A project 30 years in the making, the Tunnel Tops are a creative answer to the problem of getting cars across the Presidio — a national park created out of a former military post — after the then-roadway was deemed seismically unsafe. Cars will now drive through tunnels with playspaces on top for families to frolic.
The Tunnel Tops consist of 14 acres of trails, picnic sites, a campfire circle, native plant gardens and more: all within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Families will especially gravitate towards the Outpost, a two-acre nature play area with play structures fashioned from boulders and fallen tree trunks. Nearby centers like the Crissy Field Center and the Field Station offer indoor activities.
Plus, it's easy to get there: Several of the city’s MUNI lines stop at the nearby transit center and there's a free PresidiGo shuttle from downtown. Stop in at the visitor center near the transit center to be greeted by a park ranger, pick up a map and view interpretive exhibits on park’s history.
A café will open in the Transit Center later this summer or the fall, but in the meantime food trucks and carts keep everyone fed. Several restaurants will be opening as well, and the Presidio already boasts nearly a dozen of them, including the cafe associated with the Walt Disney Family Museum.
It took a lot of planning with community members, park planners and others to get the innovative area built — as well as $98 million raised via a capital campaign by the Parks Conservancy. It’s now run by the group Partnership for the Presidio.
To celebrate the grand opening, events will be free from July through October.