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Riding the Ferry

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Whether you’ve lived here all your life or you’re visiting from out of town, you’ll treasure the stunning panorama of the Bay visible from the decks of our Golden Gate Ferries. These comfortable and convenient vessels travel to & from the historic San Francisco Ferry Building (foot of Market Street) to sunny Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island, and/or Larkspur in Marin County. While underway, they offer dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the San Francisco skyline - the bridge at sunset is especially spectacular!

Take advantage of our well-scheduled departures, reasonable fares, and group discounts. Vessels feature indoor and outdoor seating, and room for bikes. My_project-1_(30)

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Situated in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Angel Island has a storied military history dating back more than a century. Also known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” the island’s Immigration Station, which has recently been restored, was the first stop for millions of Asian immigrants entering the United States. With miles of superb hiking trails, camping sites, beaches, and breathtaking views of the entire Bay Area, visitors are guaranteed to have a rich outdoor experience. Below are some of the things you can enjoy on the island. 
 

 

HIKINGmap

  • Perimeter Trail
    The Perimeter Trail offers views of the entire San Francisco Bay along the 5.5 mile loop around the island. This the most popular trail on the island and is open to hikers and bikes. On a clear day from the San Francisco side of the island visitors can see the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, and Alcatraz. The road around the island is paved and contains a few major hills totaling up to about 350 in total elevation gain
  • Mt. Livermore
    The peak of Mt. Livermore is 788 feet tall and has views that span all of the island and Bay Area from its top. This is a strenuous hike starting at sea level then climbing to the peak. There are two routes visitors can take to the summit - one following the Sunset Trail, from the cove to the peak it is a little over 3 miles and 800 feet of elevation gain. The other route is to follow the North Ridge Trail to the peak and this hike is about 3.5 miles and the same elevation gain. This is a difficult hike but rewards hikers with panoramic views of the bay.
  • Immigration Station Trail
    This hike is slightly strenuous and includes 144 trail stairs beginning and ending in Ayala Cove. The hike is approximately 2 miles roundtrip. Once at the site of the United States Immigration Station, hikers can tour the grounds and outdoor interpretive displays, as well as visit the USIS museum to see the restored detention areas and Chinese poetry engraved on the walls.
  • Download the Angel Island brochure that includes a PDF map of the island.

TRAM TOURS

  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy the amazing views offered by the open-air tram tour. 
  • While you ride around the island, a history-rich audio recording offers fascinating historical and current-day information about various sites on Angel Island.
  • Book your tram tour here >>

BIKING

  • Exploring Angel Island on a bike allows you to reach amazing parts of the island normally too difficult to reach by foot. Riding out of Ayala Cove, you will border along tall trees with views of Tiburon, San Francisco and the East Bay. 
  • Be sure to stop by Camp Reynolds to look at the oldest standing group of Civil War Buildings in the world.
  • On the East side of the island, ride your bike to Quarry Beach—a beautiful expanse of sunny calm white sand. 
  • The paved perimeter road is a 5 mile bike trail circling the island.
  • You have your choice of renting from Angel Island’s fleet of bikes or bringing your own bike to the island. Visitors can rent bikes by the hour or for a full day. The bikes are offered on a first-come first-served basis at the bike shed.

US IMMIGRATION STATION MUSEUM

  • The United States Immigration Station Museum on Angel Island is a beautifully restored structure offering a window into a very important time in the history of Pacific Coast immigrants. The Station, operating from 1910-1940, served as the main immigration processing center for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from all over the world looking to start a new life in America.
  • Today, the United States Immigration Station serves as a museum dedicated making connections between the experiences of those who made the journey to America over 100 years ago and the continuing story of immigration in America today.
  • There is a shuttle that serves the museum. Shuttles depart from Ayala Cove and tickets are $12 roundtrip.

CAMPING

  • Make camping reservations here >>

DINING

No trip to Angel Island would be complete without a stop at The Angel Island Café and The Angel Island Cantina. Outdoor seating at the café offers beautiful views of Ayala Cove and the Tiburon coastline. There’s no better place to relax in the warm sunshine with a glass of wine and something delicious from the café menu. Box lunches are also available and can be ordered ahead of time.
 

TIPS FOR RIDING

  • Visit angelisland.com for more information on services available on the island.

  • For information about Angel Island State Park’s services and operations, please visit the California State Parks website.
  • Golden Gate Ferry operates service 7 days a week to and from San Francisco Ferry Terminal (SFFT) and Angel Island State Park. Ticketing, fare, and schedule information can be found here>> 
  • Hop on board and enjoy the ride!

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The Larkspur Ferry provides some of the most spectacular views of the Bay Area and delivers you to the heart of Marin County. Take in the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, Angel Island, and stunning Mount Tamalpais, arriving within walking distance of the SMART train and Marin Country Mart.

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  • SMART’s Larkspur Station is a scenic 15-minute walk from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. SMART offers daily service to cities in the North Bay, including San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa. Hop on the train to visit North Bay destinations such as Santa Rosa’s historic Railroad Square and the charming town of Petaluma.

  • See a list of SMART Train connections with Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry here >>

  • Details about our $12 Sail & Rail discount fares can be found here >>

MARIN COUNTRY MART

  • Marin Country Mart features a collection of organic eateries, independent boutiques, and family-friendly events situated around a central courtyard overlooking San Francisco Bay.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • Do the Larkspur Loop - Enjoy the day in scenic Larkspur where the fun is endless...whether you want to hike, bike, shop or dine. The Larkspur Loop is an a 8-mile walking/biking adventure, more info here >

TIPS FOR RIDING

  • Visit our schedules page to view our Larkspur ferry trips (Make sure to choose "Saturday/Sunday/Holiday" from the drop-down menu for weekend and holiday service)
  • For information about fares and ticketing visit >>
  • For information about transferring to other Bay Area transit agencies visit >>
  • Enjoy discounted fares with Clipper > (Scroll down to "Tickets & Clipper")

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Sausalito brings together stunning views, small-town charm and plenty of opportunities to dine and shop. Visitors and residents agree with Coastal Living’s ranking of Sausalito as the third-happiest seaside town in the country. After all, Sausalito offers world-class dining, artists, boutiques and so much more.

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  • Kayak & Paddle Board rental (20 min walk from the terminal)
    Sea Trek offers kayaks and stand-up paddle boards rentals for fun on the Bay.

  • Sausalito Bike Rental
    Discover Sausalito on two wheels by renting a bike or e-bike at Sausalito Bike Rental.

SHOPPING & DINING

  • Sausalito Food and Wine Tour. Taste the best of Sausalito with a food and wine tour.

  • Downtown Sausalito Shops and Dining. Shopping and dining options in Sausalito are not scarce and you can discover them all while admiring the stunning views on the Bay.

EVENTS

TIPS FOR RIDING

  • Visit our schedules page to view our Sausalito ferry trips (Make sure to choose "Saturday/Sunday/Holiday" from the drop-down menu for weekend and holiday service)
  • For information about fares and ticketing visit >>
  • For information about transferring to other Bay Area transit agencies visit >>
  • Enjoy discounted fares with Clipper > (Scroll down to "Tickets & Clipper")

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Visitors arriving in San Francisco via ferry along the waterfront can partake in hundreds of activities. Enjoy diverse cuisine, sightsee, experience some of the most iconic views and attractions in San Francisco and create memories that will last a lifetime. From Fisherman’s Wharf to Heron’s Head Park, the possibilities are endless! 

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  • Farmers Market. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a California certified farmers market operated by the nonprofit Foodwise. The market is widely acclaimed for both the quality and diversity of its fresh farm products, and artisan and prepared foods. Tuesdays & Thursdays 10am-2pm, Saturdays 8am-2pm. More info here >>

  • Ferry Building Marketplace. Experience the world-class ferry building market place filled with delicious treats, local eats, beverages, unique shops and local artisans to explore. View a full list of merchants here >>

EMBARCADERO (1 MINUTE WALK)

The Embarcadero is the boulevard that runs all along the waterfront of San Francisco, from the Bay Bridge, past the Ferry Building, and down to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. 

Embarcadero BART
Located in San Francisco's Financial District at the foot of Market Street, Embarcadero Station is close to the Ferry Building, Embarcadero Center, Salesforce Transit Center, and the California Street cable car.

  • Red’s Java House
    Red's Java House has been in business on the waterfront on Pier 30, since 1955. Reds has served longshoremen, sailors, dock workers, business men, military men and women, yachtsmen, generations of families, and a few celebrities.
  • Boulevard
    Located in the historic Audiffred building, Boulevard is a celebrated San Francisco restaurant on the Embarcadero waterfront.  First opened by Chef and Owner Nancy Oakes in 1993, Boulevard has continuously received high praise and a dedicated  following.  Quintessentially Californian, their menu seamlessly incorporates the regional seasonal bounty with studied classic and modern technique. 
  • Harbor View Restaurant & Bar
    Proudly serves Cantonese Chinese Cuisine in a sophisticated yet unpretentious setting with a stunning view of San Francisco Bay.
  • Pier 23 Café
  • Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bar attracts locals and tourists from around the world looking for Classic San Francisco. Family owned and operated since 1985, they offer an innovative approach to San Francisco’s traditional seafood cuisine. An establishment with a strong history and a solid reputation, Pier 23 Cafe captures the essence of San Francisco through food, service and picturesque bay views.
  • La Mar Peruvian restaurant located in the Embarcadero.
  • Angler
    Angler is a sea-life focused restaurant with views of the expansive wood burning hearth as well of the San Francisco Bay from Chef Joshua Skenes and Saison Hospitality located on the Embarcadero waterfront.
  • Embarcadero Plaza
    Embarcadero Plaza is a very popular place for working people to eat their lunch. A well groomed grassy area off Steuart St is perfect for a picnic in the park. The palm trees surrounding the space and the fact that it's right on the waterfront makes this place very special. It is close to everything: the Ferry Building, The Embarcadero Center, and anything on Market St.
  • Sue Bierman Park
    Accessible children's playground with public restrooms
  • Salesforce Park
    Everyone’s welcome to enjoy this public park, a living roof where a curved walking trail lined with benches surrounds grassy lawns, dancing fountains, a children’s play area, and an amphitheater.

CHINATOWN (14 MINUTE WALK)

San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. It is one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco.

  • Transamerica Pyramid
    Encompassing an entire city block in San Francisco’s Financial District, one of the most sought-after global gateway cities in the world, the Transamerica Pyramid Center is a symbol of the strength of San Francisco.

  • Portsmouth Square
    Portsmouth Square is a centrally located park within Chinatown, and has earned the nickname "Heart of Chinatown." The park is home to many historical markers and statues, and holds its place within California history.
  • Chinatown Gate (Dragon Gate)
    Facing south, as per the precepts of Feng Shui, this large dragon-clad arch, opened in 1970, is a popular – and somewhat dramatic – way to approach Chinatown. Taiwan gifted the materials used, but the design came by way of Chinese-American architect Clayton Lee and was inspired by the ceremonial entrances of traditional Chinese villages.             
  • Sing Chong and Sing Fat
    Pagoda-topped buildings of the Sing Chong and Sing Fat bazaars, which were one of the first of the "new Chinatown" to open, and have become landmark icons since.
  • Tea Tasting
  • The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
    Since 1962, San Francisco's legendary Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory has been making custom fortune cookies by hand. 
  • Waverly Place
    Waverly Place, between Washington and Sacramento, is a two-block tiny street (not quite an alley) in Chinatown.
  • Chinatown Dim Sum

SAN FRANCISCO WATERFRONT

Visitors to the waterfront can enjoy hundreds of activities, enjoy diverse cuisines, sightsee, experience some of the most iconic views and attractions in San Francisco and create memories that will last a lifetime. From Fisherman’s Wharf to Heron’s Head Park, the possibilities are endless! 

  • Exploratorium
    The Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception.

  • Pier 39
    PIER 39 is the premiere entertainment destination in the heart of the San Francisco waterfront. Along with two levels of dining, entertainment, shopping and attractions both on The PIER and in San Francisco Bay, PIER 39 is home to the world-famous sea lions, who have been delighting guests daily at K-Dock since 1990.

  • Fisherman’s Wharf
    Visitors and locals alike can enjoy indoor and outdoor dining, unique shopping, bay cruises, fun family attractions and museums, as well as amazing outdoor activities!

  • Bay Trail 1 (Northern Waterfront) Golden Gate Bridge & Crissy Field

    Did you know that nearly the entire San Francisco bayfront is manmade? Beneath your feet lie abandoned ships, excavated hilltops, rotting piers and rubble dumped into the bay after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Discover one of the world’s most inviting urban waterfronts.

UNION SQUARE (20 MINUTE WALK)

Union Square is the heart of shopping, dining and entertainment in San Francisco. 

  • Philz Coffee
    Philz Coffee is a full-service coffee house specializing in handmade coffee prepared one cup at a time. Baristas handmake and personalize each cup to a customer’s taste. Two locations on Level 1 at the Salesforce Transit Center one located at Minna Street and the new mobile-only store located at First Street.

  • Yerba Buena Center 
    Opened to the public in 1993, YBCA was founded as the cultural anchor of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens neighborhood. Work spans the realms of contemporary art, performance, film, civic engagement, and public life. By centering artists as essential to social and cultural movement, YBCA is reimagining the role an arts institution can play in the community it serves.

  • Westfield Shopping Centre Market Street 

  • SF MOMA 
    Visit one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and discover artists from around the world.
  • Cable Car Museum (24 minute walk)
    The Cable Car Museum was established in 1974. It is operated by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum as a nonprofit educational facility. Located in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Downstairs is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the street.

  • Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar (26 minute walk)
    Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar is an iconic San Francisco institution, featuring live entertainment and dancing! This world-famous tiki venue serves exceptional Polynesian-fusion, family-style cuisine in a unique tropical setting. Be sure to try the Mai Tai, regularly recognized as one of the City's best! As you marvel at the exciting decor, be sure to hold on to your drink during the periodic “surprise” thunder and lightning storms!
  • Top of the Mark (26 minute walk)
    A fixture for eight decades, the Top of the Mark is, quite simply, a quintessential San Francisco experience. Offering spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline from the hotel’s 19th floor, our iconic sky lounge dazzles dignitaries, celebrities, and in-the-know visitors with its creative cocktails, and signature martinis.

TIPS FOR RIDING

  • Golden Gate Ferry operates service 7 days a week to and from San Francisco Ferry Terminal (SFFT) and Angel Island State Park, Larkspur, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Ticketing, fare, and schedule information can be found here>> 
  • All Golden Gate Ferry departures out of San Francisco currently leave from GATE B.
  • Hop on board and enjoy the ride!
  • Enjoy discounted fares with Clipper > (Scroll down to "Tickets & Clipper")

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The Town of Tiburon is located north of San Francisco 8 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, California. It is accessible by ferry from downtown San Francisco, by car from Highway 101 and Highway 131 (Tiburon Boulevard) and by bicycle.

Tiburon was incorporated in 1964.The Tiburon Peninsula is a vibrant place where expansive views of San Francisco, the Marin Headlands, Angel Island and Mount Tamalpais, draw visitors from around the globe. Take the ferry across the bay and enjoy an enviable outdoor lifestyle enhanced by a small town culture steeped in historic preservation.

NATURE

  • St. Hilary’s Open Space Preserve
    ­­St. Hilary’s Open Space Preserve offers world-class views of the San Francisco skyline, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge for a spectacular hike. Only a 15-minute walk from the Tiburon Ferry Terminal, it is home to the historic little white chapel, opened in 1888.
  • Shoreline Park
    This picturesque bayside lawn is ideal for a stroll with unique views on the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. The park is directly on the right as you disembark the ferry.

 

EVENTS

ACTIVITIES

  • Cinelounge
    Catch a movie with local food, wine and beer in a cozy setting.
  • Tiburon Railroad and Ferry Museum
    Learn about the history of ferries and trains in Northern California in the Donahue building, built in 1884, the main surviving structure of the railroad today.
  • Tiburon Walking Tours
    Learn about the history of the Tiburon peninsula, from the Coast Miwok indigenous people, all the way to today’s notable residents in a guided walking tour.
  • Main Street Shops and Dining
    Main Street offers eclectic shopping and dining in a charming setting.
  • Bike Rental 
    DemoSport offers seasonal bike rental from April to October.
     

TIPS FOR RIDING

  • Golden Gate Ferry operates service 7 days a week to and from San Francisco Ferry Terminal (SFFT) and Angel Island State Park, Larkspur, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Ticketing, fare, and schedule information can be found here>> 
  • All Golden Gate Ferry departures out of San Francisco currently leave from GATE B.
  • Hop on board and enjoy the ride!
  • Enjoy discounted fares with Clipper > (Scroll down to "Tickets & Clipper")

 

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