SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — What if I told you two of my nerd heroes have strong ties to San Francisco? The first people to pop into your head are likely Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Nope. Facebook is in Menlo Park and Apple is in Cupertino, anyway. These two heroes of mine happen to have strong ties to the city by the bay — the Presidio to be exact. Who am I talking about? Walt Disney and George Lucas.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Located in the Presidio — a former military base with shockingly beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay — the Walt Disney Family Museum was built exclusively for Disney freaks. Right off the bat I geeked out at the special Oscar statue with seven mini Oscars that Shirley Temple gave Walt Disney. From there, visitors have a lot of reading, watching, and listening to do throughout two stories and 10+ different rooms — it’s the museum that keeps on going! Thanks to Walt’s various TV shows and specials, there is a ton of great audio and video explaining the history of the company from the man himself. Highlights included Walt’s backyard train, The Carolwood Pacific, glimpses into what it was like to work at Disney Animation, and lots of cool family photos that I’m assuming have never been seen before.
The Letterman Digital Arts Center
Brace yourself: this is the home of Lucasfilms, Industrial Light and Magic, and LucasArts. GEEK OUT. Before you get too excited, know this: there is only one area that you can enter. It’s a small lobby that looks like a handsome library with some Star Wars movie memorabilia, and it’s only open during regular business hours. Right outside of the lobby is a Yoda fountain. It’s small but it’s quite the statement and quite the photo opportunity. Visitors can stroll around the pristine campus and glimpse into the shaded windows. There’s a Starbucks and plenty of areas to sit outside and enjoy the sun. The gorgeous Palace of Fine Arts is very nearby, which is also worth a stop.
It’s easiest to drive to the Presidio but there is a free shuttle service called the PresidoGo that can take your around the Presidio and to and from downtown depending on what day of the week it is.