tops and around the park, including tables by the Presidio Transit Center, and other picnic tables, benches, grassy lawns, and moveable seating throughout the site – all featuring views of the Golden Gate and Bay. If Karl the Fog rolls in, not to worry there is free indoor seating at the Pavilion at the Transit Center (open daily 9am-5pm).  

Getting to the Park

There are many ways to get to the Presidio, car-free. The Muni 43-Masonic bus line runs to the Transit Center; the 30-Stockton stops along Mason Street and at Sports Basement, adjacent to the Tunnel Tops Outpost, and connects the Presidio to Chinatown and Union Square; the Muni 28-Fisherman’s Wharf runs to the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza; and the Muni 29-Baker Beach takes visitors to Baker Beach and some of the most beautiful coastal trails in the city. The free shuttle service Presidio GO runs routes from downtown’s Transbay Terminal and the Embarcadero BART to the Presidio (and back), and a South Hills Route accesses various locations around the park. The Presidio’s Main Post or East Beach parking lots offer ample paid parking. Visitors can take advantage of a new rideshare drop-off zone and the Bay Wheels bike share stations as well. For details on transportation please visit https://www.presidio.gov/transportation 

Hours of Operation

Presidio Pop Up (mobile food):  Daily, 9 am to 4 pm (5:30 pm on weekends starting June 1)

Outpost Nature Play Area: 9:30 am to 6 pm daily

Field Station: Wednesday – Friday, 11 am to 4 pm; Saturday – Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (Closed Monday and Tuesday)

Presidio Visitor Center: 10 am to 5 pm daily

Presidio Officers’ Club Galleries: Saturdays, 11 am – 4 pm

About the Presidio and the Presidio Trust

The Presidio is one of America’s most visited national park sites, located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Spanning 1,500 acres next to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio is among the most biologically diverse parks in America. Historically a home to native peoples and a military post under three flags, its facilities have been reinvented as museums, restaurants, hotels, homes, and offices. The Presidio Trust is the federal agency that stewards the Presidio, in partnership with the National Park Service and with support from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The Trust sustains the Presidio by leasing homes and workplaces and offering visitor amenities. Learn more at presidio.gov.

About Partnership for the Presidio

Two federal agencies manage the Presidio: the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service with support from the nonprofit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Together, the Partnership sustains the Presidio’s natural beauty, preserves its history, maintains its funding and creates inspiring national park experiences for all.

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