Monday, February 23, 2009

Tourists Traps Get a Bad Wrap

So last week, in between storms, I decided to revisit San Francisco's main tourist destination to see what all the hype was about. Selfishly, I was on the hunt for a way to entertain my 19 month old son, but I was also interested in why Fisherman's Wharf draws more tourists than say, the Mission District, where all my local friends and I frequent.

Fisherman's Wharf is an entertaining place to spend a sunny morning. Though filled with the typical vendors selling crap you don't need (a San Francisco snow globe? really, it snows here once every two decades), silver painted entertainers, and overpriced restaurants, there is a certain charm and energy.

Stretched along the bay, offering unsurpassed views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Russian Hill and Marin, it was easy to see why tourists love it here.
Even better are the two free activities: seeing the sea lions and the Musee Mechanique (a collection of antique arcade games--including naughty peep shows).

Plus, public transportation here is stellar--though if you eat at one of the restaurants, you get free parking.

I'll say this: locals have something to learn from tourists in this regard. A trip to Fisherman's Wharf should not be merely saved for taking your nephews and in-laws.

One last note
I have been on the prowl for good restaurants in Fisherman's Wharf and currently my favorite is the Franciscan. With decent views, great shellfish and huge portions, this is a waterfront restaurant worth the hefty price tag.

No comments: