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San Francisco Waterfront Adventure

Updated on August 16, 2015

Beautiful San Francisco

San Francisco waterfront from Treasure Island
San Francisco waterfront from Treasure Island | Source

San Francisco

San Francisco is always a fun place with many sights to see and places to explore. Our afternoon trip cost us the price of a tank of gas,bridge toll and sodas. My nephew and sister were visiting from Boston. Cody had never been to San Francisco. He was missing a couple of days of school and his history teacher offered him extra credit if he visited San Francisco and took pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco is compact so you can get a feel for the city in a short time. We focused our trip on the waterfront between the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge because we didn't have much time.

Were the picture above a bit wider you could have seen how the city is bracketed by the Oakland Bay Bridge on the left and the Golden Gate Bridge on the right. You can shop, swim, take boat tours, watch sea lions, eat crab cocktails fresh from the fishing boats, tour museums watch the San Francisco Giants play baseball, take a tour of Alcatraz Prison and watch cruise ships load and unload within these few short miles.

There is plenty to do along the bayfront. Taking public transit or walking is the best way to avoid traffic snarls. If your feet get tired there are bicycle rickshaws and buses that can help you navigate this densely populated 5 miles.

Underside Of Oakland Bay Bridge


Approach From Oakland Bay Bridge

We entered San Francisco from Oakland on the Bay Bridge. On the approach to the Bay Bridge you pass the Port of Oakland on your left. Cranes used for loading and unloading cargo ships look like giant white birds. The Oakland Bay Bridge is a toll bridge as are all the bridges in the San Francisco Bay area.(Watch out for Construction) We got off the bridge at the Fremont Folsom exit and followed the road to the right on Folsom until we doubled back and could see the under side of the bridge. Sail boats tacking back and forth in the shadow of the bridge were breath-taking. Folsom meets The Embarcadero at the water, turn left to head toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

Embarcadaro Going Toward Ferry Building

Pirate Mime, Man of Gold. He even gives directions if you are wandering around lost.
Pirate Mime, Man of Gold. He even gives directions if you are wandering around lost. | Source
From the Ferry building looking down Embarcadero toward Pier 39
From the Ferry building looking down Embarcadero toward Pier 39 | Source

In The City

We wound our way around the Embarcadero driving past the ferry building,Pier 39,and the Boudine Bakery Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, Embarcadero turns into Jefferson at the Maritime Museum, Jefferson goes up past Hyde Park. Be careful as you turn right on Bay, just past the Cable Car turn-a-bout, cable cars have the right of way. Follow Bay to Marina turn right. There are signs pointing you to the Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point. In this 4 mile drive there is enough to keep you busy all day or give you a wonderful view of the San Francisco waterfront in a short time. Note: There are traffic signals every other block of the Embarcadero which does not make this a good route if you are in a hurry.

Ferry Building

Inside the historic Ferry Building. You can still take Ferry boats to Alameda and Vallejo from this pier
Inside the historic Ferry Building. You can still take Ferry boats to Alameda and Vallejo from this pier | Source
The pomegranate juice was spectacular
The pomegranate juice was spectacular | Source

Saturday's Farmers Market

If you are lucky enough to be in San Francisco on a Saturday (9am-1pm) be sure to shop the farmers market which is set up around the Ferry Building. They have fresh organic fruits, vegetables, honey, jewelry and pottery and food prepared fresh out in the open. Vendors sell breakfast and various other kinds of lovely freshly cooked foods. The smell of sizzling potatoes on the grill is wonderful. Inside the Ferry building are flower shops and book stores. If you need coffee there is Starbucks.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Fort Point
Fort Point | Source

Underneath The Golden Gate Bridge

Inside Fort Point looking up at the Golden Gate Bridge
Inside Fort Point looking up at the Golden Gate Bridge | Source

We parked at Crissy Field near the House of Air on Mason. House of Air is an indoor trampoline park. They sell out of general sessions on Sundays, so it is a good idea to buy your ticket on-line.

We walked from House of Air to Fort Point National Historical Site. Fort Point is a Civil War fort nestled underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. It is open on the weekends for exploration. You can peer through the turrets at the underside of the bridge. There are interesting exhibits about the Golden Gate construction and occupation of the fort by the Union Army.

Helpful Hints To Enjoying San Francisco

There are amazing walks along the waterfront. If you aren't into walking there are bicycle rickshaws,bicycle rentals and traditional bus tours and taxis along the waterfront.

You can take The Cable Car from Hyde Park on the waterfront to the downtown financial section of the city.

Something new in the last few years are the GoCar Tours. Go Cars are little cars guided by G.P.S, which tell the story of where you are. They look like great fun.

San Francisco is a compact city full of friendly people, history, culture and beauty. It you are here for a few hours or days there is plenty to see and experience.

Happy adventuring!

Go cars equipped with G.P.S. are a fun way to see the city
Go cars equipped with G.P.S. are a fun way to see the city | Source


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    • tirelesstraveler profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Jools99- San Francisco is next to Boston and Paris as one of the best cities in the world. I was there yesterday and don't get there nearly enough though its just a short train ride:) Thanks for stopping for a visit.

    • Jools99 profile image


      6 years ago from North-East UK

      Nice hub which made me feel all nostalgic for one of my favourite places in the world!

      Voted up.

    • rjsadowski profile image


      6 years ago

      I have never been to San Francisco but your pictures gave me somewhat of a sense of being there.

    • hush4444 profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      This hub makes me so homesick for San Francisco! You did a very good job of outlining exactly how to get to a good vantage point - those exits can be confusing if you don't know where you're going.


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