Traveling to the West Coast this summer? I just returned from San Francisco and while I was unpleasantly surprised by the chilly temperature, I found some great attractions worthy of checking out.
ARTS MARKET Across the street from Pier 1 is a great arts market with local painters, jewelry makers, T-shirt designers and more. If you are looking for a unique San Francisco souvenir this can be your chance. One artist I was particularly fascinated by was Amos Goldbaum (amosgoldbaum.com) who designs hand silk-screened shirts and sweatshirts with hand-drawn pictures of typical San Francisco landmarks and sights. The fair is only there on Saturdays, so don't psych yourself out and go any other day of the week. The market is at Justin Herman Plaza, between Market and Steuart Streets. The website for the market is, ferryartistsmarket.com
FERRY RIDE While you are near the pier, make the trek down to Pier 39 for a ferry ride. There are multiple boat rides offered, some for adventure seekers, (rain panchos included) and some for those opting to check out the Golden Gate Bridge and get a view of Alcatraz without having the water splash all over their clothes. Just remember to bring a jacket. San Francisco summer weather is not as warm or humid as that of New York during the summer. The cost for the Blue and Gold Fleet, which I went on, is $24 for adults, $16 for children 5-11, $20 for teens 12-19 and those over 62. Family rates and discounted online ticketing is available at their website, blueandgoldfleet.com or for more information call 415-705-8200. For more attractions and boat rides available at Pier 39 check out pier39.com.
CABLE CAR The last and most tourist-like thing to do while in San Francisco is to take a ride on a cable car. Yes, the wait is probably going to be long, especially on a weekend, but how could you leave San Francisco without jumping on a cable car and snapping a picture? Tickets are $5 each way, but one-day, three-day and one week passes can be purchased as well for $13, $20 and $26 respectively and allow for unlimited rides on buses and streetcars as well. Looking for some cable car history? Details at Sfcablecar.com, the official San Francisco cable car website.