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Embarcadero and Union Square

Connecting Fisherman's Wharf with the heart of San Francisco's shopping district, with plenty of sightseeing on the way.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.2 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour
Family Friendly

Overview :  The scenic Embarcadero is a memorable way to connect two of San Francisco's biggest attractions, and is also a conveniently short and ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

You'll find the biking along the Embarcadero to be plain sailing no matter whether you prefer to cycle on the road next to the cars or along the sidewalk.

If you're worried about hills, you wont find any on this route.

The Fisherman's Wharf is usually at the top of most visitors lists of places to visit in San Francisco. It may be for the many restaurants or crab stands, for the street performers, for the sea lions at the end of pier 39, for the bay views or just somewhere to while away the time waiting for a ferry, but this place sure draws the crowds.

Be sure... More

Home of one of the world's largest collections of antique mechanical arcade machines. Discover out how your great-grandparents were entertained before Playstation, Pacman and Pong.

For those remember Rubik's cubes and legwarmers and want a blast from their own past, the museum also features a selection of 1980s and 90s arcade machines in... More

Red and White Fleet's cruises sail from Pier 43½ at the heart of Fisherman's Wharf. They feature cruises of varying lengths to match your needs and offer the chance of romantic sunset and twilight cruises also.

(415) 673-2900
Paid admission.

Tour the depths of the US Pampanito submarine and learn about this World War II veteran which sank six enemy ships and damaged four others. Located behind the Musee Mechanique building.

(415) 775-1943
Paid admission.

Only two of the 2,710 Liberty Ships built during the second world war, only two fully functional vessels remain. The SS Jeremiah O'Brien survived the war intact, even after making several wartime voyages including eleven trips across the English Channel carrying personnel and supplies to Normandy in support of the D-Day landings.

You can take a... More

7. Blue and Gold Fleet Ferry

The Blue and Gold Fleet ferries serve the routes listed below. The company additionally operates a RocketBoat during summer season and cruises around the bay.
• Pier 39/41 to Angel Island, Sausalito, Tiburon and Vallejo
• Ferry Building to Vallejo, Alameda/Oakland

(415) 705-8200
Paid admission.
Blue & Gold Fleet website.

The wildly popular large pier on the eastern side of Fisherman's wharf is a great place to come for a short stroll, a little shopping, or dining at one of more than a dozen restaurants.

Attractions even include a carousel, a 4D ride experience, a mirror maze and aquarium. And don't leave San Francisco without saying 'hi' to the sea lions who hang... More

Great but relatively small aquarium located by the entrance to Pier 39. Though not a world-class attraction, its a great location to while away a couple of hours entranced by a good selection of aquatic animals. Includes two tunnels and a touch pool where you can get up close and personal with leopard sharks and rays.

(415) 623-5300
Paid... More

Sailing from Pier 33, Alcatraz cruises is the only way to get on and off the The Rock, but that’s at least one more option than the prisoners of this island penitentiary had. In peak season be sure to purchase your tickets in advance.

(415) 981-7625
Paid admission includes both ferry and island.
... More

The 214ft towering landmark which sits atop Telegraph Hill has been gracing the San Francisco landscape since 1933. Often admired from afar, Coit tower is also worthy of a visit on a clear day. Views from the top of the hill are mightily impressive, plus you can continue to the top of the tower by elevator and enjoy the 360-degree views across the... More

Situated at the end of Market Street, there’s much more to the Ferry Building that merely catching a boat across the bay. Inside you’ll find many stores and cafes and restaurants vying for your attention including artisan foods, ice-cream and the immensely popular Slanted Door restaurant. Outside you’ll find farmer’s market stalls in front of the ... More

Run by the non-profit organization that’s also responsible keeping the history of San Francisco public transit alive in the shape of the historic streetcars and the famed cable cars, this small museum is a goldmine of artifacts and exhibits for anyone with an interest in history or railway transportation.

(415) 974-1948
Free admission.
... More

14. Side Trip: AT&T Park

A side trip here would add 2.6 miles to your total journey. There are no hills on this side trip.

15. SF-Oakland Bay Bridge

Older brother to the Golden Gate Bridge by a mere six months, the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge also boasts bigger statistics. Carrying twice the load with its double-deck span the structure carries vehicles 4½ miles from shore to shore, although the eastern spans of the bridge are difficult to see from a San Francisco vantage point as the... More

16. AT&T Ballpark

Home of the San Francisco Giants, this 42,000 seater ballpark has been packing in the fans only since 2000. The park has seen many exciting baseball moments, but none more than in 2010 when the San Francisco Giants won their first World Series. Sports trivia fans will probably try and point out here that the team has won the title before, but not ... More

If you're looking to shop until you drop, then look no further than Union Square. The Union Square area of San Francisco includes hotels, department stores, upscale boutiques, theaters, etc.

Union Square was also the principal exterior location for the famous 1974 movie ‘The Conversation’, directed by San Francisco resident Francis Ford Coppola... More

18. SF Museum of Modern Art

SFMOMA includes 26,000 works of modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on photography, painting and sculpture, architecture and design, and media arts. The museum’s painting and sculpture collections include Abstract Expressionism, Conceptualism, German Expressionism, and the art of California. The photograph collection also comprises... More

19. Westfield Shopping Center

Two blocks from Union Square, Westfield Shopping Center contains a Century Theatres multiplex and over 170 stores including the west coast flagship Bloomingdale's and the second largest Nordstrom store in the U.S.

(415) 512-6776
Free admission.

20. Restrooms

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22. Restrooms

23. Restrooms