What’s perhaps most fascinating about peaceful Discovery Park is how closely it came to becoming a display of military might. For decades, the army kept the land dormant and locked up as it contemplated whether to house troops or anti-ballistic missiles there. But by the ’70s, most of the land was declared surplus and given to the city. Thus citizens now have a massive chunk of prime real estate to enjoy, featuring both beautiful forest where pileated woodpeckers glom onto hardwoods and untamed beachfront where seal pups sun themselves on bright winter days. Even those military remnants that do remain, white and stately barracks perched on the bluff, have an eerie, deserted allure, and look much better than whatever monstrosities would have been built there if left to the free market.