Fort Point and Crissy Field are among the many notable treasures of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California.
Fort Point is a masonry fortification situated at water’s edge on the south shore of the Golden Gate. It commands the entrance to San Francisco Bay and pre-dates the Golden Gate Bridge by three-quarters of a century. The fort was constructed between 1853 and 1861. The U.S. Army Engineers built it to serve part of a group of forts created to guard San Francisco Bay. Located directly underneath the south approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point is an impressive fortification. The span of history that the fort represents is impressive; it was built during the Gold Rush days and was used during the Second World War.
History & Design
When it came time to build the Golden Gate Bridge, the fort was still considered to be important architecturally, if somewhat outmoded, militarily. So the design of the bridge was influenced by the fort. The huge supporting arch curves dramatically over the fort. The soaring arch of the Bridge was created specifically to protect and preserve the fort. It is also a feast for the eyes. Old movie aficionados will tell you that the fort serves as one of the many evocative locations for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film, “Vertigo.”
The fort has been transformed into a museum, filled with exhibits about its history and the building of the Bridge. You will enjoy how truly stunning the setting is. In addition, you are directly beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and you have a 360-degree view from the top. Entry to the fort is free; there is a fee for the audio tour.
Crissy Field & More
Crissy Field was once a U.S. Army airfield, historically part of the Presidio of San Francisco. Due to many considerations including the frequent fog, Crissy Field closed as an airfield after 1974. Crissy Field Center and its old airfield have been restored to a wonderful natural open space, with sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, a great place for a picnic. There is a pathway along the beach as well as a walkway and cycling trail set back from the beach.
Spend some time strolling and enjoying the prospect of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay, including Alcatraz Island, and Sausalito. On a clear evening, it’s the perfect location to watch the sunset.
This Crissy Field Center is among the most technologically advanced, energy-efficient buildings in the city. The Center features a café, a science lab, an art room, administrative spaces as well as high-performance classrooms.
Read about all of the Golden Gate Recreation Areas in one beautiful guide.
Download the complete PDF guide with visitor information, hi-res photos of each locale, and helpful driving tips by clicking here.