San Francisco Ferry Rides

The commuter ferries are a lot of fun for around $9-$11 round trip… Ferry day trips leave from the Ferry building near Embarcadero Center to Sausalito, Tiburon, or Angel Island with beautiful views. The Blue and Gold San Francisco Bay Cruise offers a great “tourist alternative” to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island up close.

The Ferry Building boats are much less of a hassle factor than the ferries at ultra-tourist-hell Fisherman’s Wharf. However, Alcatraz tour ferrys only leave from Fisherman’s Wharf. You should buy Alkatraz ferry tickets early as they sell out fast. You can step into a jail cell in Alkatraz if you’ll brave it… Day trips include Sausalito & Tiburon and Angel Island park.

An even better choice for around $30 are the public group charters of medium sized sailboats. This is a much more fun experience that will allow for awesome and relaxing views.


Sausalito is a very touristy “chi-chi” place. The town is a sleepy fishing village gone touristy, but is still fun for the ferry ride and views of the bay. You should buy some ice cream in Sausalito and stroll around. The restaurants are very overpriced in Sausalito.


Tiburon is more residential with a smaller, cooler tourist area. Tiburon is a less touristy version of Sausalito. Both Sausalito and Tiburon are perfect for renting and riding bikes.

Angel Island

Angel Island is a great way to hike and get away from city hustle and bustle at an island park. You can bring bicycles along on any of the ferrys to Sausalito, Tiburon, or Angel Island. The bikes really increase the fun factor… Angel Island is a beautiful island paradise for hiking, biking, and picnicing. It is also possible to reach Angel Island from Vallejo in the East Bay (about 20 miles from SF) on a super-fast modern ferry (40 mph). Vallejo is the home of Marine World — an animal park and aquarium attraction (like Sea World).


Leaves from the Ferry Building, taking you to a residential area of Marin with a cool micro-brewery. Not a big tourist attraction, but interesting. Many commuter yuppies on this boat. Andy’s rating=C+.


Leaves from the Ferry Building, taking you to a residential area in the East Bay. Alameda is a island residential community which formerly housed a major Naval air station (now closed). The city is developing a high tech business park and many new homes. Not a big tourist attraction, but an interesting ride. Andy’s rating=C+.

Everything you need to know:

Buses and Streetcars
Cable Cars
Luxurious Limousines
BART, Caltrains, and Ferries