San Francisco Bay

After spending 4 or 5 days in Marin County (of which I am yet to post about) it was time for our day out in the magical, vertical and prosperous city of San Francisco. We caught our bus from San Rafael Transit Centre into the heart of the tourist area of Pier 39. One of San Franciscos most famous Piers embodies what Californian life is all about. Ocean views, wild marine life, red wine and good seafood. We enjoyed exploring the double levels of dining, shopping and attractions that made up Pier 39 with surrounding views of the magnificent San Francisco Bay.

No fog insight!

If you’re looking to eat some traditional Clam Chowder I recommend eating at Chowders which offer great Clam Chowder for only $8.99 which is remarkably cheap for SF considering the location and tastiness of the meal.

Enjoying beer and Chowder

As you make your way past the candy, NFL and other shops you will come across one of SF’s world famous attractions, the sea lions. Shortly after the famous Loma Prieta earthquake hit the city in 1989 a few Californian sea lions starting chilling on Pier 39’s K Dock. In 1990 vast numbers of the barking mammal started arriving at K Dock regularly which instinctively meant the Marine Mammal Centre recommended them to stay put with numbers soaring to 1,701 in November 2009. You can spend a whole morning admiring the slippery, playful and noisy sea lions.

Sunbathing

Before coming to Fishermans Wharf we visited an attraction Georgia remembered going to when she was a teenager, the Musee Mecanique. Inside what looks like an old Pier is a astounding collection of turn of the 19th century into post WW2 arcade games. Georgia could quite literally point to the games she played as a kid a decade ago and we had a good laugh enjoying the funky, dated contraptions that were on offer.

Old Arcade
What to choose?

After spending a few too many quarters we walked a couple of hundred metres to Fishermans Wharf, another tourist hotspot.the neighbourhood consists of gnarly street performers to souvenir shops, franchise restaurants and independent boutiques.

Fishermans Wharf

After stopping off for an afternoon pint of ale at an Irish pub we continued West to Ghiradelli Square. This square is a landmark shopping area which specialises in all things chocolatey. The shop that we tried a chocolate fudge brownie sundae in had been one of the few remaining 40 original shops that opened here in 1850, a long time ago by American standards.

How to tackle this beast?

Walk uphill past the Russian Hill area we decided to burn off some of the calories we just Ingested and walk down Lombard street all the way to Coit Tower. A good 1 hour walk up hills, down the iconic zig zag pathway of Lombard Streer and up towards Telegraph Hill where the Coit Tower is located in Pioneer Park.

At the top of Lombard street with Coit tower in the distance
Coit Tower up close

San Francisco

From Coit tower we walked the full length of the Embacadero into the Financial district, just as all the salarymen has finished work. We enjoyed walking around looking at the impressive skyscrapers whilst doing a bar crawl mixing with the tech superstars of the world. 

After eating a delicious Italian meal we decided to make the journey back and caught the 20:30 ferry from the Ferry Terminal building to Larkspur Ferry Terminal in Marin County.

Ferry Terminal Building

Exiting the Port of Sam Francisco back to Marin that takes 30 minutes and costs $11

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on our first but definitely not last day out in San Francisco during our time in Northern California. Next time we look forward to exploring; The Mission, The Castro, Chinatown, Union Square and more!

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