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Fort Point-San Francisco with Kids

Fort Point-San Francisco with Kids

No visit to the Presidio is complete without a stroll along the northern shoreline with its amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city.  From Crissy field, a former U.S. Army Airfield, the northern waterfront has something for everyone with spectacular views, great recreational opportunities and a a chance to view wildlife in the restored tidal marsh.

Crissy Field, is very kid friendly with a picnic area, a rock climbing gym, a trampoline house, a bike shop, a Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center, the MIS Historic Learning Center  and trails down to Fort Point.  Just remember a jacket, it can be breezy along the water!

A short walk along Marine Drive from Crissy Field brings you to Fort Point which you may recognize from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” The Fort is perfect for running around in.  No traffic, minimal crowds and  great echos in the battlements as you race from rifle slit to rifle slit, peer through recreations of soldier’s quarters from the Civil War, examine cannons, and climb up to the lighthouse on top of the battlements.

If your children are interested in history,  Fort Point is a prime example of the U.S. Army’s most sophisticated coastal fortifications at the time of the Civil War, though it quickly became obsolete with the advent of rifled artillery.  During World War II it housed soldiers guarding minefields and the anti-submarine net along the length of the harbor.  It was saved from destruction when the plans for the Golden Gate Bridge were redesigned to save the Fort as a national monument.

While we were there we managed to catch a photo shoot for San Francisco Ballet which was a lot of fun to watch (in between running around and shrieking….).

Things to know before you go

As with anywhere in San Francisco, parking is limited. The Fort is closed on Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. At the Fort there is an introductory film, cannon-loading demonstrations, and guided and self-guided tours. Don’t forget a jacket, it’s frequently a bit nippy!

Books we re-read before the trip:

In Pop’s Bridge, Robert watches the building of the bridge from Fort Point with his friend Charlie whose dad is a painter on the bridge.  Fort Point is still one of the best places to get a close up view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
 Fly High, Fly Low (50th Anniversary ed.) offers a wonderful tour of San Francisco from a bird’s perspective.  It would be a fun adventure to find all of the locations pictured in the book and settle in for a snack at Emporio Rulli Il Caffe at Union Square.

To add Pop’s Bridge or Fly High, Fly Low to your child’s collection, click here: Pop’s Bridge or Fly High, Fly Low (50th Anniversary ed.)


  1. Love the idea of the book giving a tour from a bird’s eye view. Sounds fun, and I bet there’s some sights to see 🙂 #mondayescapes

  2. If might go San Fran over the holidays, we will make it point to stop at Fort Point, looks like best places to get a close up view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    • You can really see a lot without having to fight crowds and traffic. There’s also a view of Alcatraz and Angel Island as you look back towards the city.

  3. So nice that you shared the books you re-read before going there with the kids 😀
    It’s been such a long time since I last went to SF, I hope I can come back some time!

    Happy to have you on #MondayEscapes

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