One perfect day in San Francisco's Presidio

Get a dose of the fresh outdoors in San Francisco's unique and artsy Presidio park

Environmental sculptures at the Presidio

British artist Andy Goldsworthy created this sculpture, Spire, as a piece destined to merge, slowly, with the surrounding forest.

The National Cemetery Overlook in Presidio

The National Cemetery Overlook opens onto a sea of white crosses and, beyond, the bay.

The Beach Hut Cafe in Presidio

The Beach Hut Cafe is doing its best to reduce its carbon footprint by reusing rainwater and incorporating solar and wind power.

The Walt Disney Family Museum in Prisidio

The Walt Disney Family Museum sits in the 19th-century brick building, and is more scholarly than the theme park.

What it is: A full-fledged, constantly changing, outdoors and arts destination with a weekend's worth of things to do.

What it was: A military base until the Army decamped in 1994.

Why does the Presidio keep evolving?: By 2013, the park must be financially self-sufficient.

What's with all the bulldozers?: It's a five-year project to replace the Golden Gate Bridge approach with a greener, safer parkway.

Park acreage: Nearly 1,500

What $7,800 gets you: A month's rent in a new ultra-green three-story town-house near the park's southern edge.

What $100 gets you: A night at Rob Hill, the city's only campground--they're group sites, so invite 29 of your friends.

More shiny new things: The hilltop Lobos Valley Overlook with views of the Pacific. And a 22-room guesthouse--the park's first overnight lodging that's under construction.

The latest in landscape art: British artist Andy Goldsworthy returns with Wood Line, a sinuous shape that he's making with downed eucalyptus branches. Take the free PresidiGo Shuttle to stop 47 and walk up Lovers' Lane;


A tranquil overlook: An easy walk from the Presidio Golf Course parking lot , the peaceful National Cemetery Overlook opens onto a sea of white crosses and, beyond, the bay. From shuttle stop 31, access the overlook trail from Nauman Rd.;

Cafe with a million-dollar view: Stop for lunch at Beach Hut Cafe, a light-on-the-land eatery that reuses rainwater and incorporates solar and wind power and salvaged redwood. The view from the recycled-plastic chairs out front rivals that at the Warming Hut cafe. $; East Beach; 415/561-7761

Disney north: Why, exactly, is the Walt Disney Family Museum here? His daughter lives in Napa--and the Bay Area is an animation hub. More scholarly gallery than theme park, the museum suits its 19th-century brick building. $20;

A home for native plants: On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, you can volunteer at Presidio Nursery, which is growing nearly 75,000 plants for the park and has a spiffy new net-zero-energy Seed and Plant Lab. (click on "Volunteer).

3 adventures: Crissy Field's sporty side

Catch some air: The pros at the new House of Air trampoline park say you can bounce away at least 700 calories an hour, and we believe it. $14/hour; reserve ahead;

Break away: Rent a decked-out bike at Sports Basement and the Presidio is yours to explore. On Sunday mornings, staffers lead free rides over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin. From $20/day;

Climb the walls: Beginners learn the basics of belaying and experts sharpen their bouldering skills behind vast windows of the onetime motor-pool repair shop, now Planet Granite. Day pass $18;


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