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PRESS RELEASE

What’s New at the Presidio of San Francisco, Summer 2020

Monday, Aug 17, 2020

​​​​​San Francisco, CA (August 17, 2020) – This summer, as the city and county remain largely closed due to the pandemic, opportunities for enjoying the Presidio, San Francisco’s national park site in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, continue to evolve. Parks are vital to our health and well-being, especially in stressful times, and the Presidio has remained open for essential access to outdoor space, fresh air, recreation, nature and scenic views. The safety of everyone in the park is paramount and the Presidio Trust is following the guidelines of regional health and safety experts as well as implementing plans specific to park operations. Presidio Like a Pro guidelines found on our website provide a road map for visitors to do their part in ensuring public safety.

Trails, Beaches and Open Spaces

The Presidio has 24 miles of hiking trails and 25 miles of biking trails as well as three miles of scenic coastline, eight overlooks, multiple picnic areas, large lawn areas like the seven-acre Main Parade Ground, and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the City skyline and the Bay. Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Promenade Trail are the most popular areas in the entire National Park System, and there are plenty of hidden gems to explore in the park if you go off the beaten track. Lobos Creek Valley Trail for example, is a flat boardwalk winding through renewed dune habitat with fragrant wildflowers, reminiscent of early San Francisco. Several of California’s larger trail systems pass through the Presidio. The Bay Area Ridge Trail is a continuous 550-mile multi-use loop that circles the entire San Francisco Bay with a 2.5-mile stretch running through the Presidio. The Park Trail runs north/south right down the middle of the Presidio to Crissy Field with accesses mid-way to a short trail leading to the tranquil National Cemetery Overlook.

Natural and Interpretive Sites

The Tennessee Hollow Watershed’s El Polin Spring is a nod back in time to the fascinating history of the early Ohlone inhabitants, and later, businesswoman and healer Juana Briones who settled in 1812 with other Spanish families at the lush spring outside the Presidio fort. Interpretive signage tells both the cultural histories and the natural histories of the plants, birds and animals that abound in the restored site. Mountain Lake has recently experienced an ecological renaissance, inviting the return of lost wildlife like western pond turtles and Pacific chorus frogs. It offers trails, a playground, picnic areas perfect for intimate family outings, and a constellation of colorful storytelling panels for the whole family to enjoy. Download the Birds of Mountain Lake Guide and become acquainted with some of the more than 300 species that frequent the Presidio.

NEW! Bike Share

Bay Wheels bike share is coming to the Presidio, and is expected to “roll out” later this summer. Bay Wheels (formerly Ford GOBike) is the original bike share provider for San Francisco and operates throughout the Bay Area. They offer both traditional pedal bikes and e-bikes (electric assist), making it easier to tackle the Presidio’s hills and explore the farther reaches of the park. Traditional pedal bikes must be returned to a bike share station but the e-bikes can be parked at stations or bike racks. The Presidio Trust will install four stations at popular visitor hubs and the bikes can be rented through the Bay Wheels app, which can be linked to a Clipper Card. For the most current information and launch date, visit our Transportation webpage. Visitors can rent a traditional pedal bike or an e-bike right now from the Presidio Sports Basement at Crissy Field.

The Presidio Golf Course and Presidio Café are Open

The Presidio Golf Course is open for play! With new sanitation and social distancing protocols in place, golfers can enjoy an historic 145-acre, 18-hole course located in the scenic, urban national park. The Presidio Café at the course clubhouse is open daily for outdoor breakfast and lunch service or take-out. They serve dishes such as local artisan cured meats and cheese, inventive salads and fresh fish tacos. They also offer a full bar. Diners, both golfers and non-golfers alike, enjoy the sweeping views of the course. For golf course hours and information, visit https://www.presidiogolf.com/ and book a reservation by telephone at 415.561.4661.

Other Dining and Retail Options

The Presidio Social Club has a new name and a new flavor—Presidio Social Club Exchange. While Chef Ray Tang’s dining room and patio are closed, his kitchen, bakery and bar are turning out their best American classics Tuesday through Saturday, 4 to 9 PM for pick-up and delivery. Offerings include ready to eat dinners, sides, salads and baked goods and ready to pour cocktails and wines. Provisions for the freezer and larder include house made pasta and sauces, roasted meats, Presidio Social Club’s beloved meatloaf and ready-to-toast grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato dip.

Sessions at the Presidio is taking reservations for patio dining and also offers take-out, seven days a week, 11:30 AM to 8 PM. Specials this summer include a fresh seasonal menu, summer BBQ platters for take-out on Sundays (must be pre-ordered), and a special weekend brunch menu. Cocktails, and wines from the Skywalker Vineyards are available for either dine-in or take-out.

Sports Basement’s Presidio location at 610 Old Mason Street at Crissy Field is fully open for business. The beloved sporting goods store offers apparel, camping and snow gear rental, sports equipment, bike rental and repair, fitness nutrition, Virtual Training events and more.

Check for hours and openings of fitness, health, museums and other Presidio visitor-facing businesses on their company websites.

Presidio Slow Streets

During the City’s shelter-in-place orders, the Presidio Trust has implemented Presidio Slow Streets (Map)—street closures to create more space for people to recreate safely outdoors—24 hours a day, seven days a week. The streets offer everyone more space to walk, run, and bike in the park while allowing residents and tenants continued access, and reducing traffic. Slow Streets is especially a hit for those trying to learn how to bike or skate for the first time, and those seeking walking spaces that are wider than traditional trails.

Kids and Families Highlights

Picnic: The Presidio's Main Post lawn is always a favorite spot to gather with family or lay out a blanket with a small group of friends. But the Presidio also features other sites that are perfect locations for escaping for a picnic in the park—some with views, some near beaches, and some forested nooks ideal for observing nature. While picnic tables are currently not available, the park offers plenty of open space to stretch out your spread.

Geocaching: Geocaching is a global treasure hunt in which you seek specific hiding spots by using wayfinding clues. There are 14 geocaches hidden in unique locations in the park, offering insights about the Presidio’s history and natural world. Most of these are waterproof boxes with a small journal inside and there is more info on the Geocaching.com website. The app is free— search for “Presidio of San Francisco.”

Story Walks: In partnership with the SF Public Library, the Presidio Trust and the Parks Conservancy, discover the Presidio’s Story Walks. Story Walks are children’s books that are placed as a series of sign panels along a trail for a fun “seek, find and read” strolling experience. This summer there are two Story Walks in the Presidio: I Wrote You a Note at Mountain Lake features a little girl seeking a hidden note in a lakeside setting, and a new Story Walk, The Hike, starts at the Visitor Center and features three children on an adventure in a park.

Adventure Map: An illustrated map that highlights 25 things to do in the park, with fun colorful details that invite exploration and discovery of the myriad nooks and crannies of the Presidio. Maps are available in green and orange wooden boxes at three spots in the park: the Graham Street Lawn nature play pop-up, the north side of Mountain Lake, and the Crissy Field Overlook.

Virtual Park Experiences

Presidio at Home provides access to the nature, art, and history of the Presidio from the safety of home with a free online collection of relaxing, family content at the Presidio at Home web page. Presidio at Home curates the best of the beloved urban parklands through free videos, photos, and educational activities, with new content added weekly. Other Presidio partners offering online content:

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Walt Disney Family Museum
Dreams from the Presidio Theatre
The Society of California Pioneers

Lodging Reopening Soon

There are two historic boutique hotels in the Presidio, perfect for a San Francisco staycation or a short road trip, the Inn at the Presidio and the Lodge at the Presidio. The hotels are currently implementing the highest industry standards for Covid safety protocols, and will open for essential travel soon. Lodging opening dates will be announced when available.

Please visit our website for updated information https://www.presidio.gov/coronavirus.
Photos are available upon request.