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Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco, California

Sleeping Sea LionsFishermans Wharf is a tourist area on the San Francisco Bay. I don’t know that it has anything at all to do with fishermen, which was a disappointment to me. I wanted to see people bringing in the catch of the day and doing fisherman stuff. There is none of that. Instead you will find a plethora of gift shops ranging from oysters with pearls to shot glasses to expensive jewelry and art. There are quite a few restaurants, which are probably much more costly than nearby places that AREN’T on a pier. Yes, all of the above is built on a pier. Finally, you can sign up for most any tour you can imagine in the bay area. Parking is available nearby for a price, or public transportation stops are nearby.

King of the MountainI know what you’re thinking. If it’s really just a touristy mall on the water, then why did I go? Well, for two reasons. I was walking from the Ferry Terminal to the Golden Gate Bridge and the wharf happens to be in the middle AND because I really wanted to see the sea lions. The sea lions line up on small wooden piers alongside the wharf. That is where they live and you can see them doing anything from sleeping to playing the sea lion version of king of the mountain, in which they protect their pier by chasing the competition in to the water. If you’ve never seen sea lions, it’s worth a look. It has kind of a zoo feel, which is unfortunate, but the animals are free to come and go as they please. The sea lion highlight for me was actually seeing one of their brothers down the coast near Fort Mason. It was much more like spotting the animal in the wild than seeing them in the middle of the city sitting a man made structures.