Enjoy views of the Golden Gate, bay, and city at Presidio Tunnel Tops, and finish with a picnic.
Presidio Tunnel Tops is the front door to the Presidio — where national park adventures begin!
This route follows the paved Cliff Walk where you’ll experience nature and history from three scenic viewpoints. After your adventure, pick up lunch from Presidio Pop Up food vendors at the Main Parade Lawn, and enjoy your meal at one of the many picnic tables nearby.
This itinerary is 0.3 miles in length and takes about two hours.
Stop 1: Presidio Visitor Center
Stop 2: Bay Overlook
Stop 3: Crossroads Overlook
Stop 4: Veterans Overlook
Stop 5: Presidio Pop Up Food Vendors
Stop 6: Picnic (various options)
Stop 7: Final Stop – Restrooms at Presidio Transit Center
Presidio Visitor Center is a great place to start your adventure. You’ll find interactive exhibits, touchscreens, maps, books, and a large model of the park. Exhibits are set at a height that allows full visibility and access to visitors in wheelchairs.
Tip: On many afternoons at 4 pm, the National Park Service offers a 30-minute Park Ranger talk at the Campfire Circle, which is accessible with companion seating. Ask about the schedule at Presidio Visitor Center, and plan to return for a talk later in your day.
Directions: Exit the Presidio Visitor Center and head northeast through Presidio Plaza toward the San Francisco Bay, taking the right fork of the path. Pass two picnic areas on your right and continue until you reach your next stop, the Bay Overlook.
From the Bay Overlook, take in views of the San Francisco skyline, the Palace of Fine Arts, and Alcatraz, set against the natural backdrop of San Francisco Bay and Crissy Marsh. If you look down and to the right, you’ll also see Quartermaster Reach Marsh, where seven acres of wetlands were recently restored.
Tip: A storytelling panel at the Bay Overlook describes how the Presidio is a biodiversity hotspot, home to native plants and animals that have been lost elsewhere. For history, look out to your right to spot the lighthouse on Alcatraz Island.
Directions: Follow the Cliff Walk to your left. Along the way, check out the gardens and bay views. Pause when you reach your next stop, the Crossroads Overlook.
Look down the Presidio Steps, over the Outpost playground, and across Crissy Marsh to spot the Golden Gate Bridge. After a few minutes here, you’ll understand what makes this one of the best Golden Gate Bridge view points.
Tip: In the summer, spot a Great Blue Heron flying above Crissy Marsh. In the fall and winter, look out for the sharp black and white plumage of Buffleheads.
Directions: Backtrack slightly to stay on the accessible path that leads you westward along the Cliff Walk toward your next stop, Veterans Overlook.
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.
Walk past the curvy cypress benches, inspired by driftwood that might be found at the nearby Crissy Field Beach. Their wood comes from Presidio cypress trees reclaimed as part of our reforestation program. Pause here to enjoy another vista of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Tip: Look southwest to see San Francisco National Cemetery where 30,000 military veterans have been laid to rest.
Directions: Follow the curving path back through Golden Gate Meadow. Pass the Presidio Visitor Center, cross Lincoln Boulevard, and turn right towards the Main Parade Lawn.
After taking in all the sights, it’s time for some delicious food celebrating the Bay Area’s diverse cultures and cuisines. Check out Presidio Pop Up mobile food trucks, carts, and tents and pick up your picnic lunch.
Tip: Presidio Pop Up is available every day. The website lists what vendors are on hand each week.
Directions: Take your food back across Lincoln Boulevard and enter Presidio Tunnel Tops at Presidio Plaza. Take the walkway on the right to get to the picnic areas.
Enjoy your food at one of the three picnic areas at Presidio Tunnel Tops: the wind-sheltered pavilion inside Presidio Transit Center, the tables Picnic at Transit, or the tables at Picnic Place near the East Meadow. All three have companion or accessible seating.
Tip: If you prefer to plan in advance, you can reserve a table at Picnic Place.
Directions: Head toward Presidio Transit Center to end your journey.
If needed, you can find all-gender wheelchair accessible restrooms inside Presidio Transit Center.