In the nearly 26 summers I’ve visited San Francisco, I’ve never seen a day quite as sunny as the recent one in September when my grandma and I drove to the city to do some sightseeing. It’s even more distinguishable to add that my grandma, a resident of the Bay Area for more than 50 years, remarked she also had never seen a San Francisco day quite as sunny as this one either, as we explore the bay.
Sail Under the Golden Gate Bridge
We ascend the sturdy iron stairs of the Blue & Gold Fleet ship and take a seat on the roofless top deck. A horn blares and the ship begins motion, pulling away from Pier 39. As we move towards the sparkling depths of the bay, we have an up close view of the friendly and famous California sea lions of Pier 39. At one time as many as 1,700 sea lions have been spotted sunbathing on the docks here.
Behind the buildings of Pier 39, Telegraph Hill looms in the clear distance, topped by Coit Tower. Built in 1933 in memory of city resident Lillie Hitchcock Coit, the tower’s shape resembles a fire hose nozzle in honor of her admiration for the city’s firefighters.
From the Bay we follow the shores of the city, passing the city’s famous landmarks – Russian Hill, Ghiradelli Square and the Palace of Fine Arts.
But the city’s most famous landmark lies ahead, rarely unblemished by fog or a scant cloud in the sky.
Opened in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed bridge in the world and one of the Wonders of the Modern World as voted by the American Society of Civil Engineers. You can drive across it, walk below it, hike above it, but to get the best understanding of the bridge’s complexity you’ll need to sail beneath it.
This picture explains why.
After sailing beneath the bridge we circled around and sailed under one last time before heading back to Pier 39.
During our journey we got a closer look at Alcatraz Island, home to a chilling former federal prison, and the Bay Bridge beckoned in the distance. After an hour on the sea it was time to get our land legs back and we our ship pulled in to dock.
The San Francisco Bay Cruise Adventure leaves from Pier 39. Departure days and time vary by season.
The Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise is just one of the many attractions you can experience with the Go card San Francisco ®. For a full list of offers and admissions available to cardholders, visit smartdestinations.com.
For more ideas on things to do in San Francisco, visit www.SanFrancisco.travel.
Note: San Francisco Travel provided me with two complimentary Go Cards ® to experience this attraction. All thoughts and opinions are my own.