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From your fling hotel, head down (AKA to the right) Market Street toward the bay, until you reach the Embarcadero. You may also take BART the few stops to Embarcadero station.

You will find yourself facing the Ferry Building Marketplace:

a building which has been converted into a food and shopping destination, while still providing embarkation and disembarkation for bay ferries and selling ferry tickets.

Ferries are used by commuters; you can take a ferry from here across the bay to Oakland‘s Jack London Square. Other pleasure ferries take visitors to Alcatraz and Angel Islands, and Marin county locations. You can also find information about ferry trips and purchase ferry tickets inside the Ferry Building Marketplace here.

Also inside the Ferry Building Marketplace you will find places to eat, have a coffee, and browse shops selling locally produced items including olive oil, cheeses, and ceramics. The olive oil is delicious, and the ceramics are iconic.

heath ceramics

ferry building now

ferry building then

Hmm. What have I neglected to mention?

Oh yes, that’s right, you can also find ice cream, in the form of gelato, here, at Ciao Bella. Helen, you’re good for another day.

After your gelato, you can perambulate in either direction. South of the Ferry Building is Rincon Park, a public open space that revitalized a previously desolate section of waterfront.

Thank your local landscape architects for creating a successful destination.

The public piers also provide locations for views and general good feelings.

From these locations along the water you will also be in an excellent position to view the upcoming Bay Lights, an installation that, starting March 5, will be up for two years.

North along the Embarcadero are other local treasures, including the Exploratorium, the coolest interactive science museum/workshop/experimental space ever.

Its brand-new location will be open by the time flingers arrive! And it includes exhibits on plants!

Continuing north will deliver one to more destinations, including ferries for Alcatraz Island, an aquarium, the tourist-choked Cannery and Fisherman’s Wharf, and the promenade at Aquatic Park.

And what else is available northward, you ask? More ice cream. There are two locations, but in the spirit of fair play I will count them as one.


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