Whether you live in San Francisco or are visiting here from elsewhere in the world, getting to know The Presidio is a not-to-be-missed adventure. Established in 1776 as a military garrison it was deemed no longer needed by the US Army in 1994, given to the National Park Service, and then to the Presidio Trust to manage, which they have done and continue to do in a exemplary manner as you can read in this recap of the history of the Presidio Trust.
Here you'll find great diversity in the 1,500 acre parkland. Wander the hiking trails and pathways with gorgeous views of the bay and the Pacific Ocean, find the four art installations of Andy Goldsworthy scattered in various spots, stroll through the immaculately groomed gardens of the Letterman Center, home of Lucasfilms and smile at delightful statue of Yoda that you'll find there. These and more destinations are easy to enjoy.
Historic brick buildings line the former parade ground; the Officer's Club has been renovated and is open to the public for a variety of uses. The YMCA operates a first-class facility, including tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool. At the edge of San Francisco Bay is the Crissy Field section with jogging, biking paths, and drop-dead views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City of San Francisco.
Dining options are diverse, from food trucks, to grab-n-go sandwich and salad spots, the restaurant at the Presidio Golf Course and fresh upscale Mexican cuisine, to fine dining at the Presidio Social Club and The Commissary.
On a more somber note, the National Cemetery is located here, so quiet your voice, slow your steps and reflect as you walk through or by.
This San Franciscan visits the Presidio several times a week, but one recent weekend decided to do something different as a special celebration - we spent the night at the Lodge at the Presidio, a 10-minute drive from home.
It was the perfect one-night stay-cation and we enjoyed every moment of it, starting with a hike to one of our favorite view points, followed by wine-and-cheese-hour, sitting in rocking chairs on the veranda. Later that evening a special dinner at The Commissary capped the evening off perfectly. We dined well, and in a leisurely manner, never rushed.
A breakfast buffet reminiscent of those enjoyed at European inns was served in the "living room" a beautiful, tranquil spot. To foster the feeling of relaxation, breakfast hours were long, 7:00AM - 11:00AM. No need to rush; sit by the fire and read after breakfast, enjoy the views, pour another cup of coffee, linger some more...
One night away, and we were as relaxed and refreshed as if we had taken a 3- or 4-day trip.
Sometimes a stay-cation no further than a 10-minute drive from home is just the right thing to do, and San Francisco's Presidio fits that bill perfectly.