Over the years, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco has gotten cluttered with souvenir shops, street performers and throngs of tourists. Sadly, I think that it long ago lost much of its maritime charm and historic appeal. So why do Mr. TWS and I still insist on bringing our out-of-town visitors down to the wharf?
Experience Cruising San Francisco Bay
This seagull is riding atop a tour boat operated by the Blue & Gold Fleet that sails from Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf. Of several tour options that are available, we like to take the 60 minute Bay Cruise Adventure. It’s definitely a touristy thing to do, but a worthwhile one that offers great views of the city and perspectives of the Golden Gate Bridge that you can’t get any other way. Although there is also inside seating, we always sit outside on the upper level or stand upfront on the bow for the best photo opportunities.
The red-roofed buildings of Fort Mason can be seen near the waterfront on the left. To the right is the rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts, a structure built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition that commemorated the opening of the Panama Canal.
The Golden Gate Bridge never fails to impress me no matter how many times I’ve crossed it on foot or by car, or passed beneath it on this tour.
The Marin Headlands in the background are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. There are wonderful hiking trails, beaches, and panoramic views that can be seen from the scenic road you can drive to the top.
As you can see, we chose a calm, sunny day to be cruising San Francisco Bay and were joined by many sailboats. But don’t be deterred if their are threatening skies or rough waves. In my opinion, that can make the cruise can be particularly exciting.
The boat tour takes you up close and around Alcatraz, the infamous prison.
After the cruise, take a few minutes to watch these sea lions as they loll around the docks of Pier 39’s west marina.