National Parks in San Francisco include Point Reyes National Seashore, Muir Woods National Monument, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Point National Historic Site and the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses Grant signed into existence the world's first national park. Since then, hundreds more have been established. These parks are awe inspiring natural wonders and offer endless activities. California has several of these National Parks and Monuments. Explore the open spaces of Point Reyes National Seashore. Hike through the Redwoods to the sea at Muir Woods National Monument. Visit historic locations like Alcatraz Prison, Fort Point and a Nike Missile Site at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
TIP: The National Park Service offers FEE FREE DAYS to some parks on select weekends through the Summer. Use this link to view available dates.
National Parks in San Francisco
Point Reyes National Seashore is located just one hour north of the San Francisco Bay area along highway 1 (PCH). A wide variety of landscape including forest, marsh lands, rocky coast and grassy plateaus filled with wildflowers can be found here. Recreational opportunities include 147 miles of hiking trails, backcountry campgrounds and numerous beaches, kayaking, biking, hiking, beach combing, and wildlife viewing. A paved path leads to the Point Reyes Lighthouse where the strong ocean breeze can often times be a powerful gust. A Miwok Indian cultural center portrays their 5000 year old history in this region.
Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, California 94956
Muir Woods National Monument is located 30 minutes north of the San Francisco Bay area along highway 1. Naturalist John Muir once said about this region, "This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world". The forest on the Northern California Coast are some of the most beautiful in the world. Muir Beach offers astounding coastal views. Stinson Beach is a large sandy beach that's popular with surfers. Olema Valley is a hikers paradise with trails through forest, grassy meadows, and steep ridges.
Muir Woods National Monument
Mill Valley, California 94941
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area encompasses Fort Point in northern San Francisco to as far north as Muir Woods National Monument. Fort Mason, Fort Point, Nike Missile Site, the Presidio and Alcatraz are some of its historic sites. Tomales Bay is part of the 59 miles of pristine shoreline contained within the area. Golden Gate NRA is one of the states most visited National Parks due to its variety of offerings and proximity to large urban population.
Golden Gate NRA
Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco, California 94123
Fort Point National Historic Site is located at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Fort Point was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1853 and 1861 to defend against a hostile fleet entering into San Francisco Bay. This large brick structure was built to hold 126 cannons, which are no longer present. Fort Point has served as lookout point for the submarine net strung across the bay during WWII and the headquarters for the Golden Gate Bridge's construction. Candlelight tours are popular and reservations must be made far in advance.
Fort Point National Historic Site
San Francisco, CA 94129
San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park is located at the western end of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. The San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park consists of several historic ships, historic structures, aquatic park and several museums including the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Some of the ships on display were built from 1886 to 1914 and include a square-rigger, steam ferryboat, scow schooner, steam tug, paddlewheel tug and more.
San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
499 Jefferson Street
San Francisco, CA 94109