The Bay Area includes the peninsula that encompasses a lot of regions surrounding the San Francisco Bay plus the inland, west, and north. My son and I explored while visiting family during spring break. Here’s what we found out from a few days of rigorous walking, train hopping, & ferrying. Of course, there’s more to explore next time!
Areas like Berkeley & Oakland are cities east of the city. The BART train takes you through underwater tunnels from downtown San Francisco. Berkeley is home to Berkeley University. It’s a very large town with a few stations to get you there. My brother’s stop is just a block from Ashby. The parking lot by the station has a large market on the weekends and there’s a lot of commuters for school and work.
The west is downtown San Francisco. The Troy Ferry building is a good meetup spot for out of towers like us. You can stop off Embarcadero or take a healthy walk from Powell and see the business district in your way there. We couldn’t help ourselves from buying $2 oysters courtesy of the San Francisco Fish Company. There’s lots of small shops inside the market center of the Troy Building.
You can walk left for roughly 15 minutes and hike up to the Coit Tower which I hear has a great view but we didn’t make that hike. We continued on to another shopping district by the wharf with the seals sunbathing on the floating docks.
I loved Sausalito. The ferry from the Troy Ferry building has four stops north. Sausalito is my favorite. We ate at the Seafood Peddler restaurant. It was delicious and priced perfectly for an upscale seafood place. It’s a fun walk along the marina housed with beautiful yachts. I love boats so I could have walked that strip the whole day.
Robin Williams lived in Sausalito. We found proof when we passed a Thai restaurant that posted a picture of the actor with someone, possibly the owner, proudly on the front window. The photo has a glare from the glass but it’s him.
When you exit off the ferry and go left instead of right, there’s souvenir stores and nice beaches to relax and sit. The ferry also offers a place to park bikes, inside, and outdoor seating. You can also use the bathroom, buy drinks, and snacks. It’s an estimated 30 minute ride.
Our other California family lives in Belmont which is south of the bay. San Francisco airport SFO is also in the south along with San Jose airport. San Jose, San Matteo are also some of the cities in the south. If you hike on El Camino Real, you can walk through Hillsdale, Belmont, and San Carlos! The Caltrain is your best bet for public transit in these areas. And it’s actual train with comfy seats.
Buy a $3 Clipper card to pay for your Bart, Caltrain, bus, and ferry tickets. You can money in the vending machines. Make sure you have an abundance of fare on the card and read the directions for tagging the Clipper card so you don’t receive expensive citations. They will check!
SAN Matteo is home to Roblox headquarters. We got a VIP exclusive look at the hobby. My son got some swag including a t-shirt, Roblox collectibles, and a badge. Next time around we will schedule an actual tour ahead of time.
This city is fun, environmental friendly, dog friendly, inclusive, and bike friendly. Tourists need energy to get the most of it. Definitely walk a lot! The views are exciting and beautiful.