Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Civil War Era Fort Point

When I have children on a San Francisco tour, I frequently include a stop at Fort Point. Built from 1853 - 1861, the fort was designed to protect San Francisco Bay from enemy attack. Fortunately, the cannon never needed to fire against enemies, only for testing. We are also fortunate that the builders of the Golden Gate Bridge decided to save the fort from demolition in the 1930s.

Visitors to Fort Point can learn much about the history of San Francisco and the role of the Army in the city's life. Children enjoy looking at the cannons and climbing to the top of the fort for views of the Golden Gate. Adults may find the various exhibits of more interest. Docents dressed in Civil War uniforms are frequently present to answer questions about the fort. In addition, a number of activities are scheduled each day. The cannon-loading demonstration is particularly interesting.

Fort Point is open Friday - Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Even if you are visiting on a day when the fort is closed, a drive down Long Avenue and Marine Drive provides great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. You may also see surfers testing their skills under the bridge. If you are very lucky, you could see dolphin in the Bay. Twice in 30 years, I have seen dolphin and both times I saw them from the parking lot adjacent to Fort Point. I frequently bring guests to Fort Point on foggy days as the view of the Golden Gate Bridge is better than from the vista point above.

If you would like to take a private San Francisco tour that includes a visit to Fort Point, please call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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