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Best Boating Destinations in the San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for an exciting excursion on the San Francisco Bay? Or a good excuse to get out on the water? Whether you have your own vessel or are planning to rent one, here’s a brief list of some great places to enjoy a beautiful trip on the water and where to best dock your boat for a break on the land.

Ayala Cove, Angel Island

For a perfect day trip to Angel Island, sail in to Ayala Cove for day use marinas. Stop by at Cove Cantina Oyster Bar or Angel Island Cafe and relax in the beautiful green fields. Take a relaxing hike around the island and explore Point Knox and the Knox Point Lighthouse. Or soak in the history of this island and take a tour via segway, diggler scooter, or tram.

Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, Richmond

This historic marina is guaranteed worthwhile boating destination with it’s beautiful views and isolated location. With rich roots of World War II industrialization, this area hosts the Rosie the Riveter Monument, to commemorate women’s contributions to the war effort, and the former Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant. Before heading back out on the water, make sure to take a stroll down the San Francisco Bay Trail or use the wonderfully reliable harbor amenities to maintain your vessel.

Downtown Napa and Napa Valley Vineyards

Navigate down the Napa River for a relaxing day in the sun and nature. First, you can stop by Napa Valley Marina, which has excellent boating service if needed, and bike through beautiful vineyard scenery. Or you can check in to Napa Valley Yacht Club, a popular boating spot offers warm weather and an enjoyable atmosphere for a perfect weekend excursion. Bring a bike and ride around the city for a pleasant lunch or some day shopping.

Downtown Sausalito

Dock your vessel at Sausalito Yacht Harbor or Clipper Yacht Harbor, with over 700 slips, and take a stroll around this beloved Bay Area city. With a beautiful view of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito is the perfect place to enjoy lunch waterside at places such as The Trident, Barrel House Tavern, or Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib. It’s also a great place to watch some whales or sea lions or explore some of the downtown shops.

Bair Island, Redwood City

This luxury marina offers a rich and recollective Old Italian port ambience for the perfect taste of South San Francisco Bay. Around Bair Island Marina, you can explore the many shops and restaurants, like Old Port Lobster Shack or La Viga, or explore the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and look out for endangered species among the protected marshes. Or take a break from the sea to relax in the marina’s own pools and Jacuzzis.

Pier 39, San Francisco

The most famous pier in San Francisco, this is a perfect place to experience the city by the water. Walk around this popular part of the San Francisco culture and explore the shops, street art and music, and dining such as Neptune’s Waterfront Grill & Bar or the city favorite Boudin Bakery for some clam chowder and sourdough bread. Other popular attractions in the area include Ghirardelli Square and Coit Tower.

Horseshoe Bay, Sausalito

Dock your boat at the Presidio Yacht Club Marina and enjoy this sheltered and scenic location, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The yacht club offers a great place to eat and drink overlooking the beautiful bridge and socialize with other boaters or take sailing lessons for those new to the sport. This location also has scenic hiking trails and rich historic opportunities including the Bay Area Discovery Museum and Fort Baker.

San Leandro Marina, San Leandro

A well-maintained and relaxing marina to take a short break from your adventures on the bay, San Leandro Marina is a friendly welcoming place to dock your vessel. It’s only a few minutes from the Marina Park, an excellent waterside park perfect for a picnic or a walk, or from the Marina Golf Course. Or enjoy an exquisite view of the sunset over the city skyline and enjoy some dinner at Horatio’s, El Torito, or The Wedges.

Paradise Cove, Belvedere Tiburon

Setup anchorage and take a dinghy to shore to experience this hidden gem. While this one may be a bit more difficult to land in, Paradise Cove is a beautiful green and seclusive oasis. Located along the east shore of the Tiburon Peninsula, this is a great spot go fishing, relax on the beach, watch the marine life, or enjoy a lovely picnic in the great outdoors among the colorful wildflowers and poplar trees.

 

 

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