By Grace Emery
I love nothing more than being a tourist in my own city. I’ve been in the bay area only about a year, so I find it quite exciting when I recognize intersections and feel like I’m starting to really get my bearings in my neighborhood. While I like having my regular coffee shop and my blissful and familiar morning commute (which I’m lucky enough to walk in a mere 15 minutes!), I love the chance to play tourist every once in a while and fall in love with this city all over again.
Today, I was fortunate enough to go on a hard hat tour of the under-construction Inn at The Presidio-- a new hotel in The Presidio that BMC represents. The Inn at the Presidio is slated to open in April 2012 (hence the hard hats) and will be the first hotel to open in San Francisco’s Presidio. It’s also the only new hotel to open in San Francisco in 2012!
I grew up in Northern California, so even before I moved here I had taken my fair share of day trips to Union Square or Golden Gate Park, but until today I had never been to The Presidio. Enter: my ridiculous tourist enthusiasm. On our drive over from the office, we passed through Pacific Heights. As I’ve gotten to know the city and met people here, I’ve heard “Pac Heights” thrown out here and there. I don’t leap at the chance to admit to my embarrassingly small knowledge of city geography, so I pull the “smile and nod” when people mention Pac Heights as a reference point. I can now add that to the list of places I’ve been to and can feign geographic savvy with a little less guilt in the future. Also, can I live in one of those mansions?
Long home to military residences, The Presidio is now a national park site at the Golden Gate, a National Historic Landmark, home to hundreds of small businesses, and ridiculously pretty. Crissy Field alone is inspiration enough for me to procure a bicycle. Before the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937 made flight through the area too dangerous, Crissy Field was a bustling aviation area, home to heroes like Amelia Earhart. In addition to its biking and running trails, Crissy Field’s historic airplane hangars and warehouses now house indoor recreation areas and restaurants. House of Air, The Presidio Bowling Center… how had I not been to The Presidio yet?!
Upon hearing I’d never been to The Presidio before, our “tour guide”—Terry, the GM of the Inn at The Presidio—was kind enough to give us deluxe driving tour of the grounds. Highlights included: Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire, a view of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and some casual scouting for a future wedding venue.
I think The Presidio might just have to be my new favorite place. It’s the perfect combination of tourists soaking up the Golden Gate, plus plenty of regulars and locals enjoying some pretty unreal views in some pretty unreal weather.