Why we Love It: in the heart of the park just across from the Presidio Officers' Club (and not far from the Presidio Visitor Center)
What's Provided: Picnic tables (no grills)
Getting There: PresidiGo Shuttle – PRESIDIO HILLS ROUTE; paid parking nearby
With its acres of lush lawns, the Presidio's Main Post doesn't lack inviting picnic spaces. But if you're in search of a proper table for your alfresco meal, head to Pershing Square, located across from the
Presidio Officers' Club.
This picnic area features four large tables with a commanding view of the
Main Parade Ground, the iconic brick barracks along Montgomery Street, and San Francisco Bay.
It comes with a side of history, too. The site is named after General John J. Pershing, who was stationed briefly at the Presidio in 1914 as commander of the 8th Brigade before being dispatched to the Mexican border to pursue Pancho Villa. Though he was an important figure in military history, eventually becoming the first General of the Armies, the Pershing name is forever tied to tragedy. The flagpole in Pershing Square marks the spot where Pershing's two-story Victorian house stood before it was destroyed in the 1915 fire that claimed the lives of his wife and three young daughters (his son survived). Flanking the flagpole are two Spanish bronze cannons that once guarded the Golden Gate. Among the oldest cannons in North America, they were cast in Peru in the late 1600s.
What to Do
Pershing Square is located where an active archaeology dig happens every year from April through October. Come watch archaeologists uncover the original Spanish Colonial fort built here beginning in 1776. Be sure to check out the original adobe walls of that first Spanish fort just steps away in the Mesa Room of the
Presidio Officers' Club. You'll find public restrooms there, too.
If you left your picnic basket at home, you can find some take-out nearby, such as the famous burgers, curly fries, and other comfort food favorites from the
Presidio Bowling Center. There's also authentic Mexican food from