From the Bay to the Golden Gate, the picture-perfect way to see diverse parts of the city, distinctive neighborhoods, eat some of the most sought-out food in San Fran, and get a work out in all at the same time. Start off near the base of the Bay Bridge and you’re all set to be on your way to a fun and fulfilling day of adventure!
1st Stop: The Ferry Building for a Quick and Easy Snack
Start your day at the world famous Ferry Building with an early morning bite to get your energy going and your enthusiasm at a high.
Get a snack from the grab and go-“Out The Door”– the takeaway version of The Slanted Door.
For those of you living under a rock that don’t know what The Slanted Door is, it’s one of the most celebrated restaurants in SF, celebrated and pricey, pricey! How cool is it that they opened a less expensive version right behind their own restaurant? Out The Door is located indoors of the main Ferry Building at the far North side. Order from the counter and if it’s a nice day go outside and sit on the water at one of the many benches looking out onto the bay. Just beware, the seagulls here are fierce and experienced! Keep your food close to you. I got one of the noodle salads and the pork sandwich, both to die for.
2nd Stop -> Pier 23 Café for a Beer and Oysters
After some tasty Asian noodles or their notable Pork Sandwich from Out the Door, you’ll need to walk off that full stomach and prepare for your next order of food. Yes, you’ll be eating a lot today! Walk until you hit Pier 23 Café. It’s noon, the perfect time for a beer and some fish tostadas or oysters! This little café/bar is the perfect pit stop for some delicious seafood and adult beverages. If you’re still full from the Ferry Building no worries, a a beer never hurt anyone.
3rd Stop -> Pier 39 to See the Seals
Next up is the most touristy of SF you can get, Pier 39.
Personally, the only reason I ever come this way is if I’m walking this route, otherwise, it’s strictly avoided and almost forbidden by locals. There’s only one thing I come here to see, the seals! Whether you’re traveling alone, with your spouse, or with your family, everyone loves to see some San Francisco seals swimming and screeching at all hours of the day. Just a nice walk down on the left side of Pier 39’s boardwalk and you just follow the sounds. The seals are not shy and will definitely give you some entertainment.
4th Stop -> Fisherman’s Warf for Crab and Clam Chowder Bread Bowls
Now you have a little stroll to burn more of those calories. This area is still trouisty but the foods so good I don’t care. Walk past Boudin Café and Bakery where you can get some delicious San Fran Sour Dough Bread BUT don’t be tempted just yet for more food. (I love Boudin, don’t get me wrong, however I like the fisherman experience a little more) Walk a little further until you get to the actual Fisherman’s Warf.
Here, there are endless seafood food stands with the most fresh, most delicious seafood you can find in SF. I am obsessed with the Dungeness crab here. Every single time I come back to the Bay Area I make it a point to get a whole crab from Fisherman’s Warf.
I personally think the prices are reasonable for being in such a tourist-inundated section of the city. Usually for around $15-25 you get an entire crab; it’s cooked, cracked, and ready to eat!
They serve you warm butter that melts in your mouth with the crab as well as endless lemon slices; it’s scrumptious, easy and quick. If I’m with someone else I make them get a chowder sourdough bread bowl and find my way between the two. Food perfection is an understatement.
5th Stop -> The Buena Vista for a Famous Irish Coffee
Now I know you can’t walk anymore, at least for now, so just a few more steps and you’ll have just what you need to keep going, an Irish Coffee. At this point Embarcadero has turned into Jefferson Street. Stay on Jefferson until you get to *Hyde. Walk one block up until you hit Beach Street. At the corner of Beach and Hyde you’ll see “the Buena Vista,” if you’re up for an Irish Coffee, here’s the place! Arguable the best Irish coffee in all the land, with their famous recipe dating back since 1952!
6th Stop -> Quick Cable Car Ride to Lombard Street
Across the street from the Buena Vista is the cable car stand. You can’t go to SF and not take at least one cable car ride. (If you’ve taken a cable car before, that one could potentially skip this step.)
Jump on for a few minutes until you get up to Lombard. Hop off the cable car and look down famous Lombard Street as well as out on the Bay, beautiful views and you can see all the cars driving down that windy wacky road.
7th Stop -> Walk Through the Aquatic Park to the Marina Green
You’re halfway there! Next up is the walk through Aquatic Park, then over the top of a small little hill, to the Marina Green. To get to the Marina Green, go back to the cable car stand where you hopped on the cable car and walk along Beach Street until you hit the Aquatic Park. Walk through the Aquatic Park and start heading right toward the water. After you walk through the Aquatic Cove you will come to a slight hill that hugs the water, walk up that and you’ll eventually find your way up to Fort Mason and around to the Marina Green. It really is simple, even if it doesn’t sound it.
8th Stop ->Through the Marina Green to Crissy Field
You can see the Golden Gate Bridge you’re SO close. Walk through the Marina Green, then onto the next field, Crissy Field. My dad always used to call Crissy Beach “Dog heaven.” All the dogs here look like they’ve died and gone to heaven they’re having such a good time. They’re all rolling around in the sand, playing fetch, doing dog things. Some crazy people might even be in the water.
9th Stop -> Final Leg, Crissy Field to the Base of the Golden Gate Bridge
You’re doing great, onto the very last leg of the trek. Once you walk through Chrissy Field and along the Beach Area it’s a straight shot along the water to the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge, once you’re there, you’ve made it! Climb to the top for some different views of the bridge and the bay.