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The Presidio: From Army Post to National Park

The Presidio: From Army Post to National Park

San Francisco 's military post from 1776 until the U.S. Army's departure in 1994, the Presidio is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, although its coastal defense forts, national cemetery, and military museum still remain as relics of its past identity. 


With its majestic cliffs overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean, this 1,480-acre preserve offers visitors a wide range of delights, including more than 500 historic buildings, lush forests, beaches, miles of hiking and biking trails, and some of the most spectacular views in the world. Nestled under the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge is Fort Point, a restored stronghold from the Civil War era. Now a museum and historical site, it gained cinematic fame as the spot where Kim Novak plunged into the bay in the Hitchcock thriller "Vertigo."


In 1995, the historic Presidio Golf Course, one of the most picturesque and popular on the West Coast, was opened to the public. In 2001, the post's former airfield, Crissy Field, opened after renovation as a stunning park with beaches, grassland, sand dunes, a tidal marsh, and a shoreline promenade. Most recently, the 23-acre Letterman Digital Arts Center took up residence here, with "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' movie-making and video game companies and special-effects pioneer Industrial Light and Magic as its anchors.

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