It's hard to believe you're in urban San Francisco while standing at Immigrant Point, gazing out at the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands, and – on a clear day – Point Reyes National Seashore. That feeling of being transported elsewhere will multiply if you glimpse a Red-tailed Hawk circling overhead or – if you're really lucky – catch a glimmer of dolphins surfacing in the sea.
As its name asserts, this overlook honors those who have made the journey through the Golden Gate to the new country they would call home. Carved into stone on the overlook wall, the words of President Woodrow Wilson pay testament: "We opened the gates to all the world and said, 'Let all men who want to be free come to us and they will be welcome."
Immigrant Point Overlook is accessible by the PresidiGo Shuttle, and there is very limited parking nearby. The best way to experience it, however, is during a walk along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail; this is the perfect place to stop and catch your breath. Pack up a lunch and snag one of the tables in the gorgeous picnic area just across the street. A word of caution – there aren't any restrooms here.
If you feel like exploring, take a hike down the nearby Immigrant Point Connector Trail to the Battery to Bluffs Trail. If you're in need of some sand and surf, continue the journey down to Baker Beach or Marshall's Beach.
Wherever your Presidio adventure takes you, you'll be sure to come back to Immigrant Point time and again. As glorious as the views are during the day, the sunsets can be even more spectacular. Grab a blanket and watch the sun go down – fog permitting. You won't regret it.
Created in 2008, Immigrant Point Overlook was made possible with a gift from the Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund.