Few places can rival the Presidio for its breathtaking walking atmosphere – the tangy scents of eucalyptus and pine, thick fog, Andy Goldsworthy’s celebrated environmental art – and the sheer beauty of its views, from the Pacific to the city skyline. Located on 1,491 acres of San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio was a military post – first under Spanish, then Mexican, then American – for more than two centuries before being included in the National Park Service in the early 1990s. It’s also a favorite among the West Coast dog people.
The inn in the Presidio
Dubbed the nation’s largest conservation project, the Presidio now offers a new dream destination for dog-goers: the Inn at the Presidio. The 22-room luxury hotel is located in the newly renovated Pershing Hall, a colonial-style building from 1904 in the center of the Presidio’s main post office. The inn, due to open on April 1st, has two communal verandas where dogs can freely meet. And inside, dog guests are treated like top class – each room is equipped with a dog bed, bowls and welcome goodie bags. On those crisp, cool San Francisco days, dogs can curl up next to the gas fireplace in any suite.
Do you want to get up and go Just step outside the hotel door onto the Ecology Trail (on a leash) and follow it through the Presidio’s largest watershed, Tennessee Hollow, and then – if you’re feeling adventurous – to Inspiration Point. The inn has a maximum of two dogs per reservation, but no size limit per pet. They charge a one-time cleaning fee of $ 40 if you come with your dog (s).
Walks in the Presidio area
Palace of Fine Arts + Wave Organ The Palace of Fine Arts is a visual marvel designed by renowned architect Bernard Maybeck and built on land reclaimed from the bay. The nearby Exploratorium, a popular interactive science museum for children, also contains a hidden gem that is well worth a visit – head north from the museum and turn right at the parking lot; Follow the gravel road to the waterfront landing stage and you can hear the Exploratorium Wave Organ, an impressive set of 25 wave-activated organ pipes, sing their subtle watery song.