Sitting near one of the USA’s iconic structures, the Golden Gate Bridge, this relatively new attraction has a major city on one side and a beach on the other.
Less than 20 years ago, a part of San Francisco known as Crissy Field didn’t look as it does now. Today, it’s an ideal place to stroll, jog or bike, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Through funding, donations and volunteer work, a 100-acre (40-hectare) park was created, officially opening in 2001. Enjoy this amazing space and its incredible views.
The area was originally marshland before being filled in to provide a grand prix racetrack for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. From 1920 to 1936 it was utilized as an army airfield, followed by a period of neglect. Consider the insight the late Walter Haas Jr. had to remove debris that had accumulated and tear up the asphalt to create green space.
The Haas family was instrumental in providing funding to turn the dream into reality. Community volunteers worked to complete the field’s transformation. The task was herculean, with the removal of 70 acres (28 hectares) of asphalt and 87,000 tons (79,000 metric tons) of hazardous material. Experience this swath of grassland on San Francisco Bay. The marshland was also restored as an aquatic habitat.
Bring a sweatshirt, hat and sunglasses to visit this natural park, as the wind often drives across the bay, particularly in the afternoon, blowing sand from the beach. Although the water is clean and generally safe, pay attention to any warnings. This is ocean water, so tides exist.
Plenty of parking is available at beachfront lots near Marina Gate in the field’s eastern section. Watch windsurfers using the beach as their launch point. Look out across the bay to see Alcatraz, the former penal institution.
A well-maintained, wide, flat trail winds along Crissy Field’s shoreline from Marina Green to the western extremity at Fort Point near Golden Gate Bridge. At the west end of the field at Torpedo Wharf, fish or do some crabbing. No license is required here. Step inside the café and souvenir shop, also located at the west end, to get out of any wind or fog and have a snack.