The southern anchor of the Golden Gate Bridge, the verdant, scenic Presidio, artfully reclaimed Crissy Field and the Civil War-era Fort Point are just a few of the attractions in the northwest corner of town. That’s not even counting the area’s Richmond District, which hosts a major arts museum, a major city park, the historic, recently reinvented Cliff House restaurant at the ocean’s edge and the city’s de facto second Chinatown, on Clement Street.
The Presidio, with its towering, aromatic eucalyptus trees, is a 2.8 square-mile former military base reborn as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Refurbished red brick military buildings are now family housing, offices for 225 organizations and attractions such as the Walt Disney Family Museum, located at the Parade Ground. Yes, there is a golf course. There are also 300 bird species, a dozen hiking trails and a campground. The Inn at the Presidio, which opened in 2012, is a LEED-certified hotel right in the park. Incidentally, the most visually stunning way to reach the Golden Gate Bridge is the road less traveled: twisting, turning, hillside-hugging Lincoln Boulevard.
The Inner Richmond is rich in local favorites such as the toy-bedecked Toy Boat Dessert Cafe and the much-loved bookstore Green Apple Books. Its variety of dim sum, Korean and Thai restaurants are also home to some of the city’s best places for cheap and delicious eats. The Outer Richmond showcases the splendid Legion of Honor fine arts museum in Lincoln Park, with its fine city and water views, plus rugged Land’s End and Eagle’s Point for hiking, golf and glorious views. On a sunny day, pack a picnic and spend some time relaxing near the remains of the Sutro Baths.