The Embarcadero—the city’s east-facing waterfront, with its finger piers and glistening views of San Francisco Bay—is where San Francisco had its first growth spurt, thanks to the California gold rush of 1849. Eminently walkable, the Embarcadero is also the ideal vantage point to view “The Bay Lights,” the world’s largest LED light sculpture.
The Exploratorium on Pier 15 is one of the city’s favorite destinations for families. The beautifully renovated Ferry Building Marketplace is a foodie’s paradise, stocked with wine bars, cafes, innovative restaurants, fine food shops and a farmers’ market. True to its name, you also can catch ferries to the North and East Bay.