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Things to see and do in San Francisco

Nov 15, 2013 - Presidio of San Francisco

Do you want history and wildlife all in one place? If you do, then hop onto a rental bus to San Francisco and head over to the Presidio of San Francisco, a park and former military base located on the northern top of San Francisco peninsula. As part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio has many visitor centers and many wooded areas, hills and scenic panorama overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge on San Francisco Bay.

The National Park Service operates the visitors centers at Presidio. There are actually 5 visitor centers here and they are the Presidio Visitor Center, Battery Chamberlin, Fort Point, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center and the Golden Gate Bridge Pavillion. These visitors centers provide information about the sights and activities on the park, as well as guided tours, self-guiding materials, exhibits and more. Depending on which visitor center you go to, the information and service you receive is different.

At the Battery Chamberlin, you will get to see the Six-Inch Rifle Gun Number Nine and disappearing carriage, which is one of the few disappearing guns in the world that still operates, moving from loading to firing position. The operation of this gun is open to the public, usually on the first full weekend of every month, from 11 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. You can also head to the underground magazine where you can view photos and small exhibits on the harbour defence of San Francisco.

Fort Point is a brick and granite fortification situated under the Golden Gate Bridge. Built in 1861, this fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site. At the visitor’s center, you can view video orientations, and for a spot of recreation, the rocky point north of the fort is popular with surfers with its spectacular waves during winter months.

As one of the 13 marine sanctuaries in America, the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is part of the United Nation’s Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve. It protects approximately 1,250 square miles of waters off San Francisco and is part of the California Current System. Within this sanctuary, the seabirds that uses this place as its feeding ground and the seals that breed and haul out are protected. Migrating whales and great white sharks are also part of the marine wildlife protected in this sanctuary. Here, you can have hands-on experience on many marine life exhibits and learn more on how to play a part in keeping marine life safe for the future generations to come.

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