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Golden Gate National Recreational Area

Golden Gate National Parks - BEST Places to Picnic

Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco, California 94123

Visitor Information
(415) 561-4700

Explore the Golden Gate National Recreation Area!

Golden Gate National Parks chronicle two hundred years of history, from the Native American culture, the Spanish Empire frontier and the Mexican Republic, to maritime history, the California Gold Rush, the evolution of American coastal fortifications, and the growth of urban San Francisco.

One of the world's largest urban national parks, Golden Gate National Recreation Area hugs the California coastline for nearly 60 miles in and around San Francisco.

For our neighbors who live and work in the Bay Area, we are their "backyard" national park. The place where they windsurf, walk the dog, go for a run, or bring their kids to explore nature and get a taste of history.

The park also attracts visitors from across the country and around the world, a total of 17 million annually are drawn here by the unparalleled recreational opportunities, stunning natural beauty, and riveting stories.

Where else can you experience a "working" Nike Missile Site, the isolation of a maximum security federal prison, the conversion of an abandoned airfield into hundreds of acres of productive coastal wetlands, and some of the best beaches and hiking trails in the nation? And then take a cable car to dinner?

Whatever you are looking for in a national park, chances are Golden Gate has it. There are so many trails, historic structures, natural areas, and public programs in the Golden Gate National Park that the hardest thing to do is decide which one to try.

Want to watch a sunset? There are countless places in the park to watch the sun drop below the horizon across the vast Pacific Ocean.

Is a family hike on your agenda? Pick from dozens of options, from a stroll to an extreme trek.

Want to learn about the how the U.S. Army defended the Bay from attack? Check out the coastal gun batteries in the park up and down the coast in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo County.

Do you love wildflowers? There are spectacular displays of wildflowers and native plants in many locations in the park.

Do you have the skills and desire to test yourself on some extreme sports? Try the new sport of kite-boarding off the Crissy Field shoreline, or get airborne in a hang glider off the cliffs at Fort Funston.

Want to roll up your sleeves and work to protect park resources? Join one of the many volunteer stewardship teams that restore natural areas in the park.

An indispensable resource is Guide to the Parks, published by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. And be sure and visit or call one of the park�s visitor centers or ranger offices:

  • Park Headquarters and Information Center, Fort Mason, (415) 561-4700
  • Alcatraz (415) 561-4900
  • Muir Woods, (415) 331-2596
  • Marin Headlands, (415) 331-1540
  • Presidio, (415) 561-4323
  • Crissy Field, (415) 561-7761 or 561-3040
  • Fort Point (415) 561-1693 or 561-1373
  • Sweeney and Milagra Ridges and Mori Point, (650) 355-4122

Places to Picnic

  • Baker Beach
  • Bootjack
  • China Beach
  • Crissy Field
  • East Peak Visitor Center
  • Fort Baker
  • Laurel Dell
  • Mendall
  • Muir Beach
  • Muir Beach Overlook
  • Potrero
  • Rodeo Beach
  • Rock Spring
  • West Fort Miley

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