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"Best Free Thing #20" Ferry Building Market Place Tip by goodfish

  Ferry Building, San Francisco
by goodfish
  • Ferry Building, San Francisco - San Francisco
      Ferry Building, San Francisco
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      Covered market - nice on a rainy day
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This is one of those great historic structures that owes its rebirth to a tragedy. Built at the turn of the century, the elegant Ferry Building was a main transportation hub for visitors and commuters arriving by boat or train. It survived the massive 1906 earthquake - with its tower clocks stopped at that fateful hour of 5.15 AM for a year before being repaired.

With the age of the automobile and construction of the Bay and Golden Gate bridges in the '30's, the need for rail and ferry services declined, the building was relegated to office space and an ugly, 2-level freeway obscured its lovely facade. In 1989, shortly after our first visit, another major earthquake struck the city with enough force to kill or injure hundreds and caused enough damage to the freeway to have it removed - providing the opportunity to redevelop the waterfront and the Ferry Building along with it.

Today, its airy, glass-ceilinged corridor is home to a lively collection of shops, restaurants and markets. Here you also can board ferries to Sausalito and other locations around the bay area (but not to Alcatraz), and a fantastic Farmer's Market spills out onto the plaza three days a week (see next tip).

See the website for hours, directions, vendor list and bit more history. This is a must-do!

Extra tip: Chocolate lovers, forget over-marketed Ghirardelli and go for positively to-die-for artisan treats here at Recchiuti.

Address: On Embarcadero at the farthest east end of Market
Directions: F-line street car stops here and is your best option from anywhere it runs.
Phone: (415) 983-8030

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 18, 2015
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