18 May Golden Stroll: A Golden Gate Bridge Walking Tour to Chili House SF
Looking for a fun activity during your next day off in San Francisco? Check out our “Golden Stroll.,” a scenic 2.8 mile walk from the South side of the Golden Gate Bridge to Chili House SF. Get some exercise, enjoy some world-class views, and reward yourself with a delicious lunch or dinner.
This Golden Gate Bridge walking tour finishes at Chili House SF, near the intersection of 9th Avenue and Clement St. Much of the route follows the California Coastal Trail, with jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean. This portion of the walk winds through San Francisco’s Presidio, a 1,500-acre park on a former military post.
As you approach the Richmond District neighborhood near the end of the tour, you’ll cross Park Presidio Boulevard and pass Mountain Lake Park. This park is a favorite of tourists and locals alike. It features a lake, a large playground, a dog run, tennis courts, and picnic areas.
The final leg of this Golden Stroll takes you down 9th Avenue to Chili House SF. Here at our award-winning restaurant, you can indulge in delicious Beijing-style Dim Sum and Sichuan classic dishes as your reward.
- Walk distance: 2.8 miles total
- Estimated time: About 1 hour (not including stops)
- Elevation changes: ↑295 ft. / ↓289 ft.
- Link to full directions for Walking Tour via Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ww4VGMF1F9UeYARbA
Starting Point: San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge
Start your tour by heading to the South Vista Point on the San Francisco (Southern) side of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you plan on driving to/from San Francisco for this walking tour, it’s recommended that you park near Chili House SF, then take a taxi, Uber or Lyft to get to the bridge.
Once there, take in the grandeur of one of the world’s most iconic structures, the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, the Golden Gate spans a treacherous 1.7 mile gap between San Francisco and Marin County. The two towers of the suspension bridge rise 746 feet into the air above the waters where the Pacific Ocean meets San Francisco Bay.
After you’ve snapped a few photos and taken enough time to stretch your legs, head North on the Coastal Trail up the stairs, then follow the trail under Highway 101 and turn South with views of the Pacific Ocean on your right.
Along the first portion of the Coastal Trail, you’ll pass a number of old military installations known as “batteries”. These locations once housed massive artillery and guns designed to fire upon enemy warships as far as 10 miles out to sea. Read about the history of some of the Presidio’s batteries here: https://www.presidio.gov/blog/then-and-now-batteries
About a quarter mile from the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll come upon Battery Boutelle, just off to the right side of the Coastal Trail. This battery is named after Henry M. Boutelle, a Lieutenant killed in action in the Philippines a year earlier in 1899. According to Presidio.gov:
“Its three five-inch rapid fire guns, mounted on balanced pillar mounts, were designed to defend against mine sweepers and torpedo boats. They had a firing range of seven miles and could be fired at a rate of up to thirty rounds per minute.”
World War II West Coast Memorial to the Missing
After finishing up at Battery Boutelle, return to the California Costal Trail. Roughly half a mile up the trail, look for the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Kobbe Ave. At the stop sign, head east across Lincoln Boulevard and then across Kobbe Ave. Just up the hill from this point is the World War II West Coast Memorial. Approximate path is highlighted in yellow in image below:
This monument pays tribute to military members who died in the American coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Learn more about San Francisco’s World War II West Coast Memorial at: https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/americas/west-coast-memorial
“It consists of a curved gray granite wall decorated with bas relief sculpture and a statue of liberty on its right flank. On the wall are inscribed the name, rank, organization and state of each of the 413 American missing whose remains were never recovered or identified.”
Following this stop, go back down the hill and cross Kobbe Avenue and Lincoln Blvd. to return to the California Coastal Trail. Then, turn left and head South and continue downhill.
Optional Detour: Baker Beach via the Sand Ladder
About a quarter mile down the hill, there is a crosswalk across Lincoln Boulevard and steps leading up a hill towards Immigrant Point Overlook. If you’d like to make a quick detour to dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean, continue past the cross walk another 10-20 yards. See image and references below:
Make a right turn down the sandy trail, and soon you’ll be at the top of the famous Sand Ladder. The Sand Ladder is a steep series of 200 stairs connecting Baker Beach to Lincoln Boulevard high above. Learn more about the Sand Ladder at https://www.theoutbound.com/san-francisco/running/run-the-baker-beach-sand-ladder
“The Baker Beach Sand Ladder is a section of the Pacific Coast Trail that is comprised of 200 ten foot poles tied together to form stairs down to North Baker Beach from Lincoln Blvd.”
Remember: if you do choose to visit Baker Beach, you’ll need to walk back UP the Sand Ladder. From there, you’ll face another steep hillside path to reach Immigrant Point Overlook.
Immigrant Point Overlook
Take a breather and soak in more spectacular views at Immigrant Point Overlook. Constructed in 2008, the overlook honors the immigrants who passed through the Golden Gate to eventually call the United States home. Learn more about this popular spot for panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean: https://www.presidio.gov/places/immigrant-point-overlook
Once you’re ready to continue the Golden Gate Bridge walking tour, head South on Washington Boulevard. Smile because the steep hills are now all behind you!
Mountain Lake Park Playground
After about a quarter of a mile on Washington Boulevard, make a right turn on to Battery Caulfield Road. This road eventually turns into Wedemeyer Street. This half mile section of the walking tour is all downhill and easy on the legs.
Near the end of Wedemeyer St., turn right on to 14th Avenue. Continue one block down this street then turn left on Lake St and cross Park Presidio / Veterans Boulevard at the crosswalk. Then, at the intersection of Lake St. and Funston Avenue, turn onto the paved walking path and head uphill. See image below for reference.
As you round the bend up the short hill, you’ll see Mountain Lake Park and Playground. With tennis courts, a large and recently remodeled playground, and a small lakeside beach, there’s something for everyone. After this final stop, it’s just another 0.4 miles to Chili House SF.
Chili House SF
Exit Mountain Lake Park and head south on 9th Ave. Turn left onto Clement St., and look for Chili House SF on the North side of the street. After 2.8 miles (or more if you went to Baker Beach), you deserve the delicious meal that awaits! Congratulations on completing our Golden Gate Bridge walking tour