A few months ago, we started volunteering with the National Park Service at the Golden Gate National Recreational Area.
We are now at the Golden Gate Welcome Center on most weekends, talking about the Golden Gate and Presidio. Will also answer questions from visitors about the area, helping them plan their trip 🌉🏞️
What made us wanna do this?
Continue working on travel: When I left the Google Travel team and joined LinkedIn, I began to look for ways to continue working on travel.
Learn more about parks: Just before leaving Google, in July, I drove cross country with my friends visiting National Parks. One of the trip highlights was attending talks by NPS rangers and volunteers, going on guided hikes, night sky events and walking tours. We’ve learned a lot more about National Parks from rangers than we could have ever learnt on our own.
Help people plan trips: Some of my most memorable journies have been due to AirBnb hosts or locals guiding us on hidden gems, places to eat etc. Having lived in the bay area since 2016, I wanted to be that host for visitors from all around the world.
What do we do there
Most of the questions we get are for recommendations or ways to get to places in the National Park Area, or around things to do in San Francisco or the bay area.
A growing trend is definitely finding out where to take pictures. Lots of people show instragram accounts and ask from where they could get a similar picture.
We help visitors plan their runs, bike rides, hikes and walks depending on their interests, time constraints, physical fitness etc. At the visitor center we have Maps and info on history, hikes, RV parking and a lot of people come looking for something very specific. Each day at the information desk is a learning experience for us as well.
If you are visiting San Francisco, come visit us and learn more about our golden state, at one of our visitor centers. Or better yet, if you think you wanna volunteer with the Parks Service, find a role for yourself at https://www.nps.gov/getinvolved/volunteer.htm.