There is a best way to enjoy the Bay – aboard a Red and White Fleet ferry. We had planned our adventure for last October but ‘someone’ had a meltdown the morning we were to sail. And for some reason – maybe poor planning on our part – we just never got ourselves down to Pier 43 1/2 on Fisherman’s Wharf. Anyway, I am happy to report that we finally made it. And also happy to report that this is probably the most relaxing way to see San Francisco.
We picked up our tickets (courtesy of Red & White) for the 2:15 sailing of the Bridge to Bridge Cruise. Since we had an hour, we decided to really play tourists for the day and had lunch at The Franciscan Restaurant.
In business since 1957, it is like entering a time capsule, complete with black and white glossy photos of Hollywood stars. I would like to imagine Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak enjoying a meal here while in town filming Pal Joey. Or maybe Kim and Jimmy Stewart in town for Vertigo ? There are many reasons to recommend lunch here. The food is good and they have a Kid’s Menu that is reasonably priced at $7.95. How many times have you gone out to dinner with your child only to watch their $20 plate of pasta and butter go untouched? Kid choices include fish & chips, fettuccine alfredo, fried chicken & fries, and pasta with cheese & butter sauce. I had steamed mussels and plenty of sourdough bread with butter.
When you leave the Franciscan it is a 2 minute walk to boarding gate.
Once on board we headed outside to find a place to sit. But there are no ‘bad’ seats. There are amazing views 360 degrees around.
The unobstructed views of the waterfront are picture postcard worthy.
Circling around Alcatraz.
Nothing quite as relaxing as time spent on the water.
Suggestions: Buy your tickets on-line. They are valid for 365 days from date of purchase. Use public transportation to get to Pier 41. Cable Car stop just a couple of blocks away and the F-Train stops here.
Packing hint: Dress warmly. I was comfortable with a silk turtle neck, fleece jacket, down vest and hat. Okay, so that may have been overkill but who wants to be miserable and cold on vacation and they are all light to pack.
We had such a great time that we are thinking of booking a tour on the Fourth of July! See you then…