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Guide to Boating the California Coast : Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point,

Fort Point


This brick and granite pre-civil war fort is especially impressive on a foggy day, as its tall walls rise into the mist. The vast south arch of the Golden Gate Bridge looms overhead. The construction took place between 1853 and 1861, according to a pattern familiar from such east coast fortresses as Fort Sumter, this massive citadel is the only of its kind of the west coast.

Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge


A walk across this bridge (two miles one way) is a spiritual and bracing experience in any weather so dress warmly. You can appreciate the heights of the towers, which rise 746 feet above the water. If you look at the bridge, it can sway back and forth. the Golden Gate Bridge is designed to sway 28 ft from east to west in strong winds and earthquakes. You can see the Golden Gate from many different vantage points in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. Remember this was not always the case; in the early nautical explorers along this coast missed the entrance of the San Francisco Bay for several hundred years.

The dream of connecting San Francisco to its northern neighbors became a reality when construction commenced in 1933. Given a chance for steady employment amid the Great Depression, construction crews braved treacherous conditions as the roadway and towers took shape over open water. The Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public in 1937, has endured as a picture-perfect landmark and an engineering marvel.

Joseph Strauss

Following decades of public calls to connect the burgeoning metropolis of San Francisco to its neighbors across the mile-wide Golden Gate, city engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy in 1919 was charged with finding someone capable of constructing a bridge at a reasonable cost.

The job went to a Chicago-based engineer named Joseph Strauss, a drawbridge builder who believed he could complete the grand-scale project for a modest $25 to $30 million. After submitting his sketches for a cantilever-suspension hybrid span in June 1921, Strauss set about convincing the communities on the northern end of the strait that the bridge would be to their benefit.

The Presidio

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The 1,480-acre Presidio, a military reservation until 1995, was founded by the Spanish in 1776. One of the four fortresses established in California, the Presidio served as the Bay's and Northern California's social center during the Spanish period.

The Community Environmental Center at Crissy Field offers programs that address the convergence of natural and urban environments through workshops, clinics, cultural events, steward opportunities. It also a hotspot for Fly Fishing the Bay.


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