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A Guide to Visit the Fort Point, San Francisco

Apoorva Chitgopker Sep 5, 2019
Planning to visit San Francisco this year? Don't miss adding Fort Point to your bucket list as it is one of California's historical landmarks. It' a must-see destination for military enthusiasts and fans of history and architecture.

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Bird's Eye View of The Fort Point National Historic Site

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Built in 1853, Fort Point is located at the Southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco bay.
Officially named as Castillo De San Joaquin, Fort Point was constructed during the American Civil War to protect San Francisco harbor from foreign attacks.
140 soldiers manning 65 cannons behind 7-foot thick walls were stationed at this red brick fortress. But the Fort never saw battle as the enemies never came. It was later used to house soldiers during World War II.
In the late 1930s, the fort saved itself from demolition during the construction of Golden Gate owing to its history and architecture. The initial bridge design was tweaked and a special arch was planned so that it remains beneath the bridge.
Finally, in the Fall of 1970, this civil era fortress gained itself the title of National Historic Site. It is now managed by National Park Service, California.

Architectural Highlights

Admire the impressive design of this historical gem built in the Army’s traditional “Third System” style of architecture. The granite foundation and the masonry brickwork will surely delight the historian in you.
Have a look at the cannons, rifles, uniforms and swords on display at the historical museum.
Take guided tours or walk yourself through the fort's kitchen, interior courtyards, stairwells, rooms and recruited men's barracks. Also make reservations for the candlelight tours led by the fort ranger.
Climb up the fort's breezy rooftop to witness the stunning view of the Golden Gate bridge or just snap some fantastic photos.

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Time to Visit

Hours vary by season. Check the NPS website before you plan to visit here.

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How to Get There

It is a half-hour drive from San Francisco city. If you prefer public transit, catch San Francisco Muni 28 or 29 bus, get down at bridge toll plaza, follow trail signs north east of plaza area to Fort Point at base of bluffs.