Why Taking the Ferry Boat from San Francisco to Alameda is a Great Day Trip in the Bay Area

Ferry Building and San Francisco Skyline
I have family in Alameda, California so visits to the East Bay are a regular occurrence when I'm in San Francisco. Traffic on the Bay Bridge can be a nightmare and BART is always a bit edgy so I jumped at the chance to try a new mode of transportation on this trip: the San Francisco Bay Ferry! The sun was shining and I was actually staying in the city so the ferry was an ideal option for a day trip to the East Bay. Here's why I think taking the ferry across the San Francisco Bay makes for a great day trip.

An Excuse to Visit San Francisco's Ferry Building

San Francisco's Ferry Building
The San Francisco Bay Ferry departs from the Ferry Building in San Francisco, one of my favorite places in the city that hosts a farmers market twice a week. Even on non-market days, the Ferry Building is bustling with great shops and gourmet food outlets. Wander in and buy your ticket (just $6.60 USD for a one way fare) at the Bay Crossings Store. Note that you can also buy tickets onboard the boat but this involves queuing inside the cabin and potentially missing the great views on the short ride across the Bay.
Signage inside the SF Ferry Building

A Perfect View of the San Francisco Skyline

Transamerica Building and the San Francisco Skyline
I boarded the ferry and found a seat at the back on the upper deck. As we pulled away from the Ferry Building, I was treated to picture-perfect views of the San Francisco skyline including classic icons like Coit Tower and the Transamerica Building.
Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge viewed from the San Francisco Bay Ferry
Bay Bridge and San Francisco Skyline

See the Golden Gate Bridge and SF Bay Bridge in Perfect Alignment

SF Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge viewed from the San Francisco Bay Ferry
From my vantage point on the upper deck on the way to Alameda, I stood up in awe as the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge lined up perfectly in our wake. There is no easy way to get this shot on land and was worth the 15 minute crossing by itself.

Catch a Glimpse of the Scale of Oakland's Port

Containers at Oakland Port
As we approached Oakland Port, we got a close-up look at container ships being loaded and unloaded. From land in San Francisco, it's hard to appreciate just how massive these ships and the containers they carry are.

Spot Sea Vessels That Look Like They Are From Another Place or Time

3-masted sailboat and San Francisco Skyline viewed from the San Francisco Bay Ferry
I was also delighted to see a 3-masted sailboat on our approach to Alameda.
Pirate ship on the San Francisco Bay
On my return trip, I saw a pirate ship (the only thing missing was a Jolly Roger) in the waters around Oakland. It was very cool to see these sea vessels that look like they are from another place and time.

An Excuse to Visit the Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda

Glass of red wine from Alameda Rock Wall Winery
The ferry crossing itself is worth doing even if you turn around and go right back to San Francisco. However, there are a few things to do in Alameda near the ferry terminal to make a day trip in the East Bay worthwhile. We visited Rock Wall Wine Company for lunch at Scolari's and a glass of their very own wine. For more on Rock Wall Winery see: Alameda Rock Wall Winery - An Oasis on the Island.

Visit the USS Hornet Air-craft Carrier in Alameda

Air-craft carriers in Alameda, California
My sister-in-law and her family (including my young niece and nephew) picked me up at the ferry terminal and we made our way to the USS Hornet air-craft carrier after lunch. The entry fee is a bit steep at $20 USD per person but it's fascinating to explore the ship and see the planes parked on top.
Shark-faced plane on the deck of the USS Hornet in Alameda, California
Plane with folded wings on the deck of the USS Hornet in Alameda, California
Yellow plane on the deck of the USS Hornet in Alameda, California
As you can see, the USS Hornet is massive!
Upper deck of the USS Hornet in Alameda, California
Anchors aweigh!
Shimmering reflections on the anchor of the USS Hornet in Alameda, California

Laze About with the Sea Lions on Pier 39 Upon Returning to San Francisco

Sealions at Pier 39 in San Francisco
The San Francisco Bay Ferry stops in two places in San Francisco: the Ferry Building where we departed and Pier 41. On my return, I decided to disembark at Pier 41 which is right next to San Francisco's tourist mecca: Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. I couldn't resist fighting through the crowds at Pier 39 to catch a glimpse of sea lions sunning themselves. Classic!

Take the Classic F-Market Line To Come Full Circle in San Francisco

F Market Street Car in San Francisco
My trip to the East Bay focused heavily on modes of transportation including the ferry and the aircraft carrier. From both the Ferry Building and Pier 41, you can easily catch a historic F Market street car to come full circle.

As you can see, I found the ferry boat ride from San Francisco to Alameda and back again to be a fun and relaxing day trip. I don't think I'll ever drive or take BART to Alameda again! 

What are your favorite Bay Area day trips?

Did you enjoy this post? Sharing is caring...

Why Taking the Ferry Boat from San Francisco to Alameda is a Great Day Trip in the Bay Area



#DrJSabbatical Adriatics Africa Aix-en-Provence Algarve Americas Ann Arbor Argentina Asia Asia Pacific AUNZ AUNZ_Archive Australia Austria Baltics Barcelona Bath Belfast Belgium Berlin Best of Beyond Dublin Big Island Bologna Boston Brazil Brighton Bruges Brussels Bucharest Budapest Buffalo California Cambodia Canada Canary Islands Canterbury Cape Town Carcassonne Cardiff Central Europe Chile China Chinatown Christmas Market Civic Center Cologne Commute Chronicles Copenhagen Cork Costa Brava Cow Hollow Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Delhi Denmark Derry Donegal Dresden Dublin Dublin_Archive Dubrovnik Eastern Europe Edinburgh El Calafate England Eruption Essen Estonia Europe Europe_Archive Evora Fado Faro Faversham Financial District Finland Fisherman's Wharf Flanders Florida Flugtag Food France Frankfurt French Riviera Fringe Fringe Festival Galway Gandhi Gdansk Gdynia Georgian Dublin Germany GhostBus Gig Girona Glasgow Google Plus Granada Greece Greece and Cyprus Guest Posts Guiness Storehouse Gurgaon Half Moon Bay Hamburg Hangzhou Hanoi Hawaii HCMC Helsinki Hermanus Hilo Ho Chi Minh City Hobart Hoi An Honolulu Hungary Hurling Hyderabad Ice Cream Sandwich Iceland ICS India Inner Richmond Ireland Ireland_Archive Istanbul Italy Itinerary Izmir Jackson Square Jaipur Japan Johannesburg Kaunas Kenmare Kilauea Kilkenny Kilkenny Cats Killarney Kiluaea Kona Krakow Kuala Lumpur Kyoto Lake Como Languedoc Lanzarote Las Fallas Las Vegas Latvia Laurel Heights Leeds Leinster Leipzig Lemesos Let's French 2011 Liechtenstein Lima Limerick Lincoln's Inn Lisbon Lithuania Liverpool Lloret de Mar London Los Angeles Louisiana Lübeck Lucerne Machu Picchu Mackintosh Madeira Madrid Mainz Malaga Malaysia Mallorca Malta Manchester Marina Marrakech Marrakesh Marseille Massachusetts Med Melbourne Mendoza Menton Miami Milan Mission Dolores Modena Monaco Monte Carlo Montenegro Montpellier Morocco Muenster Munich Munster Music NA_Archive Naples Netherlands New Orleans New Year 2011 New Year Festival New Years Eve 2010 New York New Zealand Nice Nicosia Nob Hill Noe Valley Nordics Normandy Norrkoping North America North Beach Northern Ireland Nuremberg Oahu Oakland Oktoberfest Oliwa Ollantaytambo Olympics On The Road Osaka Outer Sunset Oxford Pacific Heights Padua Palafrugell Palma Panorama Paphos Paris Parma Patagonia Pearl Harbor Pennsylvania Perth Peru Philadelphia Pingyao Pittsburgh Poland Porto Portugal Potrero Hill Prague Presidio Heights Pride Provence Puerto Natales Punta Arenas Queensland RAF2010 Ranelagh Ranelagh Arts Festival Recent Red Bull Regensburg Reims Restaurant Review Reykjavik Riga Ring of Kerry Rio de Janeiro Rochester Roman Ruins Romania Rome Rotterdam Rugby Russia Russian Hill Salt Lake City San Francisco San Sebastian Santiago Scandinavia Science Gallery Science Museum Scotland Seattle Segovia Seoul Seville SF - Further Afield SF_Archive Sicily Siem Reap Singapore Sintra Sligo Snow SOMA Sopot South Africa South America South Beach South Korea Soweto Spain SPWC St. Petersburg Stellenbosch Stockholm Strasbourg Street Performance Stuttgart Sultanahmet Sweden Switzerland Sydney Tallinn Tasmania Tavira TBEX Telegraph Hill Temple Bar Tenerife Texas Thailand Thames Festival The Kruger The Mission Theatre ThisIsAthens Tipperary Tokyo Toledo Toronto Torres del Paine Toulouse Trad Trad Sessions Transylvania Trinity College Turkey UBTD10 Uganda UK Ulster Bank Theater Festival Union Square United States Uruguay Vacation Rental Valencia Valparaiso Venice Vienna Vietnam Vilnius Volcano Volcanoes National Park Waikiki Wales Walking Walking Tour Warsaw Washington Waterford Western Australia Westerplatte Westfield Where's Wally? Whitsundays Wicklow World Record World War II Wroclaw WWI WWII Xi'an York Ypsilanti Zurich
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Why Taking the Ferry Boat from San Francisco to Alameda is a Great Day Trip in the Bay Area
Why Taking the Ferry Boat from San Francisco to Alameda is a Great Day Trip in the Bay Area
Check out why taking the ferry from San Francisco to Alameda in the East Bay is an ideal day trip in the Bay Area. A photo-rich post by travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) from Sidewalk Safari.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read more Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy