San Francisco Bay

If it weren't for the San Francisco Bay, the city of San Francisco wouldn't be as picturesque as it is. This beautiful body of water, which is a relatively shallow estuary, is a big part of San Francisco's attractive layout, and it provides plenty of recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Enjoying a San Francisco Bay cruise is something that many visitors look to add to their itinerary, and anglers can arrange for fishing trips on the estuary as well. For some, buying some fish from the local fisherman is the preferred way to go, as is stopping at a food stand at Fisherman's Wharf to grab some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.

The San Francisco Bay is connected to San Pablo Bay, which in turn is connected to Suisan Bay via the Carquinez Strait. These bodies of water are fed by the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, and they are often collectively referred to as San Francisco Bay. On the northwestern side of the true San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge spans a relatively thin stretch of water. This is where the waters of the bay meet the waters of the Pacific Ocean. There are beaches that can be found on the bay and the ocean, and when the weather is warm, they can be excellent places to spend the better part of a day.

The landmark Golden Gate Bridge, which connects San Francisco with Marin County to the north, isn't the only impressive bridge that spans the San Francisco Bay. On the northeastern side of the city, the Bay Bridge can be found. This branch of Interstate 80 links San Francisco with Oakland, and it is often busy. Interestingly enough, the Bay Bridge is connected to Yerba Buena Island, which is a small natural island that can be found in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. This natural island is connected to Treasure Island, which is manmade.

While savoring the beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay from land is rewarding enough, getting out on the water for a while can provide travelers with a different perspective on things. Looking back on the city from the bay reveals how truly attractive the skyline is, and the views of the Golden Gate Bridge are nothing short of immaculate. Frequently, a San Francisco Bay cruise will take you to or past Alcatraz Island, which is the notorious island that can be found about a mile offshore. Tours of the island highlight its interesting history, which includes the years when it was the site of a prison. While visiting Alcatraz by way of boat is a fun thing to do during the day, enjoying a San Francisco sunset cruise will prove more ideal as day gives way to night. Couples will especially find a sunset cruise to be a welcome addition to the itinerary.

On a San Francisco sunset cruise, the boat of choice is often a catamaran, and these sizable sailboats allow for optimal panoramic views. For those who don't like wind in their face, many of the boats feature protected viewing areas. Watching the sun go down over one of the country's most scenic cities is only part of the experience on a San Francisco sunset cruise. These cruises often include hors d'oeuvres and drinks in their prices, and they make it a point to highlight some of the city's most interesting sights, including the famous sea lions at Pier 39. Whether during a daytime outing or a nighttime excursion, a San Francisco Bay cruise will prove rewarding.

Sailing is a popular pastime for many San Francisco Bay area residents, and the area is known for being home to some of the top sailors in the world. Sailing and yacht racing aren't the only things that the bay is used for, however. Many locals like to kite board and wind surf on the estuary, and they take advantage of the consistent westerly and northwesterly winds. Enjoying harbor cruises in San Francisco, spending a day at the beach, or wind surfing are just some of the things that Bay Area residents and visitors can enjoy thanks to the San Francisco Bay, and its picturesque appeal creates some excellent photographic opportunities.

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