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Presidio’s Greatest Lists: Five Ways to Spend Your Presidio Twilight Hours

Monday, May 09, 2016 Category Kids and Family; Entertainment and Culture; Food and Drink; Nature and Science

It’s that time of year when daylight lingers a little longer. Here are five of the greatest ways to make the most of those twilight hours in the Presidio. ​​

Experience Food Trucks, Music, and Fun at “Presidio Twilight”​

Presidio Twilight​​

Picture this: lantern-lit cabanas, blankets, cocktails, fire pits, spectacular views of the sun setting over the San Francisco Bay... and some of the region’s best grub at your fingertips. From May 12 through October 6, bring your beloved, your buddies, and even the kiddos out to the Main Parade Ground every Thursday evening for Presidio Twilight. The fun starts at 5 pm...and the band keeps the festivities lively until 9 pm. Co-sponsored by the Presidio Trust and Off the Grid.

View Presidio Twilight details, including a list of food vendors >>

Hike the California Coastal Trail

Sunset Coastal Hike

Want to catch an amazing sunset? Then kick off your work shoes, don your sneakers, and take a hike along the California Coastal Trail through the Presidio. The 2.4-mile journey from Baker Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge showcases native seaside daisy, silvery lupine, California lilac, and even Yerba Buena. You can also take in windswept Monterey cypress, and even spot the concrete gun batteries once used to defend the Golden Gate. But the star of the show is the big, orange ball dropping lower moment-by-moment below the horizon. While you’re gazing, keep an eye out for soaring, V-shaped flocks of pelicans over the vast Pacific Ocean.

Learn more about the California Coastal Trail >>

Watch the Sun Set Over the Golden Gate

The Golden Gate Bridge

Did you know the Presidio features eight scenic overlooks? While each provides a unique perspective, two in particular offer knockout views of the sun setting with that international orange icon in the background. Golden Gate Overlook and Pacific Overlook were both built in 2012 as part of the Trails Forever initiative in celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary. The Golden Gate Overlook, shown here, provides an extraordinary perspective on the bridge’s twin towers. The Pacific Overlook, situated a little further south along Lincoln Boulevard, gazes over the world’s largest body of water toward the spectacular Marin Headlands. Both are perfect resting points if you’re hiking along the California Coastal Trail.

See a list of the Presidio's Trails and Scenic Overlooks >>

Listen for the Hoot of an Owl on the Ecology Trail

Young Great Horned Owl

Great horned owls, also called "Hoot Owls," can be hard to spot given their camo-colors, but they're pretty easy to hear in the Presidio. Keep your ears tuned for the low-pitched, but LOUD ho-hohooo hoo hoo sound that grows progressively more intense in the evening, culminating with cacophonic hoots at around midnight. The young great horned owl shown here hasn't learned to hoot quite yet. Rather, these little ones make a hissing noise or a loud screeching sound. The best place in the Presidio to hear owls – either screeching or hooting – is near Inspiration Point on the Ecology Trail.

Tour the Constellations from the Presidio’s Front Lawn

Presidio Stargazing​ ​

Presidio Stargazing Parties are where people of all ages can experience San Francisco's night sky after the sun goes down. Every other month, the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers bring huge telescopes to the Main Parade Ground and serve as wise guides, helping would-be astronomers locate the Big Dipper and more. Take in the moon, the stars, or the entire galaxy! The next Stargazing Party is Sunday, June 12, from 7 to 9:30 pm, clear skies permitting.

Register for the next Presidio Stargazing Party on June 12 >>​​​