8 Things to Do On Your Way to the Golden Gate Bridge
Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge is a must for visitors to San Francisco; but did you know about all the fun and interesting attractions along the way? Here are our favorite things to do on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
Whether you're walking or biking to the bridge, start here. What was once a point of departure for U.S. Navy sailors is now a creative compound that houses galleries, restaurants, and theater companies. Fort Mason is also the staging ground for many major San Francisco festivals, including Eat Drink SF.
The Wave Organ
Installed in 1986, The Wave Organ is an acoustic, wave-activated sculpture built on the jetty that forms the small boat harbor in the Marina. Constructed of concrete and 25 PVC pipes, positioned at specific heights and depths, the organ creates natural, never-repeated melodies, powered solely by the rise and fall of the tides.
The Palace of Fine Arts
This enormous classical structure is all that remains of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition, which brought visitors back to San Francisco after the devastation of the 1906 earthquake and fire. Stand beneath its soaring dome or stroll along its neighboring lagoon. Wherever you are, you're guaranteed to get a breathtaking photo that will surely boost your Instagram following.
Decades ago, the Presidio's Crissy Field was a military airfield. Now, it's part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Mother Nature has been allowed to reclaim what she lost. This peaceful shoreline is once again alive with birds, fish and countless native plants. Set paths and a boardwalk make it an easy place to explore.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Located within the Presidio, The Walt Disney Family Museum offers an engaging variety of changing, interactive exhibits about the famed animator and his revolutionary career, appealing to both children and adults.
If you're visiting between mid-March and September, plan to make this trek on a Sunday. That way, you can belly up to the weekly Presidio Picnic, organized by Off the Grid. Food trucks and vendors from all over the city line up along the former military base's Main Parade Ground and serve up everything from lobster rolls to shawarma to ice cream sandwiches.
Andy Goldsworthy's Art
In the mood for a little scavenger hunt? Artist Andy Goldsworthy has created four site-specific sculptural installations within the Presidio, all of them reflective of the natural beauty and inspiration this tremendous park provides to visitors. Can you find them all? (There is a guided tour if you're feeling less adventurous.) Visiting the outdoor art is just one great way to experience the Presidio.
Who knew that one of the oldest buildings in San Francisco sits underneath the Golden Gate Bridge? Fort Point dates to the American Civil War. Visitors can explore its barracks, officers' quarters, and battlements.