I’ve done a day trip post and video in San Francisco before, but this time we focused on a different area of the city: The Embarcadero. When I lived in San Francisco, about 5 years ago now, I visited the Embarcadero frequently. Although many areas along the Embarcadero are clear tourists attractions, it’s still a great way to explore the city by the bay (literally), try some amazing foods, and take in the views in every direction!
The drive to San Francisco from my house, as previously mentioned, is about 2 hours (much longer when there is traffic). So when we finally made it into the city, we were definitely relieved.
Before we headed to the main event, Joey and I made a quick pit stop at Le Marché for a Blogger Closet Sale! I had never been to Le Marché or their café located alongside it, Le Marais. It’s such a cute, fresh, French inspired space perfect for an event like this. Immediately walking in, we spotted @kelseykaplanfashion, who was dressed spectacularly as always. Other bloggers there included @fashionbyally, @sweetandpetite, @stephweizman, @jennapardini, @vanessaevelynh, @jacquelinewoodwell, @katwalksf, and one of my ultimate favorites, @WannabeFashionBlogger. Tamryn is as sweet as can be even though I was so nervous to ask her for a photo!
Also at the event was the Shades by Shan team! And if you follow me and my Instastories, you know how much I love Shades by Shan lip kits! Shan and her sister Erika were so nice! We chatted for a bit which was super cool. And yes, of course I added to my lipkit collection. Which shades you ask? Berry and Flamin’ Hot Rojo! I can’t wait to show them to you guys!
Anyway, after that, we drove through the crazy city, trying to avoid as many hills as possible, to the San Francisco Ferry Building. We had to park about 10 minutes away because it was so busy. But it was a beautiful day so we didn’t mind.
It was a Saturday afternoon and the Farmer’s Market was just wrapping up. There were swarms of people all along the Embarcadero, but the atmosphere was that of joy. There were many families out and about, locals and tourists alike. It was great to see.
Once we made it inside the Ferry Building, we were totally mesmerized. The changing sign with the ferry schedules was like out of a movie, and the actual architecture of the building was stunning. As expected, the place was completely jam packed! And the smell of all kinds of treats lingered throughout, making us even more hungry than we were already!
For lunch, we decided we wanted to try some Argentinian empanadas from El Porteño. We had never had Argentinian cuisine, so we were pretty excited. Joey and I couldn’t make up our minds, so we ordered a variety of empanadas which included ham & cheese, chicken, beef, and for dessert, a banana & Nutella empanada. The empanadas were golden, crispy, buttery, and delicious. Each tasted different, but all were delicious. We washed them down with some yummy Argentinian Rose Lemonade and Cherry Cola soda.
As we wandered throughout the Ferry Building, admiring the locally sourced flowers, produce, cheese, honey, etc., we realized that there were so many restaurants and foods we wanted to try, but would have to wait until next time.
Now I must mention, the view from the Embarcadero out towards the water are breathtaking. Not only can you see Alcatraz from a distance, but you get a gorgeous shot at the Bay Bridge. I recommend coming out at night time to see it light up with the traffic traveling to and from the East Bay. Another view that I feel isn’t mentioned quite as much is the view of the inland. From the Embarcadero, you can spot Coit Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid amid the waves of homes and trees. Simply said, it is an area of San Francisco that cannot be missed.
As we walked, we realized that the warm Saturday afternoon was quickly turning into a windy and chilly evening, and included a visit from Karl the Fog himself.
The first pier we made a stop at was Pier 7. Pier 7 is a must-see location, as well as a great place for an Instagram shoot. Pier 7 is also a great place to take a short break from walking, admire the water and people watch. You can also do some fishing here if that’s your thing.
The next pier we took note of was Pier 27, the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal. I remember when I worked at the offices right across the street from the Embarcadero, Pier 27 was actually home to the America’s World Cup!
As we walked down, we noticed a pretty busy pier, Pier 33. Pier 33 is also known as Alcatraz Landing. Here, you can catch the Alcatraz Ferry and explore the infamous island. Joey and I have yet to go to Alcatraz, but it’s definitely on our to-do list!
Another exciting spot on the Embarcadero is Pier 39. Pier 39 is to most San Franciscans, solely a tourist spot. However, in the brief time that my best friend and I lived here, we went to Pier 39 at least once a month.
I love the vibrancy and sounds of Pier 39. It’s so fun to see the families exploring a city you love (and also see them in tanks, shorts, and flip flops, freezing their bums off as they realize that not all of California is sunny & warm). I think the atmosphere almost reminds me of Disneyland. Anyway, if you visit, be sure to bring a jacket or two because you’ll be outside admiring the crazy lounging sea lions, and taking in the most epic view.
Now let’s talk a little more about this view. From Pier 39, you can see (if Karl hasn’t taken over) the Golden Gate Bridge to your left, the Bay Bridge to your right, and Alcatraz, perfectly centered in the middle. I love this spot of Pier 39. When we first started getting to know each other, I told this to Joey. So the first time we ever went to San Francisco together, he took me this spot at night, got on one knee and asked me to be his girlfriend. So romantic!
While we were at Pier 39, we decided to grab a bite at one of our favorite spots, Players Sport Grill & Arcade. Neither one of us is really into sports, but this place is cool. You can grab a delicious Moscow Mule and Fried Calamari appetizer like we did, enjoy the arcade sounds while you chill by the fire pit. And if you are into sports, well then you gotta check it out.
Pier 39 has several restaurants to choose from, fun stores, a double decker carousel, and live entertainment. It’s family-friendly, but remember, it’s cold!
One of our last stops on the Embarcadero journey was to Pier 45. Pier 45, also known as the Historic Pier 45, houses two World War II Ships: the SS Jeremiah O’Brien and the USS Pampanito. We didn’t see the ships up close, but they looked so massive, even from far away!
As we were walking, we stopped to watch a street artist who was about to start their show. Now this may sound weird to some of you, but street performers and artists are common on the Embarcadero. This guy was young, handsome, and had a British accent, so we were intrigued. For a good 40 minutes, Orion Griffiths had us gasping, laughing, and applauding. He is a retired professional circus acrobat. If you’re curious, you can find videos of some of his performances on the Embarcadero on YouTube.
It was close to 8pm, and almost time for our last stop to close! So we rushed over to Musée Mécanique before time ran out and we couldn’t get in. Also located on Pier 45, Musée Mécanique is “one of the world’s largest privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original condition.” And they are all operable, ready to play, and most importantly, it’s free to enter!
Some of the attractions are so old, they’re creepy. But a lot of the games are just so cool to look at. It’s also fun to just watch people play these games that they probably otherwise would’ve never known about if this museum weren’t here. It’s a fun date night idea, and great for a trip with kids.
Since it was past 8 o’clock and almost dark out, Joey and I decided to walk back to our car and head home. We were cold and pretty tired, but glad with how the day turned out. It’s funny because most of the time, we’re pretty satisfied with what we see and get done during our day trips. This time around, we were not only feeling accomplished, but excited to come back and explore so much of what we didn’t get to this time.
Thanks for reading!
-The B of V
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