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Fisherman’s Wharf - clever parking option or early bird??

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Fisherman’s Wharf – clever parking option or early bird??

OK, so I think I’ve decided to take the City Bus Tour and the Alcatraz Tour (departs Pier 39) on a Saturday morning in July…I’ll be driving in from Santa Cruz and plan to arrive at the Fisherman’s Wharf for 9 AM – I understand that I will need to park in a garage as the tour takes 7 – 8 hours total.

What I’m wondering is, will parking be difficult this time of day? Parking suggestions appreciated.

Do you know of a clever parking option --- i.e. buy a ticket to a museum/show close by and park in their lot?

This is the only day I have to spend in San Francisco and I’m torn between taking only one of the following or a combination of two:

City bus tour

Alcatraz tour

Bay cruise

Do I spend my whole day taking tours or should I do some footwork?

HELP, please!


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1. Re: Fisherman’s Wharf – clever parking option or early bird??

There are no magic formulas for cheap parking in San Francisco - if you're going to drive, you basically have to suck it up and pay the price to park.

You shouldn't have any problem finding parking in a garage at that time of day - the Pier 39 garage is right across the street from the pier - with a footbridge that goes over the street. You can't miss it because it has a huge sea life mural on the side painted by Wyland.


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2. Re: Fisherman’s Wharf – clever parking option or early bird??

Are you willing to walk 15-20 minutes? (about 10 blocks)

At the foot of Van Ness Avenue, there's the Municipal Pier, right next to Aquatic Park. There is a strip of parking right at the end of Van Ness, where I *believe* you can park all day for free (it's 4 hour parking on weekdays, but I think on Saturday you can park all day, CHECK THE SIGNS!). From there you can walk along the waterfront and get to Pier 39 in about 15-20 minutes of scenic beauty. If you have a muni pass you can hop on the 47 (or 10 Townsend on weekdays) which will take you within a block of pier 39. (another option is to park on Bay Street, between Polk down to Octavia - free All Day parking on Saturdays (tow away after 4PM on weekdays).

I'm a cheapo, and would gladly walk to save $35 parking at Pier 39 ($7/hr).

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3. Re: Fisherman’s Wharf – clever parking option or early bird??


here's an example of rates -- garages will vary slightly, but around the same rate structure:

Ghirardelli Square Garage, 900 North Point St. Rates: $2.50 every 20 minutes, with a $30 maximum for 24 hours. Parking validation with purchase from some restaurants and stores. Open 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Sutter/Stockton Street Garage (415) 982-8370; there's a bus stop right out front on Stockton -- take the #30 to get closest to Fisherman's Wharf/Ghirardelli Square. http://transit.511.org

Take everything with you when you park anywhere here. Treat the car as if it were a shell for just getting you around.

Curbing Wheels for street parking

When parking on an incline, it is a law that you turn your car wheels so they rest on the curb at the angle that would prevent a runaway vehicle. Uphill, turn your wheels out facing the street; downhill, turn your wheels into the curb. Always set your parking brake.

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4. Re: Fisherman’s Wharf – clever parking option or early bird??

There is a lot across the street from Pier 35 at Embarcadero/Bay. It costs $25 on weekends. A cheaper alternative is Pier 27, just north of Bauer's Limo on the Embarcadero, for $15. This is close enough to walk to Pier 39, maybe 10 minutes. The lot between Pier 23 and 27, north of Pier 23 Cafe, costs $12. Pier 15 is $10 on weekends. All of these, except maybe Pier 15, are relatively close to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf.

These are all pay by machine lots, and are good for all day. At that hour, you should be able to take your pick. These are outdoor lots, but seem safe. Don't leave anything visible in the passenger compartment.

I think your Alcatraz tour should probably take care of the Bay Cruise need. If not, it only takes 1 hour. "Footwork" is the best way to see things, but you might have to limit it to nearby areas, possibly Aquatic Park, Chinatown and/or North Beach. Ferry Building has a fun Farmer's Market, 8-2 on Sat. If you decide on Alcatraz (Pier 33), book before. It will be sold out that day.


5. Re: Fisherman’s Wharf – clever parking option or early bird??

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