The Presidio of San Francisco (originally, El Presidio Real de San Francisco or The Royal Fortress of Saint Francis) is a park and former U.S. Army military fort on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It was recognized as a California Historical Landmark in 1933 and as a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
The National Park Service at the Presidio offers a variety of scheduled ranger and docent led programs. Groups visiting the park may also arrange ranger-led programs by appointment in advance. Availability subject to staffing levels. Please allow at least 3-weeks advance notice.
The Presidio offers many opportunities for recreational activities, including picnic areas along Crissy Field at East Beach and West Bluff, and at El Polin Spring.
Enjoy nature, vistas and historic landscapes through a variety of outdoor activities. There are also many indoor recreational opportunities, particularly in the old airfield buildings along the west end of Crissy Field.
The de Young, a fine arts museum located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, is one of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco along with the Legion of Honor.
The de Young showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles, and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific and Africa.
The American art collection consists of over 1,000 paintings, 800 sculptures, and 3,000 decorative arts objects, with works ranging from 1670 to the present day, this collection represents the most comprehensive museum survey of American art in the American West and is among the top ten collections nationally that encompass the entire history of non-indigenous American art. Since its inception in the Fine Arts Building at the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 in Golden Gate Park, its subsequent institutionalization in the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in 1924, and its reinstallation in the new de Young in 2005, the permanent collection has evolved exponentially.
Adore its striking copper facade, while others just hope that the green patina of age will mellow the effect. Most maligned is the 144-foot tower, but the view from its ninth-story observation room, ringed by floor-to-ceiling windows and free to the public, is worth a trip here by itself. The building almost overshadows the de Young's respected collection of American, African, and Oceanic art. The museum also plays host to major international exhibits, such as 100 works from Paris's Musée National Picasso and a collection of the work of Jean Paul Gaultier from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; there's often an extra admission charge for these. The annual Bouquet des Art is a fanciful tribute to the museum's collection by notable Bay Area floral designers. On many Friday evenings, the museum hosts fun, free, family-centered events, with live music, art projects for children, and a wine and beer bar (the café stays open late, too).
Bring your kids to the museum. We suggest approaching your visit as an expedition and letting your child or children take the lead. Children often have the ability to see things in artworks that adults may miss. When your children express wonder about a particular object, ask them to take a moment and look carefully at the work. Ask what they think is happening in the work of art and have them identify details that support their ideas. Any answer they provide is correct, as long as they can provide visual evidence!
Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier. there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39's marina. The marina is also home to the floating Forbes Island restaurant. The family-oriented entertainment and presence of California Sea Lions make this a popular tourist location for families with kids.
It is famous for its seafood. Home to at least 14 full-service restaurants, Pier 39 is known for serving up some of the freshest and most-delicious local cuisine, at Fog Harbor Fish House, you get more than just classic waterfront favorites such as oysters and cioppino — all seafood on the menu is sustainable, so not only is it local, but its guaranteed fresh and sustainably farmed. Not to mention, every meal comes with a complimentary view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
It also has more than 60 specialty shops with everything from saltwater taffy to left-handed merchandise, custom-blended spices to hand-crafted jewelry. So, obviously, it's difficult to leave without that perfect gift for the folks back home. Many of the store owners work directly behind the counter, and if you end up getting carried away, stop by the California Welcome Center and they'll help you ship your San Francisco memories back home.
You can also experience the thrill of a roller coaster and the excitement of an interactive shooting gallery, all without leaving your seat in a state of the art digital theater with surround sound, 3D effects and the newest in laser technology. Compete to achieve the highest score in the theater as everyone tries to capture the gold, eliminate the bad robot cowboys and save the day! And the fun doesn't stop there: be sure to check out the other 20+ attractions on The PIER.
San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city! A queue of seafood restaurants along the bay, clam chowder stands, and heaps of souvenir stores are all combined with a main fishing pier. You can reach this famous dock via a cable car from the Union Square and with a guided private tour in San Francisco.
Many ferry rides leave from the Wharf to the mysterious Alcatraz Island and to the beautiful Marin County. While famous, you may want to avoid a long visit to the place, especially if you don’t like “tourist traps” and crowds. But it is excellent for a one- to two-hour stop during the day to get fresh seafood, sourdough, and souvenirs!
Some of the popular attractions in the Fisherman’s Wharf include the Wax Museum which features sculptures of US presidents, celebrities, and other famous figures; Ripley’s Believe It or Not which showcases oddities from around the world; the Boudin Bakery where the best sourdough bread in San Francisco is sold; the Musee Mecanique which exhibits an amazing collection of antique arcade machines and vintage musical instruments; the USS Pampanito & SS Jeremiah O’Brien which boasts a grand World War II submarine and a fully-restored, operating ship of World War II - the Jeremiah O’Brien; and the actual Fisherman’s Wharf where you can watch egrets and herons steal fish from the bait shop, and if you go there early around 6 or 7 in the morning, you’ll get to see fishermen in action with their catch! And don’t forget to see the amusing sea lions at Pier 39! Sure they’re loud and noisy but they’re absolutely cute and their number is astonishing!
The clever, creative, and fun street performers are also a must-see! Experience the mime, art, music, and performance on the streets of the Fisherman’s Wharf! Normally, these performers who usually sell art, movies, and CD’s expect tips (but are not mandatory).
Even though most locals don’t really patronize the Fisherman’s Wharf, your visit to San Francisco won’t be complete without a stop at the this busy and interesting dock!
So contact our expert tour guides here at Private Tours San Francisco to best enjoy the food, view, entertainment, and souvenirs offered by the Fisherman’s Wharf!
Things to do in SF!