My favorite thing to do in San Francisco, without a doubt is taking the cruise at Pier 39.
Situated at the Fisherman’s Wharf, along the Embarcadero, this place is a must-visit for anyone visiting San Francisco. Having lived in the South Bay Area, I had an opportunity to visit the Wharf with friend and visitors several times. While the Fisherman’s Wharf itself offers several avenues to dine and be entertained – I still remember impersonating Jim Carrey during one of my visits there - my favorite thing to do is to get in line for a ticket for the Blue & Gold Fleet cruise.
There are several choices – one that actually takes you to Alcatraz Island and one that goes around it. I personally choose the one that simply goes around it as I don’t have all day to spend at SF. Once aboard, one has a choice of staying nice and safe on the lower desk closer to the café or go upstairs to get an open view of the ocean and the wonderful sights and sounds that the SF Bay has to offer. One also gets a chance to take in some wonderful sea breeze though it can also get pretty cold there – so dress in layers. The cruise passes under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz Island. The Bay Bridge is visible in the distance.
It does not stop at Angel Island, though I once went there on a private boat owned by a friend.
If you do manage a visit to Angel Island, make sure to take a hike (literally). The magnificent views of the SF Bay visible from the trails are incomparable. A great way to spend time as a family.
Anyways back to the cruise. Once you get back ashore, you get a chance to have a group (or individual) picture taken at the entrance to the cruise. These can be purchased for a steep price. If it is your first visit there, I’d recommend buying it. Even today it occupies a place of pride on my refrigerator reminding me of the wonderful years I spent in the sunny Bay Area.
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