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A Wharftastic Visit to San Francisco

- Justine


San Francisco is my favorite western city of all time, especially the shopping, the trolleys and Ghirardelli Square (chocolate heaven). The best part of San Francisco, however, is Fisherman’s Wharf. If you only have a day in the Bay Area, that’s where you want to spend it. Here’s why:

1. The Street Performers & General Entertainment. The Wharf is filled with all sorts of crazy performers: guys on unicycles, jugglers, singers, dancers, people who paint themselves white and stand perfectly still. Music, theater, and comedy can also be found later in the day and into the evening.

2 The Sea Lions. On the docks next to Pier 39, you’ll find the most adorable grinning thrashing sunbathing blubbery sea lions you’ve ever seen. Perhaps the only sea lions you’ve ever seen outside a zoo. While your little siblings will especially enjoy watching them, the whole family will get a kick out of it. Some docks are completely covered in smiling sleeping sea lions and others have been conquered by a particularly dominant one. The occasional fight for rule of the dock is quite the spectacle. The barking is just hilarious.

3. The Food, the food, the food. The food. Some of the most savory seafood I’ve ever eaten was at Fisherman’s Wharf, the sourdough bread is heavenly… even the street vendor food is tasty.

4. Alcatraz. While I’ve only seen the island from afar (you can see it from anywhere on the wharf’s shoreline), it is possible to take a cruise to or around the island. Considering the rich history of Alcatraz (the site of the federal prison that held the infamous Al Capone, the oldest lighthouse on the west coast, early military forts, natural rock pools, a sea bird colony, and the occupation by American Indian Movement leaders) it’s an incredible place to visit.

If you experience all of these aspects of Fisherman’s Wharf, take a trolley down Hyde Street to the other end of town and make sure you hang off the edge– it’s the most exhilarating way to get around.

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