Kids, are you ready to immerse yourself in San Francisco's dramatic history? Yes? Great! We're about to tell you all about Fort Point National Historic Site where you can do JUST that!
When you visit Fort Point National Historic Site, you'll realise that one of the highlights is the vantage point it offers, overlooking the impressive Golden Gate Bridge. It's from this spectacular location that you can learn all about how Fort Point defended San Francisco Bay following the Gold Rush in California, right through World War II.
In fact, Fort Point has stood guard at the narrows of the Golden Gate Bridge for over 150 years!
Once called "the pride of the Pacific" and "the Gibraltar of the West Coast", Fort Point was initially conceived as the most formidable deterrence that the USA could offers to any naval attack on California. An interesting fact (that you can also learn during your visit!) is that the guns never fired a shot in anger, despite it witnessing a Civil War, earthquake, use during WWII and ultimately its life as a National historic Site.
One thing to note also is the beautifully arched casemates that display the art of 3rd system brick masonry, as it interacts gracefully with the Golden Gate Bridge! In fact, this would be the only fortification of this designed constructed west of the Mississippi!
During your visit you'll learn how Fort Point was built during the mid to late 1800s, yet never saw battle. You'll learn how during WWI, the Army remodeled Fort Point as a detention barracks (although never used as such). You'll also learn how in the late 1930s there were plans to demolish Fort Point to make say for the Golden Gate Bridge!
Luckily for us, on October 16, 1970, Fort Point became a National Historic Site and remains part of the citys history, and YOU can become part of that history too!
A great day out immersed in history at Fort Point National Historic Site for all!
By car from San Francisco and points south, take Highway 101 north and exit right at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza before getting on bridge. Turn right at end of exit ramp and then left onto Lincoln Boulevard. Take the first left onto Long Avenue and follow onto Marine Drive. Fort Point is located at the end of Marine Drive.
By car from the north, take Highway 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge. Stay in right toll lane and exit immediately past the bridge toll plaza. Turn right at end of exit ramp and loop under toll plaza. At end of road, turn left onto Lincoln Boulevard. Take the first left onto Long Avenue and follow onto Marine Drive. Fort Point is located at the end of Marine Drive.
By public transit, San Francisco Muni 28 and PresidiGo (Crissy Field Route) buses stop at bridge toll plaza. Follow trail signs northeast of plaza area to Fort Point at base of bluffs
Kids can join the Junior Ranger Programs! It's a fun way to participate in the national park experience and feel more involved. Offered online and (soon to be reinstated post Covid) in person!
The park store has a wide range of books, posters, educational games, and other items available for retail sale. These products complement the interpretive themes you experience when visiting the park!
Fort Point offers:
Accessible First Floor
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
Tactile Orientation Maps
and a downloadable audio brochure!
Restrooms are available outside the Fort. They are located approximately 100 yards away from the fort, down the main road on the right side.