Treasure Island is a modern engineering marvel that has had the best seat in the house for more than 80 years. The fact that it even exists is a human achievement.
Treasure Island is a 400-acre artificial island built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1936-37 on the shoals of neighboring Yerba Buena Island. While its name implies that there was something of value buried beneath, it was actually constructed from mud dredged up from the bay.
The original purpose of Treasure Island was to host the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition. The GGIE was a glowing Art Deco “Magic City” of towers, gardens, goddesses, and dazzling lighting effects created to celebrate the ascendency of California and San Francisco as economic, political, and cultural forces in the Pacific region. The fair also celebrated the local engineering achievements of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. After the fair, the US Navy took control of the island and transformed it into a naval station.
Naval Station Treasure Island was closed in 1997 and leased to the City of San Francisco. Today the island is open to the public and is home to more than 2,000 residents, commercial tenants, restaurants, schools, arts and athletic organizations, and community organizations.
Reasons to Visit
First and foremost: the view. San Francisco’s entire northern waterfront from bridge to bridge is picture-perfect here. The island is also home to public art, flea markets, and festivals throughout the year.
How to Get There
Treasure Island is easily accessible by car. Taking an Uber or Lyft is a great option. The 25 Bus goes to Treasure Island if you prefer to use public transportation.