After we were done walking the Golden Gate Bridge, we walked down the trail to the Fort Point National Historic Site. We didn’t realize it closed at 5 – so we only had about 45 mins to look around by the time we got down there, but I am glad we were able to look around. It is really amazing and fun to see all the rooms. The views from the top are also very incredible. Take time to learn about the history of it and really look at as much as possible.
It is free to get into this and the hours are 10-5 Monday-Friday. It is closed on a few major holidays so be sure to check the site for updates here https://www.nps.gov/fopo/planyourvisit/hours.htm. I think it took us about 15 minutes to walk down there from the Golden Gate Bridge visitor center area, so be sure to plan accordingly. It isn’t bad going down, but the hike back up gains elevation or a short area – so be ready to climb those stairs lol.
There are so many great spots to get photos here of Fort Point as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also get a great coastline shot of San Francisco from here. We were there right before sunset and the pictures turned out great. I am sure they are great no matter when you go honestly. It’s all just so beautiful.
The Fort has been called “the pride of the Pacific,” “the Gibraltar of the West Coast,” and “one of the most perfect models of masonry in America.” When construction began during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California. Although its guns never fired a shot in anger, the “Fort at Fort Point” as it was originally named has witnessed Civil War, obsolescence, earthquake, bridge construction, reuse for World War II, and preservation as a National Historic Site.https://www.nps.gov/fopo/learn/historyculture/index.htm
If you have kids, they will enjoy doing the Junior Park Ranger book here and getting a badge. I know my kids all love it. There are also stamps available here for your National Park Passports.
The Golden Gate Bridge and Preservation Plans
In the late 1930s, plans for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge also involved plans for the demolition of Fort Point. Fortunately, Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss recognized the architectural value of the Fort and created a special arch which allowed the construction of the bridge to occur safely over Fort Point. After World War II, the movement to preserve Fort Point for its historic and architectural value began to grow. Over the next 20 years, support for the preservation movement waxed and waned. In 1959, a group of retired military officers and civilian engineers created the Fort Point Museum Association and lobbied for its creation as a National Historic Site. On October 16, 1970, Fort Point became a National Historic Site.https://www.nps.gov/fopo/learn/historyculture/index.htm
I hope you enjoy your time here as much as we did. I would definitely take the time to walk or drive or ride down to Fort Point and check it out. Before you head back, walk down to Torpedo Wharf and enjoy the views and see people catching crabs! It’s so fun. There are some great shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city from here!
Other things to do in San Francisco: