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Great Places to Visit in San Francisco: Treasure Island

Updated on May 16, 2013

Fond memories of Treasure Island

As a child growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Treasure Island was a favorite place to visit for my family and I. In the 1970's, Treasure Island was still an official Navy Base, so in order to get on the island you had to either be in the military or have parents in the Navy (my dad was a Navy man) I have fond memories of going there on Thursday nights to either a movie or the bowling alley while my mom played bingo at the Chiefs Club.

Last weekend my husband and I visited the now decommissioned Naval base - and were delighted by the new projects and renovations taking place on Treasure Island. Besides the always spectatular views of the San Francisco, Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, there is also a newly opened "Treasure Island Flea Market" along with a 20,000 sq. ft. building named the "Winery". Gourmet food trucks are on hand, serving everything from lemongrass chicken tacos to special empandas, homemade soups and sandwiches.

Treasure Island - Today

Photo of Treasure Island today.
Photo of Treasure Island today. | Source

One of the few remaining sculptures from the 1939 SF Worlds Fair on Treasure Island

I thought this was a very charming sculpture. There are few remaining sculptures that have survived. Located on Treasure Island in San Francisco by the Treasure Island Flea Market.
I thought this was a very charming sculpture. There are few remaining sculptures that have survived. Located on Treasure Island in San Francisco by the Treasure Island Flea Market. | Source

Treasure Island was built for the 1939-1940 Golden Gate Exposition

There are also some remnants left on the island of the 1939-1940 World’s Fair, Golden Gate International Exposition, for which the island was actually built. It got its name from Robert Louis Stevenson's famous book and from the gold particles that supposedly washed down from the Mother Lode mines that were dredged to fill the island (Stevenson was also a San Franciscan) Although sadly there are not alot of statues or buildings remaining from the fair, there are some remaining statues on display outside the flea markets main building. "Building 1" also remains intact from the 1939 Expo where it served as the administrative center for the fair. Originally intended as the terminal for an airport, it housed the Treasure Island Museum from 1976 to 1997. Today it serves largely as offices for The Villages, a private apartment rental agency.

One of the new places to visit on Treasure Island is the art studio of Marco Cochrane, who's beautiful statue "Bliss Dance" graces the shoreline. Towering 40 feet into the air, "Bliss Dance" is a favorite spot for photographers, islanders and tourists. During our visit I took many photos of Marco Cochranes statues which you can see here at my website www.DorsiDiaz.com. Some photos I left untouched while others I added some of my own artistic effects to.

The island has over 400 acres to explore. Some areas are for Job Corp housing and some buildings are in the process of being renovated and reused for both housing and upcoming Island projects.

"Bliss Dance" (in my photo below) graces "The Great Lawn", which is an expansive grass area of approximately 126,500 square feet. The Great Lawn is on the western shore of Treasure Island, it faces views of the San Francisco skyline and San Francisco Bay, and is perfect for events, festivals, and picnics. You can also check out the main website for Treasure Island here which has dates and times for activities and more information on the island. The Treasure Island Flea Markets website is also here.

If visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, Treasure Island is a must see. And if you live in the SF Bay Area, Treasure Island is a great day trip to take the kids and family on

(it is also dog friendly too so you can bring your pooch if you want)

"Bliss Dance" - Sculpture by Marco Cochrane

I took this photo in March 2012 of "Bliss Dance". If you look closely you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. For further interest, look at the size of the people below the sculpture! It really gives you a good idea of how large she is!
I took this photo in March 2012 of "Bliss Dance". If you look closely you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. For further interest, look at the size of the people below the sculpture! It really gives you a good idea of how large she is! | Source

San Francisco World's Fair 1939

View of SF from the shoreline

You can practically have a 360 degree view of San Francisco Bay from the Treasure Island shoreline.
You can practically have a 360 degree view of San Francisco Bay from the Treasure Island shoreline. | Source

Treasure Island map

A markerTreasure Island San Francisco -
Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, USA
get directions

Getting to Treasure Island

Getting to Treasure Island is easy - you can come in from either Oakland or San Francisco via the San Francisco Bay Bridge. You then take the Yerba Buena exit and follow the road which will take you straight down onto the island. Coming from Oakland you will pay a bridge toll. If you want to visit the Treasure Island Flea Market I would check their website to find out dates and times. Otherwise, Treasure Island is open to the public and you can just come and view the spectacular San Francisco skyline from Treasure Islands shores. Make sure you bring your camera and an extra jacket because it can get windy and cold!

Admission to the island is free.

(Dorsi Diaz is a freelance writer and publisher who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes about her favorite topics - art, photography and "life stuff" here at HubPages. Please feel free to leave a comment! You can also visit her at her website www.DorsiDiaz.com to see more of Dorsi's photography including Treasure Island and Marco Cochranes sculptures. Thanks for visiting!)

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