Fort Point: A Bit of History Tucked Beneath the Golden Gate Bridge

In 1794 Spanish forces constructed the Castillo de San Joaquin, fortified with up to 13 cannons, at the southern entrance of San Francisco Bay. Though the Castillo de San Joaquin has long since fallen to rubble, a new fortress, known as Fort Point, now stands on the same site beneath a soaring arch of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fort Point was erected by the Union Army in 1861 to deter an expected Confederate invasion (which never actually came). As a visitor to the fortress, you’ll enjoy a rare glimpse into the everyday lives of Civil War soldiers, including tours of officers’ accommodations, barracks, armory, cannons, and mess hall. And those who enjoy classic cinema are in for a special treat, as Fort Point is where Alfred Hitchcock filmed Vertigo’s famous attempted-suicide scene in which Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak) pretends to leap to her death, only to be rescued by detective John "Scottie" Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart). A combination of classic film history and classic Americana, Fort Point is a must-see for any visitor to the City by the Bay.

Address: Presidio of San Francisco, Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA