Part of San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Center, Fort Mason is a historic landmark and arts center located on the city’s waterfront. It once served as the San Francisco Pork of Embarkation for the US Army. Facing the San Francisco Bay, it is both a former military port and coastal defense site. It remains an example for excellent reuse of a military base, drawing more than 1 million annual visitors to its events and facilities.
Divided into upper and lower sections, Fort Mason dates back to 1864 when fortifications along the coast of the United States were built — as prompted by the Civil War. The area was also an important military base during World War II. Today it operates primarily as the home of the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, holding regular events, festivals, and performances. There is also a youth hostel, various galleries and schools, and a bar, restaurant, and coffee shop on site.
Fort Mason is located along San Francisco’s northern waterfront between the Marina Green and Aquatic Park. The main entrance is located at Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street and is accessible by multiple forms of public transportation. Parking is also available starting at $2 for one hour.