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Fisherman Wharf and Pier 39 Stroll along Embarcadero, San Francisco

San Francisco (Alaska Pre Cruise) . 2012 . September 13

This post is part of our Alaska Pre and Post Cruise Report and follow-up of our popular Alaska cruise series. Do check out our Alaska Cruise story too if this is your first time here! :)

The Fisherman Wharf area in San Francisco is a must-go if you want to catch some action right beside the San Francisco coast.  Lined with vibrant restaurants, pubs, cafes, entertainment centres and shops, it promises not just to be a watering hole for tourist, but also a spirited stop for a first-time tourist.

Fishermans Wharf (Credits:
 Here's a map that should help you familiar with the area.

Fisherman's Wharf Map (Credits:
As you walk along the Embarcadero, you will pass by the Cruise Ship Terminal at Pier 35. Cruise ships do depart San Francisco for Alaskan cruises, besides the usual embarkation ports, Seattle and Vancouver.

A Close up shot of Disney Wonder. Nice ship! Something to consider for our next cruise..

There were hundreds of yachts parked at the piers with benches to admire them. Wish we own one of these...keep on dreaming...

If you had missed the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building, there are also stalls selling fresh fruits around the fisherman wharf area.

View of Alcatraz Island

The Fisherman Wharf area is also one of the best places to catch sight of Alcatraz Island, now an abandoned prison famous for housing some of the most notorious inmates in the past.

Don't you think that Alcatraz Island look like a ship at sea?

Wharf Attractions

Aquarium of the Bay.  Other Wharf attractions include Ripley's Believe it or Not!, the San Francisco Maritime Museum, and the Wax Museum.

There will be something for everybody in busy and vibrant Fisherman Wharf,  from casual dining to up-market restaurants, open market to colorful shops.  If you are craving for fresh seafood, here's the first place you should try in San Francisco.  Do not miss the Dungeness Crabs, clam chowder and sourdough breads.  There's plenty of bars and lounges for the night owls here as well.

There are lots of shops selling souvenirs along the road too.

If you are tired from the walking along embarcadero, you may want to rent a bike at the Marina Terminal , Pier 41.

On the way, we saw some cute litle yellow cars. These are GoCars that takes you on a GPS-guided tour of San Francisco. Your clever talking car navigates and shows you the way – but that’s not all. As you enjoy the drive, it takes you to all the best sites and tells the stories that bring this unique city to life.

Pier 39

Do Drop by to Pier 39 when you are at the Fisherman Wharf, for a scene rarely seen in a city as big as San Francisco.   

For the past 22 years, since 1990, sea lions had been coming to Pier 39 regularly to lounge and sun-bathe on its decks.

There's even a sign to commemorate the happy occasion!

Although detested by sea farers,  the sea lions were popular with tourists and has earned it's own right to become a tourist spot.

The number of sea lions can fluctuate drastically during the seasons, but as many as 1700 were seen at one time in 2009.   We were not that fortunate to witness that kind of phenomena, but even so, looking at sea lions up close is not something that you get to do everyday.

Besides the Sea Lions, Pier 39 is also a dining and shopping paradise for tourists.

Hard Rock Cafe @ Pier 39. If you are an avid collector of Hard Rock merchandise, you may want to pay a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe Shop.

Plenty of restaurants and cafes in Pier 39. Even the Bar and Grill is open for business in the daytime and its packed!

If you are into candies, do stop by Candy Baron, a candy shop which has sold over one million pounds of their super Salt Water Taffy (known to be the finest in the world.) for more than 20 years.

There are over 50 flavours of the Salt Water Taffy, from Chocolate Mint, Caremel Corn, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry to even Cheery Cola. You can take your pick or mix and match to try the different flavours.

Besides their famous Salt Water Taffy, Candy Baron also sells other sweet candies like the toffees.

It's a pity that we visited the shop without knowing that they are famous for their salt water taffy. Nevertheless, we did end up with a souvernir bought from the shop. A San Francisco Cale Car model with candies inside! :)

We had a fun day at the Fisherman Wharf and Pier 39 area. So if you are visiting San Francisco, do make a trip there and have a fun day like we did!

This post is part of our Alaska Pre and Post Cruise Report and follow-up of our popular Alaska cruise series. Do check out our Alaska Cruise story too if this is your first time here! :)

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  1. Wow, this place looks incredible. I can't believe how many sea lions are around, that is so cool. I would love to see that in person. My first stop would have to be the candy store though. How could you walk around with out any salt water taffy candy. That is a must for me!


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