National park tips: Where to plan your next picnic in San Francisco

The Presidio, in San Francisco, has undergone steady improvements since the National Park Service took over the 1,491-acre site in 1994. Live music and food truck gatherings are often featured on the old parade grounds.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

You might not even think of it as NPS territory, but since 1994 San Francisco’s Presidio has been part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

And it’s getting more interesting. This story includes several year-round options there (along with several other recent S.F. temptations for travelers.)

The grassy old parade grounds are a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. On Thursdays (April through October) food trucks and fire pits are lined up for Twilight at the Presidio, or on Sunday afternoons there’s a similar setup for Picnic at the Presidio.

10 adventures to pursue in San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area »


The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, busiest unit in the National Park Service, includes attractions in San Francisco, Marin County and beyond.

In honor of this year’s National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We’ll post one per day through Dec. 31.

Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.