Fort Point National Historic Site is at the s. end of the Golden Gate Bridge, off Long Ave. at the end of Marine Dr. Built by the U.S. Army between 1853 and 1861, Fort Point is similar in design to Fort Sumter, S.C. Although it once was the principal defense bastion on the West Coast, no battle ever occurred at Fort Point.
This vantage point offers an expansive, ground-level view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Walk out on the fishing pier across from the Warming Hut for views of the bay and Angel and Alcatraz islands. The Warming Hut has a selection of books and eco-friendly gifts as well as a café. You also can watch video presentations about the history of the fort and bridge construction.
To get to the Golden Gate Bridge's southeast plaza, walk along Marine Drive a short distance until you see the sign for the steps that ascend a hill. The climb is steep but fairly short (four-tenths of a mile), and there's a perspective of the bridge at the halfway point that you won't see anywhere else.
There are restrooms in the building behind the Warming Hut. Free, guided 30-minute tours of the brick masonry fortification and cannon-loading demonstrations are given. Candlelight tours are conducted Saturday evenings November through February; reservations are required.
Note: During security alerts the fort may be closed.