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A photo of Pershing Square. Photo by Rachel Styer.

Pershing Square

Enjoy a picnic surrounded by history near the Presidio Officers' Club.


Main Post Region


Military & Historic Site


History, Recreation

Top Amenities

Accessible Parking, Paid Parking, Bike Parking, Wheelchair-accessible Picnic Tables, Accessible Restrooms

Located where the Presidio was established, Pershing Square is a place to enjoy a picnic while learning about history

Pershing Square is right across from the park’s oldest building – the Presidio Officers’ Club – within the boundaries of El Presidio de San Francisco, the fort settlers created for Spain when they occupied the land at the Golden Gate in 1776.

Today, you can learn about the Presidio’s earliest history through occasional live archaeology digs, as well the tragic story of the family of General John J. Pershing, for whom the site is named.

Pershing Square features picnic tables which provide a commanding view of the Main Post and is easily accessible on foot or by shuttle.

Map of the Presidio

By Public Tranist

Muni Route: 43 Masonic

Stop: Presidio Transit Center

By Presidio GO Shuttle

Route: South Hills Route

Stop: Pershing Square, Stop 2; Presidio Officers’ Club, Stop 20

Pershing Square Parking

A paid parking lot is located next to Pershing Square at the intersection of Graham Street and Moraga Avenue, opposite the Presidio Officers’ Club.

Why We Love Pershing Square

An archaeology dig​ the largest public archaeology project west of the Mississippi happens at Pershing Square during the summer in select years where you can talk to Presidio archaeologists who are uncovering the original Spanish colonial fort built here beginning in 1776. And right across the street, you can visit the free history exhibits inside the Presidio Officers’ Club.

Accessibility at Pershing Square

The large lot next to Pershing Square along Graham Street at Moraga Avenue features parking spaces for those with mobility limitations. The picnic tables at Pershing Square are wheelchair accessible.

Insider Tip

If you left your picnic basket at home, there are lots of options nearby. Pick up a delicious meal from the Presidio Pop-Up food vendors near the Main Parade Lawn, food from the grill at Presidio Bowl, or favorites from Colibri Mexican Bistro.

Picnic tables and cannon at Pershing Square.


Picnic on the Main Post 

The picnic area at Pershing Square features four tables with a dramatic view north across the Main Post toward San Francisco Bay. There are no grills here so bring your lunch or pick up Presidio food from a nearby restaurant.

What’s in a Name? 

The site is named after General John J. Pershing, who was stationed at the Presidio in 1914 as commander of the Eighth Brigade before being dispatched with it to the Mexican border in response to fighting in that country. An important figure in military history, commanding American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, the Pershing name is tied to tragedy. The square includes the site of the house where Pershing’s family was living in 1915 when a fire claimed the lives of his wife and three young daughters. His son survived.

Flagpole and Cannons at Pershing Square 

Flanking the flagpole are two Spanish bronze cannons that once guarded the Golden Gate. Among the oldest cannons in North America, they were cast in Peru in the late 1600s.​​

Visitors experiencing a tour of the archaeology site at Pershing Square.
Photo by Dan Friedman.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Restrooms can be found across the street inside the Presidio Officers’ Club. Enter through the front door on days when the free history exhibits are open. Otherwise, enter on the west side through Colibri Mexican Bistro.

Pershing Square features four large picnic tables available on a first come, first served basis. There are no grills. If you’re looking for a site with more amenities, check out the Picnic Areas page.

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. 

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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