The Embarcadero is a long and broad stretch of waterfront in San Francisco’s Financial District. It runs from AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, to Pier 45, one of the area’s numerous piers. Along its course are shops, restaurants, attractions and open spaces. You’ll also discover such tourist hits as the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood and Pier 39, a waterfront hub of shops, restaurants and attractions.
The best way to take it all in is with a leisurely walk along the bay. Joggers also love this part of the city for its view of the sea and cool breezes off the water.
The Embarcadero is a magnet for foodies on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday when the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market offers a wide variety organic offerings. More than 100 vendors line the pavement outside of the Ferry Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Browse the stalls selling flowers, fruit, cheese, vegetables, ice cream and pre-prepared meals. Even if you are not going near a kitchen during your vacation, pick up some ready-baked goodies and fresh produce from the friendly stall owners at the market. On market days join up with a cooking class run by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA).
The Ferry Building, located at the foot of Market Street, is a great place to explore. This grand structure features a 240-foot (73-meter) clock tower modeled in a 12th-century Spanish style. It’s a fun place to people-watch and dine in one of the gourmet bistros or cafés. At the back of the Ferry Building enjoy uninterrupted views across the San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge to the south. The nearby Embarcadero Center is a destination shopping and entertainment center for tourists and locals alike.
Just over a mile north from the Ferry Building, at the foot of Bay Street, is Pier 33. Here you’ll find more places to people watch and eat lunch or grab a coffee, as well as the tour boats and the ferry to Alcatraz. A little further north is the Aquarium of the Bay and Fisherman’s Wharf. Investing in a Wharf Pass gives you all-in-one bargain access to these attractions and more.
The Embarcadero is an easy, level area of the “city of the seven hills,” making it perfect for a leisurely afternoon of walking. However, cable cars do run the length of the wharf road in both directions.