A wide swath of beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area backed by restored wetlands is just part of Crissy Field’s story. An integral part of San Francisco’s waterfront, Crissy Field hosts a yacht harbor, a tidal marsh, and Crissy Promenade—a popular bike and pedestrian path that climbs from the beach to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
A favorite playground for locals and dog walkers alike, Crissy Field is easy to explore. A foot and bike path connects Crissy Field to the city’s coastal points from Ghirardelli Square in Fisherman’s Wharf to Fort Mason, the Golden Gate Bridge, and beyond. From the naturally occurring Wave Organ to a broad, beach-bordered tidal marsh, Crissy Field is a great place to experience natural San Francisco while getting stellar views of Alcatraz Island, the Marin headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Tours of the area such as walking and bike tours, surrey rentals, and GoCar tours cover Crissy Field’s natural history and national historic sites as well as the field’s former use as a military base. Tours wend from the eastern edge of Crissy Field to Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge. Bike rentals offer a low-key way to explore Crissy Field and the northern side of peninsular San Francisco. To see the area from a fresh perspective, take to the air on a seaplane or helicopter tour, or take a sailboat cruise out onto the bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Families with kids enjoy the access to the picnic area and the beach, while history buffs get to explore Crissy Field’s past history as a military base and home to the Ohlone people.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and sunglasses, and always dress in layers: San Francisco’s infamous summer fog sweeps over the Golden Gate Bridge and along the bay, casting a sudden chill on an otherwise warm day.
- The Warming Hut, at the field’s western end, is an ideal spot to grab a sandwich for a picnic or just to warm up.
- The promenade is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Crissy Field is on the northwest side of San Francisco facing the Golden Gate Bridge. Most visitors arrive by foot or bike, though MUNI lines 28 and 43 drop off within the Presidio, or take the 30 to the field’s eastern end. Another option is PresidiGo, a shuttle service that runs from downtown San Francisco and stops at key points in the Presidio. If you’re driving, note that the free parking lot fills up quickly, especially on weekends.
When to Get There
Crissy Field is open sunrise to sunset every day of the year. It is quietest on weekday mornings; the grass gets crowded on weekend afternoons (especially sunny ones) and holidays. It’s also an incredibly popular spot during special events on the bay, such as Fourth of July fireworks or the Blue Angels aerial show during Fleet Week (generally the first week of October).
San Francisco’s Presidio and the Wave Organ
Crissy Field is part of the Presidio, a former military base transformed to a modern community of restaurants, homes, offices, and green space. While exploring, check out the Wave Organ at Crissy Field’s eastern end. A naturally occurring sound machine, the Wave Organ emits sounds as the bay waters move through it, delighting children and adults with its unique auditory emissions.