Stretching along the Port of San Francisco Bay from AT&T Park to Pier 45, the Embarcadero is a lively waterfront walkway full of museums, restaurants and parks. It includes the iconic Ferry Building at Market Street, Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, home to some of San Francisco’s most visited tourist attractions.
The Ferry Building on Market Street lies at the heart of the Embarcadero and is packed with restaurants and food stalls selling Californian gourmet produce, together with a popular farmers market. Towards the other end of the Embarcadero lies Ghirardelli Square, a former chocolate factory that has been transformed into the city’s most famous dessert restaurant, renowned for its indulgent ice cream sundaes. In between are outstanding museums like the Exploratorium, which takes a unique look at the world through art, science and human perception, as well as the living museum on the beautifully restored SS Jeremiah O’Brien, also known as the National Liberty Ship Memorial. Pier 39 is a hive of tourist activity, home to the Aquarium of the Bay, barking sea lions, plenty of restaurants and live entertainment, coupled with views across to Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Embark on a cruise to explore this legendary prison island which departs from Pier 33 daily, or wander through the leafy grounds of Levi’s Plaza, headquarters of the famed jeans company. As the sun starts to set, head to the iconic Waterfront Restaurant for excellent bay views from their outdoor patio while feasting on fresh seafood, or opt for a truly Californian fast-food experience at the much loved In-N-Out Burger.
The Embarcadero is served by the BART and subway station of the same name, located at the base of Market Street just a block’s walk from the waterfront. With so many sights and panoramic views to take in along the Embarcadero itself, the best way to explore is definitely on foot.
The Embarcadero Freeway was constructed on reclaimed land during the 1960s, with its name translating from Spanish as "the place to embark". In 1991 it was torn down, and the area has undergone extensive redevelopment and restoration to create the Embarcadero Historic District which celebrates the waterfront’s long-established industrial history and role in World War II.