One of San Francisco’s main tourist attractions is Fisherman’s Wharf or Pier 39. On our first full day in the city Kyle and I set out for a day out at Pier 39. We purchased a City Pass in advance and it again was such a great idea and made our adventuring easier. If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you might remember we used the City Pass when we visited Atlanta.
We stopped at The Chowder Hut on our way over to the pier to grab a steaming hot sourdough bread bowl full of chowder. Kyle went with the traditional clam and I picked a spiced up crab version. Both were yummy, filling and really hit the spot.
First thing we did after that was get our tickets for the Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise. We just showed them our City Passes and they gave us tickets. We had an hour before the cruise started so we wandered around the pier a little bit.
One store I was really excited about shopping in was Lefty’s The Left Hand Store. I picked up a few items to make living in a righty world a little easier for me. I bought scissors, a notebook, pens and a mug for myself and picked up a lefty tape measure for my brother-in-law. Even if you’re not a lefty its still fun to go in and see how things are different. You can test out some scissors, pens and can openers and really get a feel for what it is like to live in a world not made for you!
On our way to board the boat and experience the bay tour we stopped to check out these guys. These are California sea lions. Do you know what this difference is between sea lions and seals? Sea lions have little ears on their heads where seals do not! Seal ears are internal and sea lion ears are external. I learned this back in elementary school and for some reason it stuck with me…Anyway!
The boat was two levels, the bottom level contained a bar (we did not partake) and the top was open to the ocean air and elements. After stepping out into the air we decided we’d be more comfortable just hanging out below. The large windows made it easy to enjoy the sights while staying warm. Plus the top level was jammed packed with other tourists vying for a great view.
I liked that the there was an audio portion to the tour that let us know interesting facts about the history of the city, the small surrounding islands and the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn’t like that it was pre-recorded and cut out several times. Aside from that, I loved it!
The next day we went back to the pier with our friend and saw a few more things like the Musee Mecanique. It is located on Pier 45 right across the street from The Chowder Hut. This place is part museum, part arcade. The games inside are vintage with only a few modern arcade games. If you visit this place be sure to bring some pocket change to see the vintage games come to life. Most of the machines aren’t even “games” they are more like forms of entertainment like those nickelodeon style moving pictures. Put a coin in, press your face to the goggles and crank the handle to see a short silent movie.
The last place we visited on the pier was the Aquarium of the Bay. This was included in our City Pass. If it were not part of the City Pass deal I would say it is not worth the money. It’s kind of small and includes basic aquarium features like touch pools and a conveyor to view the shark tank and the fish tank.
On our way back to the hotel we grabbed some ice cream cones from the Ben & Jerry’s on the pier. The waffle cone was perfect and the ice cream was divine!