At the panoramic Battery East Vista, there's a 1936 photograph taken in this exact same spot of two soldiers watching the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, there is still no better place to stand in awe of this engineering marvel. The image is a reminder that there was a time when San Francisco didn't have its famous bridge, and that this beautiful national park was a military post for two centuries.
The vista's namesake gun battery was constructed in the late 1800s to guard the Golden Gate. It's the only intact brick-and-masonry battery in the area.
Views, Views, Views
The views begin in the parking lot, located across Lincoln Boulevard from the charming historic houses of Pilots' Row. And because unobstructed site lines to the bridge never lose their thrill, the vista's viewing and picnic areas provide ample seating, inviting visitors to linger a while. When you're ready to move on, signs point the way to the bridge and scenic pathways, including the Battery East Trail that zigzags through fragrant bluffs to the Fort Point National Historic Site and Crissy Field.
Visit Battery East Vista
You can reach Battery East Vista on foot or by bike on the Presidio Promenade, Battery East and Bay trails, by car with paid parking in the adjacent lot.
The Battery East Vista was revamped in 2015 thanks to a $1 million grant from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation. It is part of the Trails Forever initiative.