In this post we share photos from one of our favorites walks in San Francisco, California, USA. Trace our path from Fisherman’s Wharf to Chrissy Field onto Fort Point National Historic Site, which offers closeup views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
This six mile walk can be completed in a day. Consider splitting the time into two separate experiences if you are interested in brunching/lunching, shopping, visiting Alcatraz or lazing at the beach.
- A walk from Fisherman’s Wharf to Fort Point National Historic Site, San Francisco, California, USA
- Travel to this part of town during your time in San Francisco
- Local airports are San Francisco or San Jose International Airports
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- Alcatraz Island
- Fort Mason
- Marina Boulevard
- Chestnut Street
- The Palace Of Fine Arts
- Presidio Main Post Lawn
- Chrissy Field
- Fort Point National Historic Site
- Golden Gate Bridge
We begin our walk in one of the most frequented areas of the city. For many, Fisherman’s Wharf needs no introduction. Photos of sea lions on Pier 39 and seafood Scoma’s Restaurant are highlights of many visitor’s time in San Francisco.
For those with cushion in their itinerary, take a boat ride to Alcatraz Island, a penitentiary with a storied history including indigenous activists overtaking the island for 19 months. We recommend booking ahead here.
From Fisherman’s Wharf, continue walking west, stopping off for a world famous hot fudge ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli Square, right off the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. For the 21+ crowd, try an Irish Coffee, a cocktail made of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, topped with cream coffee at The Buena Vista, home to American’s first Irish Coffee.
This part of the walk is the beginning of the end of the traditional touristy areas.
As the walk continues west, arrive to Fort Mason, a 1,200-acre greenbelt and home to the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. This space makes for an ideal picnic location – after climbing a decently steep hill, arrive to a lush expanse of grass to roll out a blanket and munch on a lunch spread.
Rollerbladers, bicycles, and pedestrians share a wide walking path that runs parallel to the harbor, making for gush worthy views of the natural habitat and beachfront homes. The extensive lawn strip is where you can catch a game of ultimate frisbee and participate in dog meetups.
We’ve previously highlighted an afternoon on Chestnut Street, located in the Marina district. Check out our post here.
A few favorite spots include:
- Lucca Deli – Old school Italian sandwiches and picnic provisions – a San Francisco institution
- Blue Barn – Gourmet salads & sandwiches; locally sourced ingredients
- Blackwood – Traditional American brunch, Asian fusion lunch & hearty spirits, beer & wine menu
- Chestnut Street Coffee Roastery – Coffee & pastries
- Books Inc. – Independent bookstore
Palace of Fine Arts
Presidio Chestnut Gate
Presidio Main Post Lawn
This is the heart of the Presidio, an entry point to the National Park’s 1,491 acres of forests, beaches and bluffs, hiking and biking trails, and 768 historic buildings and structures. The Walt Disney Museum and army barracks-turned-hotels line the green.
The city of San Francisco has spent the last twenty years focusing on the preservation and conservation efforts of Chrissy Field. The Parks Conservancy converted the once-famous military and aviation area into a national park in 2001, spurring efforts to present a eco-forward project for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. The walk path from Marina Green to Fort Point brings you through Chrissy Field, where you can stop off for a picnic on the lawns, or the beach.
Fort Point National Historic Site: Views of the Golden Gate Bridge
Fort Point offers gorgeous, sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge. This site served as the defense base for the San Francisco Bay from California’s Gold Rush through World War II.
Fort Point recently renovated visitor center makes for a good break site ahead of walking over the Golden Gate Bridge, or known pickup location for ride shares to bring you back downtown.
Connect this itinerary:
- An Afternoon in San Francisco, California, USA
- Japantown, San Francisco California USA – Activity Recommendations
- A Visit to the US Army Corp of Engineer’s Bay-Delta Model in Sausalito, California, USA
- Healdsburg, California in Two Days, One Night – Activity Recommendations
- Mendocino & Fort Bragg, California in Two Days, One Night – Activity Recommendations