It’s officially time to put San Francisco on your summer travel bucket list. The city’s eagerly awaited Presidio Tunnel Tops attraction will officially open on July 17, welcoming visitors to 14 acres of new parkland in the Presidio national park site.
Across that land are meadows and gardens with 180 species of plants natural to the Presidio, hiking and biking trails (including an accessible cliff walk), scenic overlooks with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and other park facilities like a visitor center, a food pavilion, picnic areas, and even a campfire circle.
There’s also the Outpost, a two-acre play area for children filled with play structures derived from the Presidio’s natural landscape like boulders and tree trunks, as well as the newly renovated Crissy Field Center and brand-new Field Station, which offers art and science programming for families.
The park will also host cultural, wellness, culinary, and performing and visual arts programming specifically targeting historically underrepresented communities within national park sites, as overseen by the Presidio Activator Council.
The Presidio Tunnel Tops project has been a long time in the making. The idea was conceived in 1993, when it was determined that the Doyle Drive highway, which cut right through the middle of the Presidio, was at risk for earthquake damage. After much discussion with city leaders and the community, urban planners decided to build a tunnel system atop the park, thereby uniting the two sides of the Presidio; design firm James Corner Field Operations, also responsible for New York’s iconic High Line, was tapped to develop the parkland. Over the years, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy raised $98 million to fund the Tunnel Tops project, which broke ground in 2019.
As with the rest of the park, the Presidio Tunnel Tops will be free for all — and accessible by public transportation. So whether you live in San Francisco or you’re just in town visiting, be sure to add the park to your summer schedule when it opens in July.