On my recent trip to San Francisco I spent some time exploring Crissy Field and the surrounding area. Crissy Field was previously an army airfield and it is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The park is located north of Presidio and just east of the Golden Gate Bridge, which also means that there are some stunning views of the iconic bridge from Crissy Field.
A popular activity among tourists is to rent a bike near Fisherman’s Wharf and ride across the bridge. If you do, you will pass through Crissy Field, but you can also get here easily by bus. Several buses stop in the Marina District or nearby. Here are five good reasons to visit Crissy Field on your visit to San Francisco.
1. The Beach
The beach at Crissy Field stretches from the boat club near the Marina District all the way to the West Bluff picnic area near the bridge. The wide sandy beach is, from what I have read, safe for swimming and very popular on sunny days. Since this was in February and it was pretty cold, there were no swimmers but one or two people out in kayaks.
2. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge
At this time of the year, the beach at Crissy Field is popular among dog owners who bring their furry friends down to play by the water. During my visit there were dozens of dogs running around in the sand and in the water. One of the main treats with this beach is of course the magnificent view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marine Highlands. I would want to play here too if I was a dog.
3. The view of Alcatraz Island
As if the view of the Golden Gate Bridge wasn’t enough, you also have a clear view of Alcatraz Island from the beach. I still haven’t visited the famous prison island but it is supposed to be well worth a visit.
4. The Wave Organ sculpture
Just east of Crissy Field is a yacht harbour and at the end of the pier is a sculpture called the Wave Organ. The Wave Organ is a “wave-activated acoustic sculpture” in which 25 organ pipes make subtle sounds as waves move in and out of the pipes.
The path to walk from shore to the end of the pier is quite long. I didn’t make it all the way out since I had already been walking for several hours, so I settled for a sneak peek through my camera.
5. The 82-foot Blue Whale installation
At the west end of the field, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has erected a blue whale art installation. The life-sized, 82-foot blue whale sculpture is made from recycled plastic collected in California, and the idea behind the installation is to visualize the impact of plastic pollution which is threatening our oceans.
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