Exploring San Francisco, Part 2

Fisherman's Wharf and Westward

boats.jpgDoug McConnell continues his walk from Market Street to Fisherman’s Wharf. Follow along.

Fisherman's Wharf hasn't changed so obviously, but look closely and you'll see important transformation since the earthquake. One of the first was the arrival of the sea lions at Pier 39 … followed by the addition and continual improvement of the Aquarium of the Bay next door. I happen to like the history that’s now on easy display along the Wharf, from the historic arcade games at Musee Mecanique, to the World War II submarine and troop carrier, to the legacy of the fishing community told in panels on display around the boats in the Wharf's little harbor. And then, at the western edge of the Wharf, there's the fabulous Hyde Street Pier, a National Park with wooden ships from San Francisco's maritime history for you to explore.

Beyond the Wharf to the west, the change in San Francisco's waterfront takes on a more natural feel. The Presidio, for almost 220 years a military base, became part of the Bay Area's extraordinary Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the first decade after the earthquake. Gradually, the Presidio has been restored and redeveloped, and the walk along Crissy Field, with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the undeveloped Marin Headlands, and the ships and windsurfers plying the water is beautiful and literally atmospheric. Walk past a restored lagoon and its surrounding dunes, the most expensive ecological restoration project in the National Park system, and breathe the crisp air coming in from the Pacific. There's nothing like it in any other urban area in the nation.

Doug McConnell
Cofounder of OpenRoad.TV, The Traveler's Video Guide to the American West

Part 1
Part 3

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