Bridge to Bridge – Attractions of the San Francisco Waterfront

Simply put, San Francisco is truly a gem of a city. From the iconic skyscrapers that make up the cities’ skyline to the culturally unique neighborhoods that give visitors look into its history, there is something to be enjoyed for all ages.

If you are currently planning a trip to San Francisco, you will at some point have to tackle on of the most daunting tasks of the planning phase: figuring out exactly what you are going to do and see.

We would be willing to bet that checking out the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the bigger action items on that list.


What a lot of new visitors don’t know is that the main waterfront area of the city (the area between the Golden Gate Bridge and its lesser-recognized counterpart, the SF Bay Bridge) as so much more to offer.

Today we are going take a deeper look at all the great spots and activities between the two bridges.

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Red’s Java House

While not technically between the bridges (it lies just south of the Bay Bridge), Red’s Java House is an iconic SF eatery that cant be missed.

Although it has been known as Red’s since 1955, locals have been enjoying lunch on Pier 30 since the 1930’s. The restaurant is famous for its “SF style” burger, served without lettuce or tomato on a sourdough roll.


Ferry Building

The Ferry Building has graced the Embarcadero since 1898 and quickly established itself as the cities main transportation hub. For decades the building saw up to 50,000 travelers pass through its doors, until the opening of both the Golden Gate Bridge and SF Bay Bridge nearly rendered travel by ferryboat obsolete.

After being used as office space for years, the city restored the building to its former glory in 2003. The interior was completely redesigned and upgraded to a modern day public market, complete with excellent restaurants, cafes, and specialty shops.

The Exploratorium

Who says’ a vacation cant be educational? While currently located at Piers 15 and 17 along the Embarcadero, the interactive learning laboratory first opened in 1969 at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Drawing inspiration from European science museums, founder Frank Oppenheimer aimed to create a unique venue that could show visitors of all ages that science should be both fun and easily accessible.

Today the museum features exhibits on Human Behavior, Living Systems, Living Systems, and Light & Sound.


Bistro Boudin

There could not be a better place to end a day strolling along the Bay than Bistro Boudin, a spectacular waterfront restaurant and extension of the famed Boudin Bakery.

If you have had Sourdough bread anywhere in the country, you have Boudin to thank. Getting its unique sour flavor from the wild yeast still used to this day, SF residents have been lining up for their fresh loaf every day since the Gold Rush era.

Bistro Boudin allows visitors to not only enjoy dishes featuring its spectacular sourdough, such as bread bowl soups and sandwiches, but fresh oysters and seafood as well.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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