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A man and boy look at exhibits at the Farallones Visitor Center. Photo by Blue Cadet.

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center

Learn about the thriving underwater world just outside San Francisco’s Golden Gate.


Crissy Field Region



Top Amenities

Accessible Parking, Paid Parking, Golden Gate View, Muni Bus-accessible

This surprising attraction at Crissy Field introduces visitors to the wildlife that’s thriving at the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

The visitor center educates everyone about the sanctuary’s wildlife and what we can do to protect it. Here you’ll find a plankton microscope, serrated sharks teeth, blue whale baleen, and small aquariums filled with local creatures to help foster connections to our neighboring sea.

This is a great place to bring the kids. Check out the exhibits and then continue exploring nature on the Crissy Field beach just behind the building.

Getting to Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center

991 Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129

Map of the Presidio

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 28 19th Avenue

Stop: Golden Gate Bridge Parking Lot

Directions: Follow the Coastal Trail to the Battery East Trail and then connect to the Bay Trail to reach Marine Drive and the Greater Farallones Visitor Center.

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 30 Stockton

Stop: Sports Basement Parking Lot

Directions: Take the Golden Gate Promenade/ Bay Trail for 0.6 miles west to reach the Greater Farallones Visitor Center.

By Presidio GO Shuttle

Route: Any

Stop: Presidio Transit Center

Directions: From Presidio Transit Center, walk north on Halleck Street. Then take the Bay Trail/Golden Gate Promenade toward the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s about a 15-minute walk.


There is a small free parking lot next the Greater Farallones Visitor Center. Additional paid parking is available at Crissy Field West Bluff Picnic Area parking lot and along Mason Street.

Why We Love Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center

This hands-on visitor center invites you to fall in love with our neighboring seas from the safety of land. You can hunt for shark teeth, peer into aquariums filled with local creatures, or say hello to a life-size model of an elephant seal. Afterward, step outside to enjoy a picnic with an up-close view of the Golden Gate Bridge.


The small lot next to the visitor center has one parking spot for those with mobility limitations.

Insider Tip

Want to see an estuary in action? Stroll over to Crissy Marsh for world-class birdwatching.

Visitors walking on the trail outside the Farallones Visitor Center.


The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary protects one of the most bountiful marine habitats in the world. While these sites aren’t all easy to visit, the Visitor Center provides an interactive introduction that’s fun for people of all ages.

Farallones Visitor Center exterior, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Where is the Sanctuary itself?

The sanctuary itself runs south toward Santa Cruz and north toward the Point Arena lighthouse – 3,295 square miles in all. It supports a huge amount of wildlife, including 38 species of marine mammals like humpback whales and one of the largest white shark populations in the world.

Where is the Sanctuary Visitor Center in the Presidio?

The Visitor Center is at the west end of Crissy Field in a historic former Coast Guard station. It’s right alongside the Golden Gate Promenade/Bay Trail, about a five-minute walk from the Crissy Field West Bluff Picnic Area. There is a small parking lot off Marine Drive, but the best way to visit is on foot from the trail.

Other Sanctuary Activities

Beyond the Visitor Center, the larger Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is full of amazing habitats and exciting adventures to enjoy. From beach days and boating trips to tide pooling and paddleboarding, there is truly something for everyone. Visit the sanctuary’s official website for more information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The visitor center is open from 10 am to 4 pm, Wednesdays through Sundays.

No. The visitor center proudly offers free admission to all.

Nature Notes

It’s our goal to make sure people can enjoy the Presidio’s natural beauty for generations to come. We work to protect native plants and animals while reducing our impact on the environment.

Farallones Visitor Center exterior, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Explore What’s Nearby


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.