Crissy Field – Golden Gate National Recreation Area

By / April 4, 2016 / National Parks, Outdoors

Crissy Field is a beach-side park that I recommend to anyone visiting the San Francisco area. Crissy Field is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which encompasses a large area with many experiences, including the Presidio, Muir Woods, Acatraz, Fort Point, or more.

 

 

Crissy Field is an outdoor park that has a sandy beach, walking and biking paths, picnic tables, and even a tidal marsh. Activities include wind surfing, or fishing and crabbing with no license needed. The park has great views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, and bird watchers might even find something that peaks their interest.

 

The Beach

The beach at Crissy Field is big and beautiful. It can get crowded on beautiful days, but what else would you expect from something so beautiful that sits right next to a major city? The beach is deep enough that many people choose to launch their kites from here, to kite surf the bay.

Bike paths next to the beach offer wonderful outdoor experiences.

Bike paths next to the beach offer wonderful outdoor experiences.

Kite surfers enjoying the bay next to Crissy Field.

Kite surfers enjoying the bay next to Crissy Field.

 

The Hut and Wharf

Further West, toward the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field opens up into grassy fields, The Warming Hut, and Torpedo Wharf. The Warming Hut is a decent sized store where you can buy coffee, sandwiches, and souvenirs. Next to the Warming Hut, you can rent fishing poles or crabbing nets, which you can use on Torpedo Warf without need of a fishing license.

Here you can see The Warming Hut, along with part of Torpedo Wharf.

Here you can see The Warming Hut, along with part of Torpedo Wharf.

Crabbing nets are available for rent next to Torpedo Wharf, and you do not need a California Fishing License to use them.

Crabbing nets are available for rent next to Torpedo Wharf, and you do not need a California Fishing License to use them.

 

The Sights

Crissy Field’s location offers great views of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. While I was there, I also saw a bunch of birds, both water birds and a bird of prey.

Alcatraz Island is very close to Crissy Field.

Alcatraz Island is in the bay just Northeast of Crissy Field.

I took this picture of Alcatraz with a 200mm zoom lens from on the beach.

I took this picture of Alcatraz with a 200mm zoom lens from on the beach.

Crissy Field is just East of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge is West of Crissy Field, and is within walking distance.

I saw this bird of prey while walking through the park. I actually saw it return to its nest in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

I saw this bird of prey while walking through the park. I actually saw it return to its nest in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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This tidal marsh within Crissy Field offers great wildlife viewing from the walking deck.

 

Nearby

If you continue walking West from Crissy Field over to the Golden Gate Bridge, you will come to Fort Point. This is the old fort that originally protected the bay, which they almost tore down to build the bridge, but it was saved and now sits underneath the Golden Gate Bridge!

Fort Point is a free historical site that has information about both the fort and about the Golden Gate Bridge, making it a great site to visit. Fort Point is where I learned that the Golden Gate name refers to the entry into the bay, and the Bridge was named afterward. I had always thought that the Golden Gate Bridge was named after its iconic color (which I know is not Gold). There is more interesting information available, but I will save that for another post.

Fort Point actually sits underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and is a great spot to visit while in the area.

Fort Point actually sits underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and is a great spot to visit while in the area.

 

Crissy Field

For anyone visiting San Francisco and wanting to experience a little bit of the great outdoors, I definitely recommend Crissy Field. Visitors can relax or ride bikes, have a picnic or catch dinner, and even see kite surfing and beautiful birds. This is even a great spot to stop if you are just visiting other parks nearby like the Presidio or the Muir Woods.

Thanks for reading!

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Alex

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