Travel: On a Hot Day, There’s Nothing Like a Ferry on San Francisco Bay



Vallejo Baylink Ferry, one of the 300-passenger, high-speed catamarans which cruise to San Francisco in 55 minutes.


Right on schedule in the Bay Area, we’re having Indian Summer, some of our hottest days of the year. It was 85º F today in San Francisco–and most of you know how rare that is. On glorious days like this I can think of few better places to be than on the water.  And since I don’t own a boat, taking a ferry is how I make that happen.  I  think the best ferry on the bay is the Baylink Ferry between Vallejo and San Francisco because  at 55 minutes it is by far the longest time you will spend on the water.  Oh, and by the way, I live in Vallejo.  But even if you don’t live in Vallejo, this is something you should know about.

You can leave your car at home because a number of bus routes in Napa and Solano counties stop at our Ferry Terminal and on the San Francisco side, the Ferry Building is only two blocks from the Embarcadero BART and Muni stations and an easy Muni connection (or even walk) from the Caltrain Station at Fourth and Townsend.  There are a dozen ferries each way on week days and eight on weekends. For a foodie like me, a stop at the Ferry Building is always warranted (this time it was a quick, but completely satisfying lunch at Mijita).  Bicycles are welcome on board, and there’s even a full bar. If Vallejo’s not your destination of choice, there’s also ferry service to Sauasalito, Larkspur, Angel Island, Alameda, and Jack London Square in Oakland. I take the ferry as often as I can and find it a totally civilized way to travel–driving is just barbaric by comparison!  See more photos of the ferry trip my friend Adele and I made today from Vallejo to S.F., after the jump.


Our destination: San Francisco's Ferry Building, as seen from the water.



Our ultimate destination: Mijita for lunch, one of dozens of possibilities in the Ferry Building (vegetarian taco, strawberry aqua fresca, fish taco).


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Locavore: What’s Fresh, Local and In Season


At a time when it seems like everything is shipped in from China, it’s such a relief to shop where nearly everything is locally sourced, your nearby certified farmer’s market. And if you’re a foodie, or even just mildly interested in food, you are missing out if you haven’t been to San Francisco’s Ferry Building lately.  Inside, you’ll find more than 40 food-related businesses, outside on Saturdays a hundred or more additional vendors set up one of America’s most celebrated farmer’s markets.  As a cook, there’s no better way to find out what is local and seasonal than to shop at a farmer’s market, and as far as I’m concerned, nothing stimulates my creativity more than a trip to a great farmer’s market. While the Ferry Building market is the most well-known, there are, of course, highly regarded farm markets in Berkeley, San Rafael, Palo Alto, Mountain View and in most every city and town in the Bay Area (click here for farmer’s market locations in the nine-county Bay Area). One of the great perks of the Saturday Ferry Building market are the free food demonstrations given by top (and often famous) San Francisco chefs. Lots more photos of my discoveries this past Saturday, after the jump…

Buckwheat sprouts, one of hundreds of unusual items at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market

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