Skip to Content
The large lawn at the Civil War Parade Ground in the Presidio, with a Blue Heron.

Civil War Parade Ground

This public lawn in the heart of the Presidio is great for informal picnics and big special events.


Main Post Region


Public Lawn



Top Amenities

Accessible Restrooms, Accessible Parking, Paid Parking, Picnic Tables, Muni Bus-accessible

The Main Post is the center of the action, and the Civil War Parade ground is a great place to hang out and watch it all unfold.

More intimate than the lively Main Parade Lawn to the west, and quieter than the lawns at nearby Presidio Tunnel Tops, this is a lovely place to soak in the sun. Bring a blanket to enjoy a picnic at the Presidio in the grass or at one of the many picnic tables (sorry, no grills). If you didn’t bring food, buy lunch nearby at the Presidio Pop Up food trucks.

You can also rent this outdoor event space for private special gatherings – including community or business events for up to 3,000 people.

Getting to the Civil War Parade Ground

Graham St, San Francisco, CA 94129

Map of the Presidio

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 43

Stop: Presidio Transit Center

By Presidio GO Shuttle

Route: All

Stop: Presidio Transit Center

Why We Love the Civil War Parade Ground

This big lawn is surrounded by fun things to do. Before or after your picnic, visit Presidio Visitor Center, check out the views at Presidio Tunnel Tops, or visit the free public history exhibits inside Presidio Officers’ Club (check for hours).


Parking for those with mobility limitations is available nearby on Graham Street.

Insider Tip

On occasion, this big lawn hosts outdoor movie nights and other fun public events. Check the calendar to see what’s happening here and elsewhere in the Presidio.

A group gathered on the picnic tables at the Civil War Parade Ground.Photo by Dan Friedman.

A Fun Outdoor Event Space

Located in the heart of the park near Presidio Visitor Center, the Civil War Parade Ground is a great place to toss a Frisbee with your kid or host a family reunion.

A Great Place for a Presidio Picnic

The Civil War Parade Ground has ample grass for lounging and eight picnic table to spread out your meal. There are no grills here, so if you want to barbeque you should select another picnic site in the Presidio.

Tables with colorful decorations for a special event at the Civil War Parade Ground in the Presidio.

Presidio Pop Up Food Vendors

If you want to keep it simple, buy a meal from one of the Presidio Pop Up food vendors. You can find them a short walk away next to the nearby Main Parade Lawn.


The closest restrooms are located inside Presidio Transit Center. If you’ve got little ones, the restrooms feature changing stations.

Outdoor Event Space for Rent

This is one of three big lawns on the Main Post that are available for rent. This mid-size lawn can host gatherings for up to 3,000 people. Learn more about how to rent the Civil War Parade Ground.

History of the Civil War Parade Ground

A “parade ground” is where troops gather for military ceremonies and exercises. There are several at the Presidio. The Army created this one during the Civil War (1861-1865), when the Presidio was expanded to house more soldiers to secure San Francisco and Fort Point.

Park Itineraries

Need help planning your day at the Presidio? We’ve put together some itinerary ideas for things to see and do in the park. Whether you’re planning to spend a few hours or an entire day, there’s something for everyone at the Presidio.

We’re Here to Help

Have a question about the park? Want help planning your next visit? We’ve got you covered.

Representatives from the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy, and Presidio Trust standing in front of the Presidio Visitor Center