National Park Sites Near San Francisco

Explore some of the national park sites just outside of San Francisco, including an infamous prison and that world-famous bridge.
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Point Reyes National Seashore

Just 35 miles northwest of San Francisco, Point Reyes is a popular escape for hiking one of its many trails and kayaking the shores of Tomales Bay and the coast. It's also known for wildlife -- making it one of the best places for bird watching and spotting Northern Elephant Seals (during winter months).

Juan Bautista de Anza Trail

The Mission San Antonio de Padua was founded in 1771 and is a designated stop on the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail. In 1775, Anza led more than 240 men, women and children from Nogales, AZ, to settle in San Francisco.

Muir Woods

Sunlight shines through 240 acres of Coastal Redwood trees at Muir Woods, 12 miles north of San Francisco, and one of the few remaining forests in the Bay Area.

Fort Point

Constructed during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point's master masonry has been called "the pride of the Pacific." Overlooking the majestic Golden Gate, Fort Point protected the San Francisco harbor from attack during and after the Civil War.

Port Chicago Naval Magazine

WWII's worst homefront disaster took place on the evening of July 17, 1944, when 320 Americans were instantly killed by an explosion of 2 ships loaded with ammunition. Reservations are required to visit the site and must be made at least 2 weeks before your visit to the Memorial.

Alcatraz Island

The infamous federal prison often overshadows the natural side of "The Rock," but whether you go for the fort's storied history, the West Coast's oldest operating lighthouse or unmatched Bay views -- it's worth the ferry ride.

Golden Gate National Rec Area

How's this for impressive statistics: The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of the largest urban parks in the world with nearly 60 miles of California coastline, over 13 million visitors a year and no access fees. Of course, the crown jewel of the Bay area's "backyard" -- and its most beautiful and recognizable landmark -- is the bridge itself.

John Muir National Historic Site

Remembered as America's most famous conservationist, John Muir's valiant efforts convinced the U.S. government to protect the beloved lands of Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and other national parks we still visit today. His home in Martinez, Calif., rests in the heart of the John Muir National Historic Site and remains a popular tourist destination just 45 minutes outside of San Francisco.

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