Fort Point

Marina / Presidio

Fort Point

A Civil War fort located directly underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point was constructed by the U.S. Army Engineers between 1853 and 1861, with its major purpose to protect the city of San Francisco during time of war. It’s a cool museum to tour under the Golden Gate Bridge. And best of all, it’s FREE.

Although Fort Point never saw action during wartime, for security reasons, San Francisco officials decided to keep the fort for emergency purposes. Once it was decommissioned, however, the next choice on what to do with the fort was in question. Some wanted to implode it; other wanted to keep it.

It wasn’t until the Golden Gate Bridge’s chief engineer, Joseph Strauss, came along that the city came up with a solid plan to save Fort Point.

Fort Point Lighthouse

Instead of demolition, the city of San Francisco decided to close the fort to the military and open it to civilians. The new plans of the Golden Gate Bridge called for the fort to stay intact (with a hefty price increase in bridge cost). But in retrospect — especially for San Francisco — it was worth it.

Now you can tour a mostly deserted historic fort, complete with displays and plaques explaining the fort’s history, directly underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

Gun Powder Display

Today, as you visit the fort, you can appreciate the marvel that almost didn’t happen. You can walk under the Golden Gate Bridge for stellar views (even if it’s foggy), watch surfers in the bay, and best of all, tour a not-so-crowded fort (because we think most people believe there’s an entry fee).

When you visit Fort Point, let your mind wander to what once was and what might have been, at no charge.

Fort Point Free Museum

How Do I Find Fort Point?

  • Fort Point is one of the easiest landmarks in the city to find. It’s almost as if the Golden Gate Bridge is pointing to its location.
  • You can use public transportation routes 28 and 29 to reach the landmark. If you’re up for seeing more attractions, we recommend you rent a bike from Fisherman’s Wharf and ride to Fort Point instead.
  • To reach Fort Point from Union Square ride bus 30 to the end of its route, followed by bus 28 to the Golden Gate Bridge. If you get lost, feel free to ask a local for help.  

Under the Golden Gate Bridge

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

Fort Point is an underrated landmark. You can read Civil War displays, walk the original stairwells and photograph breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Although the hours of operation for Fort Point are funky, if you have extra time, go see the place.

Location of Fort Point