Fort Point National Historic Site in San Francisco, California
Fort Point National Historic Site doesn’t have a sandy beach, but it’s location at the Golden Gate makes it a top waterfront destination in San Francisco.
Who wouldn’t want to stand on top of a historic fort directly under the Golden Gate Bridge? It’s a sublime location surrounded by water on three sides with a feel that’s hard to describe. The roof of this fort is open to visitation and comes with outstanding views and a lighthouse too. The courtyard of the fort building is open for tourists too and has cannons and other relics to view.
At ground level there is no easy beach access but nearby is West Crissy Field Beach and Marshall’s Beach (but that one is clothing optional). Close by is Fort Point Fishing Pier (aka Torpedo Wharf) where you can get out over the water and take amazing photos of the bridge and the fort.
The Battery East Trail begins near Torpedo Wharf and climbs up the hill to several military batteries and the Golden Gate Bridge. This trail also connects to the Bay Trail / Presidio Promenade for longer hiking options.
Fort Point was constructed between 1853 and 1861 as a protection system for San Francisco Bay. It never saw battle but was used during World War II to guard the entrance to the bay from submarine attacks. The engineers of the Golden Gate Bridge decided to extend the bridge deck over the fort in the late 1930s thus saving it from demolition. Fort Point became a national park in 1970.
To get to Fort Point NHS from either direction on Highway 101, take exit 439 for Lincoln Boulevard and follow signs to the Presidio and Fort Point. Stop at the Warming Hut on your way to or from the fort for a hot drink and a memento.
201 Marine Dr
San Francisco, CA 94129
- Park Name
- Fort Point National Historic Site
- Walking, Photography, Fishing, Hiking
- Historic Sites, Military Structures, Lighthouse, Bridge, Viewpoint, Pier, Restrooms, Guided Tours
- Pet Policy
- No dogs inside Fort but ok on grounds outside
- Free parking