Tuesday, April 26, 2011

City Life: Along the Embarcadero, Part 2 (Ferry Building to Fisherman's Wharf)

Continuing my post of The Embarcadero (Part 1), I walked from the Ferry Building to Fisherman's Wharf earlier this month.

The walk from the Ferry Building (A) to Fisherman's Wharf (B) is 1.8 miles.

I strolled on the nice walkway on Pier 3 and got this shot of the Ferry Building. People like to come here at lunchtime to stretch out on the benches and read.

Back on The Embarcadero looking towards Fisherman's Wharf. Along here is a stretch of expensive restaurants and more moderately priced bars.

A street sign at Broadway.

I've never tasted chocolate here but I couldn't resist the sign.
I'll have to go back later and check it out.

Alcatraz!! Alcatraz Landing is located at Pier 33 and is where you purchase tickets and depart on tours. The island is only accessible by ferry. I only go there when I have guests but it's a fascinating tour and highly recommended. The cellhouse audio tour is excellent and really brings the place to life.

Ah yes, the parking. Parking near Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf is expensive and can be difficult so plan accordingly.

Approaching Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf brings a change in smells. Right about here you can smell cotton candy. As you closer to the Wharf, this can change to the overwhelming smell of crab and fish, depending on the time of day (usually in the morning and early afternoon).

We locals consider Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf the great tourist traps of our city. I generally don't come down here myself but they are must-see places according to all the tour books.

There's an aquarium here (not the one I volunteer at). I have to confess I've never visited but lots of people do and enjoy it. It's a small aquarium but focuses on the marine life in our San Francisco Bay.

Pier 39 is a full of gift shops, restaurants, and other places to eat.

You gotta love a two-story carousel that plays Gershwin. The carousel is located near the end of Pier 39 as are the world famous Pier 39 California Sea Lions.

In September 1989, our California Sea Lions started hauling out at end of the pier. You can see them piled on each other and you'll hear there barking as you approach. The Marine Mammal Center folks are here to provide information and answer questions. They have a shop upstairs above where the seals are.

At the end of Pier 39 are lovely views of Alcatraz.
You can see it was a windy day when I snapped this picture.

Fisherman's Wharf is located at Pier 43 or thereabouts. There are plenty of restaurants, places to eat on the run, the Wax Museum, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, gift shops, street musicians, In-and-Out Burger, and The Cannery, a sort of gift shop mini-mall.

If you keep walking past the Cannery and cross the street you'll come to this lovely park. There's a lovely lawn and a beach at the other end. It's a nice place to have lunch and take a stroll if it's not too crowded or windy.

As you can see Ghirardelli Square is right at the top of the park. I've been known to come here on rare occasions with friends for lunch. Ghirardelli is full of shops and restaurants. If you go, be sure to check out the famous chocolate shop.

I completely forgot this lovely Bay beach was located here.

Above the beach are concrete bleachers if you don't want to sit on sand.

I walked back the way I came to the Ferry Building and stopped at the park next to Justin Hermann Plaza where I was attracted by the raucous cries of our parrots. Yes, we have parrots here in San Francisco. Apparently, they are strays that got away and have grown into an impressive flock. You would think it's too cold for them but they don't seem to mind.

I've blogged about the parrots before on this blog but I didn't have a 10x zoom camera at the time so I wanted to post a decent picture.

This ends my posts about The Embarcadero. I hope you enjoyed it. I'm planning to do more neighborhood posts in the future.

Thanks for reading.

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