And the San Francisco Bay was discovered! Thought it was by sea? Well you’d be wrong. It was from a ridge perched high above the ocean that Europeans first eyed the bay in 1769. And while the rest of the country was immersed in the war for independence, Portola’s discovery led to first Spanish settlement of San Francisco in 1776. Today, Sweeney Ridge is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and hikers can visit the spot where that discovery occurred. You’ll be able peer out over the entire San Francisco Bay in one direction as well as out over the Pacific Ocean in the other. And along the trails, hikers and mountain bikers will not only enjoy spectacular vistas but also the remains of an old Cold War era missile base. Bring your camera, your curiosity and enjoy a hidden gem just south of San Francisco.