Boating, Fishing, and Travel Information for San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Harbor, home to San Francisco, one of America’s great cities, occupies the north portion of the peninsula forming the south entrance to San Francisco Bay. The 3-mile north shore of San Francisco from the Golden Gate Bridge to the main waterfront includes the Presidio of San Francisco; several yacht harbors; Government buildings and piers on Black Point; Aquatic Park; and Fisherman’s Wharf. Webcam of San Francisco.

Things to See & Do in San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Park
One of the best places to visit in San Francisco, Golden Gate Park’s 1,017 has everything from museums, to sand dunes, to inspired gardens that will impress any horticulturalist. A wide variety of family-friendly places to visit include playgrounds, trails, picnic areas, and more. Attractions include the de Young Museum of Art, the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the Hall of Flowers, and people who love fishing shouldn’t miss Anglers Lodge.

The Presidio
The Presidio, one of the most dramatic places in San Francisco, is at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s many attractions include access to the Golden Gate Bridge, several beaches and amazing overlooks with spectacular views, and Chrissy Field.

California Academy of Sciences
There is something for everyone at this awe-inspiring destination that includes an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum! Steinhard Acquarium has over 40,000 animals on display. The Osher Rainforest is a thriving indoor rainforest, with birds and butterflies. And for people who love the coast, take a dive into a coral reef through the incredible Expedition Reef exhibit. And finally, don’t miss the night life! NightLifeLIVE brings live music and art to the Academy once a month, on Thursday, to the Academy.

Fishermans’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist destinations. It is a neighborhood that sits on the waterfront, a historic location that was once the main port of entry to the city. All types of people and goods arrived here, and many fishermen – especially Chinese and Italians – used the original Meigg’s Wharf and surrounding area to conduct their business. This history has endured as the fishing fleet that goes out of Fisherman’s Wharf is still active today. The neighborhood offers plenty of shopping, a multitude of restaurants with delicious seafood, the famous Ghiradelli Square and Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, as well as several other fun and interesting places to visit. The neighborhood has a world-class fireworks display on July 4thevery year, and The Blue Angles show up during Fleet Week for an impressive air show.

Most visitors to the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood will want to stop by Pier 39  which offers a wide variety of activities for the family, including an aquarium, boat trips, free entertainment by talented local performers, and much more. One especially fun thing to see is the colony of Sea Lions who have moved into the area and can be seen lying around on the docks.

The Pier 39 Marina  is also located here. Boaters can make advanced or same-day reservations by calling (415) 705-5436 or Marine radio VHF 16.

Alcatraz Island
In the middle of San Francisco Bay sits the compelling Alcatraz Island, a famous fort that became an infamous prison. Its rich history, and dramatic landscape will stir every imagination. This popular destination is can be reached by booking a boat trip to the island on Alcatraz Cruises.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
For boat lovers and maritime history buffs, head down to the SF Maritime Museum (near Fisherman’s Wharf) where you’ll find impressive historic ships; a museum and research center; and the Aquatic Park Historic District. A chapel commemorating the “Lost Fishermen” of San Francisco can be found nearby on Pier 45.

San Francisco Marina & Small Craft Harbor
Home to one of the best established, and perhaps the oldest, marinas in the Bay Area, San Francisco Marina’s 35 acres also includes the popular Marina Green Park. The marina has 727 boat berths, including guest berthing for boats up to 50 feet, free pump out stations, and a fuel dock. Located 1.8 miles east of the Golden Gate Bridge with a west and east basin about 0.3 mile apart, San Francisco Yacht Harbor has depths of 8 to 12 feet to the berths. A light near the end of a point marks the north side of the entrance to west basin; a prominent stone tower is 0.2 mile west of the light. The east basin is protected on the north by a breakwater extending east from the west shore, and on the east by a pier of Fort Mason. The seaward end of the breakwater is marked by a light. east basin is entered between the breakwater light and the pier. The harbor accommodates about 700 boats in the west and east basins. Guest berths are available; transients should report to the harbormaster’s office on the south side of the west basin for berth assignment. Annual events include: the Escape from Alcatraz triathalon and Fleet Week.

South Beach Harbor Marina
South Beach Harbor, a great place for sailing and excellent views of the city, is located on the Embarcadero, ½ mile south of the Bay Bridge, on the inside of the Bay. This full-service marina includes 700 boat slips, a maritime center, a recreational and commercial dock, and the South Beach Park.

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
This incredible marine sanctuary protects over 3,295 square miles of the northern and central California coast. It is home to rich and diverse ocean ecosystem. The Greater Farallones Association, a non-profit that supports the sanctuary, provides educational programs and volunteer opportunities for citizen scientists.

Ferries in the SF Bay Area

  • Golden Gate Ferry
    This ferry runs between San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Sausalito, Larkspur, and Tiberon.
  • Blue and Gold Fleet
    The Blue and Gold Fleet provides regular ferry service around San Francisco Bay, including Angel Island, Oracle Park, Harbor Bay, Oakland and Alameda, Richmond, Sausalito, Tiberon, South San Francisco, and Vallejo.

Weather in San Francisco

San Francisco enjoys a marine-type climate characterized by mild and moderately wet winters and by dry, cool summers. Winter rains (December through March) account for about three-fourths of the average annual rainfall of just over 19 inches (483 mm), and measurable precipitation occurs on an average of 13 days per month during this period. Snowfall occurs, but is infrequent. The greatest amount is 1.5 inches (38 mm) recorded in January 1962. Flurries have occurred in each month, December through March. There are frequent dry periods lasting well over a week. Severe winter storms with gale winds and heavy rains occur only occasionally. December is the month most likely to experience galesfollowed by January. Thunderstorms average five a yearand may occur in any month, but are usually very mild.

The summer weather is dominated by a cool sea breeze resulting in an average summer wind speed of nearly 13 knots. Winds are light in the early morning, but normally reach 17 to 22 knots in the afternoon, depending on location. Where topography and man-made structures funnel the winds, higher gusts may occur in those areas.

A sea fog, arriving over the station during the lateevening or night as a low stratified cloud, is anotherpersistent feature of the summer weather. This “high” fog, occasionally producing drizzle or mist, usually disappears during the late forenoon. Despite the morning overcast, summer days are remarkably sunny. On the average a total of only 15 days during the 4 months fromJune through September are classified as cloudy.

Daytime temperatures are held down both by the morning low overcast and the afternoon strengthening sea breeze, resulting in daily maximum readings averaging in the lower- to middle seventies (21.7° to 23.9°C) from May through August. However, during these months occasional “hot” spells lasting a few days are experienced without the usual “high” fog and sea breeze. September, when the sea breeze becomes less pronounced, is the warmest month with an average maximum of 73°F (22.8°C). Minimum temperatures during the summerare in the lower- to middle fifties (10.6° to 12.8°C). The all-time high temperature recorded at the InternationalAirport is 106°F (41.1°C) recorded in June 1961.

A strong temperature inversion with its base usually at a height of 1,500 feet (458) m) persists throughout thesummer. Inversions close to the ground are infrequentin summer, but rather common in fall and winter. As a consequence of these factors and the continued population and economic growth of the area, atmospheric pollution has become a problem of increasing importance.

Views of San Francisco

The skyline of the city of San Francisco is unmistakable, with several dominant landmarks: the 980-foot television tower supporting three antennas, the pyramid-shaped Transamerica Building, the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill 3.4 miles east of the bay entrance, and the Bay Bridges with their freeway elevated approaches. Inside the bay, the Bank of America Building, the Bank of America Clock Tower, the clock tower at the south end of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the old Ferry Building with its 240-foot clock tower on the waterfront south of Pier 1, and the U.S. Coast Guard radar tower on Yerba Buena Island are prominent.

The Ferry Building, terminal of many ferry boats, also houses the San Francisco Port Authority offices, the offices of the Marine Exchange, Inc., and the many offices and exhibits of the World Trade Center.


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Photo Credits

Image by David Mark. License free on Pixabay.