Whether you're a city native or visiting for the first time, San Francisco's historic Embarcadero is the perfect destination for a summer adventure. If you're planning a visit to the Exploratorium, turn your journey into a full day of fun. Try this timeline for a full day along the Embarcadero and at the Exploratorium.
8:00 a.m.: Fuel up at the Ferry Building Marketplace
Start your day at the beautiful Ferry Building. This 100-year-old terminal-turned-public-food-market is every foodie’s dream, with local favorites Blue Bottle Coffee, Miette Bakery, and Cowgirl Creamery topping the list.
Pro-tip: On Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, experience the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, where sustainable growers, producers, and chefs show off their goods to urban dwellers.
9:00 a.m.: Enjoy the journey along the waterfront
The Embarcadero's location on the San Francisco waterfront makes the journey just as scenic as the destinations along the piers. The Embarcadero BART and Muni station is within walking distance and bike lanes stretch down the waterfront. If you're driving, there's ample parking in metered and public lots.
Pro-tip: Hop on a historic F-line Muni streetcar and experience a piece of San Francisco's history. The F line starts in the vibrant Castro District and moseys down Market Street, San Francisco's main drag, before turning onto the picturesque Embarcadero.
10:00 a.m.: Spark your curiosity at the Exploratorium
Continue down the Embarcadero on foot or hop back on the F-line streetcar and take it three stops to the Exploratorium at Pier 15. With more than 650 hands-on exhibits, there's plenty to see and do, both indoors and outdoors. Be sure to get Instagrammable photos of the exhibits to share with your friends. If you visit on the weekend, catch one of the popular programs, such as Explorables, Saturday Cinema, or Full-Spectrum Science. Summer 2019 also brings the Exploratorium’s summer exhibition, Self, Made, through which you can dive into the universe of you and explore the endlessly amazing layers that make up your personal identity—and everyone else's. Follow @exploratorium for snapshots and the latest on #WorldofWe.
Pro-tip: Book early for an adventure through the world-famous Tactile Dome, a pitch-dark dome of chambers and mazes you navigate using your sense of touch as your only guide.
Recharge and refuel for the afternoon. Check out the Exploratorium's Seaglass Restaurant for a fabulous, family-friendly meal with sweeping views of the Bay, or grab a bite to go at the Seismic Joint Café as you move on to your next destination. Enjoy your treats on the waterfront or head toward Fisherman's Wharf or Pier 39 to try some of San Francisco’s famous clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.
Pro-tip: Stop by the Seismic Joint Café and try a crispy fried chicken sandwich or the Impossible Burger, the revoluationarily juicy vegan burger that tastes like meat.
2:00 p.m.: Get up close with the Bay
Continue farther down the Embarcadero to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, where you can explore San Francisco's eclectic portside history and culture. Here you’ll find plenty of seafood markets featuring their own unique spins on classic clam chowder. Wander around the piers and meet some of San Francisco’s most adorable attractions—the sea lions that live on Pier 39’s K Dock!
Pro-tip: Stroll back to the Exploratorium and experience the iconic fog bridge, a 150-foot-long pedestrian bridge that shrouds participants in mist.
5:00 p.m.: Capture the golden hour
Don’t miss out on the beautiful light cast along the Bay during Golden Hour, and the chance to grab a couple of snaps for your memory book.
Pro-tip: If you're looking for a great spot for a group photo, the Exploratorium's Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery & Terrace offers an uninterrupted view of both the San Francisco cityscape and the Bay Bridge.