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San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco, California, US

A cruise call at San Francisco begins and ends with a transit under the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the world’s most photographed structures. The city itself is a compact metropolis, easily navigated by visitors. The waterfront Embarcadero stretches from Fisherman’s Wharf along the Bay side with finger piers varying from closed to popular public attractions such as Pier 39’s restaurants, shops and galleries. The Ferry Building’s visible tower marks the center, and holds a permanent Farmer’s Market with fresh produce, seafood, cheeses as well as restaurants. The traditional Italian North Beach section is an easy walk away, as is the large and bustling Chinatown. The decommissioned military installation of the Presidio is now a breezy national park, with tremendous views if the bridge, the Bay, Alcatraz island and charming Sausalito on the far shore. Day trips are easily arranged for wine tasting in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys north of the Bay, or to walk among the redwood groves at Muir Woods in Marin County. The city’s Golden Gate Park is a destination in itself, holding a sprawling DeYoung Art Museum, a classic Victorian-era Conservatory of Flowers, and the California Academy of Sciences housing a large aquarium, a planetarium and a natural history museum.