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July 20, 2022

Explore San Francisco's Newest Park, The Presidio Tunnel Tops

In the Presidio—one of San Francisco's most historic, picturesque, and famous open spaces—a new attraction has just opened for visitors. The Presidio Tunnel Tops are among the most anticipated, innovative, and unique attractions to arrive in San Francisco in years, and they're perfect for anyone needing a breath of fresh air. Read on to learn about these marvelous parks, the special activations they'll host, and how you can get to them from around the city.

What to See at the Tunnel Tops

Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the team that created New York City's High Line, the Presidio Tunnel Tops are 14 acres of new parkland at the heart of the Presidio. By being ingenuously built over Highway 101, the Tunnel Tops connect the Main Lawn of the Presidio to Crissy Field, giving visitors a safe and car-free way to walk all the way to the shoreline.

The Tunnel Tops feature scenic overlooks, trails, and picnic areas that offer stunning views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. They're populated with 180 varieties of native plants and will be crucial to the ongoing conservation efforts within the wider Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The Tunnel Tops will be home to limited-time art exhibitions. The first, Ancestral Futurism: Looking Back to Repair the Future by Favianna Rodriguez, uplifts the stories, experiences, and images of BIPOC communities. Rodriguez's work gives special emphasis to the Ohlone Ramaytush people, the original stewards of the land that now comprises the Presidio. You can see the exhibition near the Presidio Visitor Center and The Outpost.

What to Do at the Tunnel Tops

Kids (and kids-at-heart) will love The Outpost, a two-acre nature play area that invites visitors to swing, crawl, and climb on play structures built from fallen trees, boulders, and other natural materials found within the Presidio. 

The Crissy Field Center and brand-new Field Station, an indoor facility where kids can explore the Presidio through art and science, offer programmed and self-guided activities.

What to Eat at the Tunnel Tops

There are multiple picnic areas at the Tunnel Tops, with tables and grills that you can reserve in advance.

The Presidio Pop Up series will bring mobile food vendors to the Tunnel Tops daily, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. These include Authentic India, serving classic South Asian dishes; Casita Vegana, offering delicious plant-based tacos and burgers; Donut Petit, serving gourmet donuts; Media Noche, offering mouth-watering Cubano sandwiches; and Whipt, creators of the original cookie cake. For a full list of rotating food vendors, click here.

Special Events at the Tunnel Tops

The Tunnel Tops will host the First Sunday Afternoons series through summer and fall. Each designated Sunday (Aug. 7, Sept. 4, Oct. 2, and Nov. 6) will feature a community festival perfect for the whole family.

On Aug. 20, Hip Hop for Change's Sixth Annual Environmental Justice Summit will feature speakers, activities, and opportunities that promote efforts to diversify the Green Movement and ensure that all people feel welcome in our parks. The event will be held from noon to 7 p.m. and is open to all ages.

On Sept. 10, the Fourth Annual Korean Harvest Festival will be held on the Main Lawn, just steps from the Tunnel Tops themselves. This is the Bay Area's largest public event celebrating, showcasing, and promoting Korean culture, cuisine, and community. The event will last from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to enter.

Getting to the Tunnel Tops

The number 43 Muni bus will carry riders in the city's western neighborhoods to the Presidio Transit Center, while the number 30 Muni bus will pick up riders in Chinatown and Union Square and drop them adjacent to The Outpost along Mason Street. 

You can also reach the Tunnel Tops by boarding the Presidio Go shuttle at the Salesforce Transit Terminal in SoMa. It's an easy transfer from BART or Muni, and it's free!

There are also Bay Wheels bike share stations in the Presidio, meaning visitors can peddle over to the Tunnel Tops from virtually any San Francisco neighborhood.

Find a Hotel Near the Presidio Tunnel Tops

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