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Presidio Tunnel Tops
Photograph: Courtesy James Corner Field Operations

Tunnel Tops, San Francisco's version of The High Line, just opened to the public

Decades in the making, the Presidio Tunnel Tops offers a new way to take in Golden Gate Bridge views.

Clara Hogan
Written by
Clara Hogan

Add another must-do to your San Francisco bucket list: the Presidio Tunnel Tops, a project 30 years in the making. The new federal parkland is now officially open, offering 14 acres of space to play along the bay and take in stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Tunnel Tops, located within the Presidio, a national park formed out of a former military outpost, debuted on July 17 to an outpouring of crowds eager to see the city's newest national park destination. It is a creative solution to creating usable green space in a densely packed city, located on top of the busy Presidio Parkway highway tunnels and connecting the center of the Presidio to the park’s Crissy Field waterfront. The unique design feat was a perfect fit for James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York City's High Line, which also found ways to connect urban streets to more peaceful, nature-focused settings. 

The park is already a hit with locals and visitors alike, featuring picnic sites, a campfire circle, trails, native plant gardens as well as the Outpost, a sprawling two-acre, nature-inspired play area for children. 

Tunnel Tops
Photograph Courtesy of the Trust for the PresidioTunnel Tops

Getting to the Tunnel Tops is easy from most places in the city. Several of the city’s MUNI lines stop at the nearby transit center and there's a free PresidiGo shuttle from downtown. 

If you get hungry, you can count on a variety of food trucks and carts nearby, in addition to a slew of eateries offered within the Presidio. The newest restaurant within the park is Colibri Mexican Bistro, located within the historic Presidio Officers’ Club. The same owner plans to open a new cafe within the Transit Center later this year.

The opening of the Tunnel Tops took many years of planning, designing, building and fundraising. The overall budget came in at $118 million, with the Presidio Trust contributing $20 million and $98 million raised by Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. It’s now run by the group Partnership for the Presidio.

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