San Francisco is a mecca of good eats and outdoor attractions; unfortunately it’s a nightmare when it comes to parking, so my friend and I decided to strap up our tennies and take public transit to the city.
We stayed at an Air BnB (use my code here – we both will get $25 travel credit when you book a place of $75+) in Daly City and decided to park our car in the lot ($3 – be sure to pay at the machine!) and take the Bart to Embarcadero ($3.25 one way). For newbie travelers here’s a list and picture of the stations the bart travels to. The price varies based on how far you want to travel, but considering the convenience it’s a great option to get around the city without the headache of looking for overly priced parking spots and walking’s good for you.
Near the Bart Embaradero exit is the Ferry Building Marketplace – our first foodie destination. This modern day indoor bazaar is home to dozens of unique restaurants and shops. We opted to try three different cuisines for lunch.
Boccalone – Known for their tasty salted pig parts, this gourmet shop that specializes in cured meat. Not sure what to try? Not a problem – they have a sample cone for $4 where you can try slices of three of their most popular cuts.
Hog Island Oyster Co – Unfortunately they don’t offer happy hour oysters anymore, but with an average of 4.5 stars and over 3500 reviews on yelp this was definitely a place I wanted to check out for myself. I shared a half dozen of the Redwood Curtain Kumamoto on the half shell ($20) and they were definitely fresh and delicious. This restaurant is known for long wait times, but if you come right at opening you would certainly be able to snag a seat with a great view of the bridge.
Golden Gate Meat Company – This butcher counter is located right outside of Hog Island Oyster Co. While we were not fortunate enough to take home some of their specialized cuts, we did try a beef pot pie and it was extremely hearty and filling. Not bad for a $8 investment
After eating so many different items we decided to head over to the Exploratorium – a museum that greatly emphasizes hands-on learning and only about a short 10 minute walk from the Ferry Building Marketplace.
On the day I visited there were a ton of kids enjoying themselves with all the interactive exhibits and if you’re a California educator you can get FREE admission. Click here to request a voucher. Be sure to submit the information and print out the ticket before you visit. Museum admission is otherwise $29.95 for general admission.
Depending on how thorough you are with reading the exhibits descriptions and/or participating in the activities, you can spend anywhere from 1-2 hours here. There was one exhibit focused on the idea of “love” and guests were asked to type in 6 words that embody your idea of love. “Food will make me happy, yes!” – was the closest I could come up with – ha!
Speaking of love…
On the opposite side of the Ferry Building Marketplace is Cupid’s Span – an enormous art sculpture located in front of the Bay Bridge. It’s a pretty cool landmark and this would be a great place to bring a date.
Pro Tip: While my photos all showcase how bright and beautiful the area is, I’d recommend traveling with a jacket because it did get rather windy.
Have you been to the Ferry Building Marketplace? What was your favorite restaurant and what did you order? Stay tuned for Frugal Fun, West Coast Roadtrip – San Francisco Edition Part 2.