The Marina Green in San Francisco, California, is a beautiful, scenic, 74-acre expanse of grass between Fort Mason and the Presidio. It is adjacent to San Francisco Bay, and this location provides good views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, and parts of Marin County Where do those Chestnut Street people go running? The Marina Green of course! A long flat strip along the bay with a view of Alcatraz teems with joggers, rollerbladers, and bikers. A sunny area at the end of Marina Green also features a volleyball and sunbathing area. Chestnut Street has tons of cheap, trendy, fun restaurants to pick up some food.
The Marina District is the area just off of the north slope of Pacific Heights along the bay. From east to west the area is bordered by Van Ness Avenue and Lyon Street. From the southern end the district is bordered by Vallejo and extends all the way down with the bay being it’s northern border. Prior to the 1906 earthquake, the Marina was mostly marshland and dunes making it impossible to build on. After the earthquake, the area was used as a dumping ground for a good portion of the ruins and rubble that was left in the aftermath of the quake. When San Francisco was granted of honor of hosting the world’s fair in 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the rock and rubble were transformed into an unstable foundation for the event. After the fair ended, the area was cleared out leaving only one of the main exposition buildings, the Palace of Fine Arts, as a sign that the fair had been there.
With the foundation already laid from the world’s fair, the city started to realize the potential for the waterfront area and began building, transforming the former marshland into an upscale and affluent neighborhood. Because the area had been built on such an unstable foundation, the earthquake in 1989 had a devastating effect. However, being that the area still boasted prime real estate, developers began rebuilding, and the yuppies flooded in. Now, while it’s the ultra-trendy and super-chic that mostly inhabit the Marina, it’s still a fun place to shop and enjoy some good food. For those of you that are done with the shopping and eating around town, the Marina does have some other things to offer.
The Palace of Fine Arts – Renovated in the 60’s, the only remaining building from the 1915 world’s fair. The grounds are beautiful with grass lawns and a pond that is home to various wildlife. 3601 Lyon Street
The Exploratorium – Housed inside the former exposition building at the Palace of Fine Arts, it is the science lover’s dream and houses various science exhibits, including many hands-on experiments including an experiential maze called the Tactile Dome. 3601 Lyon Street (415) 397-5673
Fort Mason – Formerly a military base, Fort Mason is now part of the Golden Gate National Parks Association. The lower portion along the piers, is know as Fort Mason Center, and houses many educational and cultural facilities such as, the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society and the Museum of Craft and Folk Art. There is also a beautiful park overlooking the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge where locals go the picnic, lay in the sun and walk their dogs. Call to check and see what events they are holding, as there is always something going on from art festivals, to wine tasting onto musical performances. (415) 441-3400
Marina Green/Crissy Field – This is the area right along the bay and is great for the outdoorsy types. The Marina Green is a lined on one side by spectacular houses and on the other by the bay and the marinas. The green hosts many events on the weekends and is always full of bike riders and runners. As you follow the Marina Green west, you’ll hit Crissy Field which runs along the bay on the north side of the Presidio. What was once a military airstrip, it now under the hands of the Golden Gate National Parks Association as has been undergoing restoration to house native wildlife. Fro those of you that want to be active, there are running trails and bike lanes that all lead to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a nice beach, which is a good place to sit and watch the windsurfers and sailboarders glide across the bay.