Neighborhood Guide: What To Do in the Presidio

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In 1994, the US Army ceded the Presidio, a former military base, to the National Park Service with the caveat that it become financially self-sufficient by 2013 or go the way of the chop-shop car—that is, sold off for parts. Having achieved this goal with flying colors, the 1,381-acre park is now a destination flourishing with cultural heritage, natural splendor, and, thanks to its San Francisco zip code, exceptional art, food, and lodging. 

Batteries to Bluffs Trail (pictured above) 

Traversing sage-covered cliffs and defunct military bunkers, the Batteries to Bluffs Trail features edge-of-the-world views as it descends almost a mile toward the Pacific. Presidio Trails


Photo credit: Henrik Kam

Presidio Officers’ Club

The newly refurbished Presidio Officers’ Club serves as the park’s social hub thanks to Traci Des Jardins’ Mexican eatery, Arguello; a striking museum gallery; and weekend programming, which includes music, theater, and family craft workshops. 50 Moraga Ave.

Photo courtesy of Presidio Trust

The Commissary

With a nod to the Presidio’s 1776 founding as an outpost of colonial Spain, The Commissary plates up Spanish-inspired dishes, also by Des Jardins, such as chickpea galetta and jamon-wrapped trout, in the redesigned former mess hall. 101 Montgomery St.

Photo courtesy of Presidio Trust

Walt Disney Family Museum

You needn’t be a Mickey Mouse buff to enjoy the Walt Disney Family Museum, where digital displays set in a cinematic space show how Walt’s life shaped 20th century cultural milestones. 104 Montgomery St.

Photo credit: Garrick Ramirez

National Cemetery Overlook

Tucked into a peaceful eucalyptus grove, the National Cemetery Overlook is perched above mesmerizing rows of the National Cemetery’s white gravestones, with the Golden Gate Bridge towering in the background. Bay Area Ridge Trail, southeast corner of the National Cemetery, near PresidiGo Shuttle Stop #31. Limited visitor parking provided on Nauman Road.

Photo credit: Henrik Kam

Earth Wall

Earth Wall, renowned sculptor Andy Goldsworthy’s fourth installation in the Presidio, located in the courtyard of the Presidio Officers’ Club, pays homage to the park’s archaeological treasures with a tangle of eucalyptus roots embedded in a mud wall. 50 Moraga Ave.

Photo courtesy of Presidio Trust

Off the Grid

This spring, sip après-badminton mimosas or roast s’mores under starlight when festive food truck gathering Off the Grid transforms the parade grounds into two lawn parties: Picnic and Twilight at the Presidio. Main Post Lawn

Photo credit: Garrick Ramirez

Rob Hill Campground

Rob Hill Campground, the city’s one and only spot to pitch a tent, has four group sites on a tree-ringed bluff overlooking the Pacific. The season starts April 1, but you should book now. Book Here

Photo credit: Paul Dryer

Inn at the Presidio

Vintage army memorabilia, lazy porch rockers, and stately Georgian Revival architecture give a wonderful sense of place to the Inn at the Presidio, formerly a residence for military bachelors. 42 Moraga Ave.

This article was published in 7x7's February 2015 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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