Ahh, the large, inviting lawn of the Presidio's Main Parade Ground! It's hard to imagine that the grass wasn't always here, especially after you've wiggled your toes in it while picnicking or attending an outdoor festival.
The Main Parade Ground is located in the heart of the Presidio between Montgomery, Lincoln, Graham, and Sheridan Streets, just a short walk from the Presidio Visitor Center. Framed by rows of historic buildings and magnificent San Francisco Bay views, the Main Parade is the perfect green space for enjoying a relaxing moment in the outdoors.
When it was first established in 1898, the Main Parade Ground had a very different purpose. It served as training site where the soldiers who lived in the adjacent red brick barracks conducted drills and exercises and participated in military ceremonies. The largest parade ground in the Presidio, it was the post's social center. Sadly, in 1937, its historic past was buried with asphalt, and the monumental grounds became a seven-acre parking lot.
That all changed in 2011 when two-thirds of the parking lot was transformed into a large green gathering space for events, recreation, and pure leisure. Today, it's a perfect resting spot after a day of hiking in the park or visiting other Main Post attractions like the
Walt Disney Family Museum and the
Society of California Pioneers. If you didn't pack your own picnic, consider grabbing lunch to go at nearby
The Main Parade is also a hot spot for events. The Presidio Trust and Off the Grid host two popular weekly events on the lawn – Presidio Picnic and Presidio Twilight – where guests enjoy food trucks, live music, yoga classes, games, and more from April through October. Stargazing parties and the Presidio Kite Expo also take place here. And there's more to come for the Main Parade Ground as the Presidio Tunnel Tops Project eventually connects the Main Post to the northern waterfront.
In response to public feedback about ways to make the historic Main Parade Ground a more welcoming and comfortable space for visitors, as well as lessons learned from other parks around the world, in 2016 we introduced new moveable and versatile seating to the Presidio – "Share Chairs." They're there for everyone, and super comfy. So come out to the Main Parade Ground and enjoy them!
Learn more about the chairs, including design, development, and purpose of the Share Chairs >>