Tag Archives: Fisherman’s Wharf

San Francisco: The Sea Lions of Pier 39.

Pier 39 is off The Embarcadero within Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. It’s one of the more popular destinations for tourists with dining, shopping and live entertainment options. The biggest form of entertainment for many, including myself, are the sea lions that reside on the docks.

Head to the left side of Pier 39 and just look for the crowd as they gather along the railings. You’ll also start smelling the sea lions as you get close. Well there they are! 🙂

Sea lions, Pier 39, San Francisco

Sea lions, Pier 39, San Francisco

A lot of the time they are just cutely laying about, sunbathing if you will, slipping in-and-out of the water from time to time. What a relaxing lifestyle.

Sea lions, Pier 39, San Francisco

They’ll make the time though to get up and loudly bark. The sea lions have always been in the San Francisco Bay region, but have been coming to this spot for just over twenty years. When they first came, it drew the ire of fisherman who didn’t want them around the docks. Over time though these docks have become their home for much of the year.

Sea lions, Pier 39, San Francisco

This one needs some space to take a nap, probably after some fighting. The sea lions are always pushing one another off the piers. All of their acts lead to laughter, constant video taping and picture-taking.

Sea lions, Pier 39, San Francisco

Last summer to late spring is the time you’ll see hundreds of them hanging out here. They go off to breed in the early parts of summer and few if any will be around. Many tourists that come during the time, are sad wondering where they are.

You don’t have to be there to see what they are up too. Checkout the Pier 39 sea lion live webcam. When you do have a chance to go to San Francisco, head towns the wharf and pier and hopefully the sea lions will be there to greet you. 🙂

Where else have you seen sea lions in your travels? What other spots along Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco are must stops?

San Francisco: Getting “The” Irish Coffee.

I’m going to San Francisco! As soon as the trip became a reality what was the first thing that came to mind? The Buena Vista Cafe and their Irish Coffee. Low and behold soon after arrival, I saw this sign up close at the corner of Hyde and Beach Streets.

San Francisco - The Buena Vista Cafe - Fisherman's Wharf - Irish Coffee

The Buena Vista has roots on this corner back to 1916 when it opened as a saloon. Buena Vista in Spanish means “Good View” which definitely applies as it sits within Fisherman’s Wharf and across the street from where people get on the famed cable cars and go up the steep hills to Lombard Street and points beyond.

Naturally it was crowded inside. I found a spot as far away from the bar as one could get. 😦 No matter Irish coffee deliciousness awaits.

San Francisco - The Buena Vista Cafe - Irish Coffee

Great memories brought me here as well, having enjoyed many fun times growing up. I remember watching them make the Irish Coffee, though when young, I didn’t grasp the Irish part haha. Just the pouring of the coffee helped lead the way to where I am today, lot’s of coffee consumption and time watching them make it from to many coffeehouses to count.

San Francisco - The Buena Vista Cafe - Irish Coffee

Getting a closer shot of the bar I watched the whole process unfold. With the empty glasses lined up, they first put a couple of sugar cubes in the bottom of each glass and then poured in the hot, black coffee. Next they quickly dragged the Irish whiskey bottle across them and topped each with a little creamy froth.

I heard they make 1000’s of these a day and more whiskey is consumed here on a year-by-year basis then anywhere else in the United States. They currently use Tillamore Dew Irish whiskey.

While watching the process, I realized one of those was mine! There it is.

San Francisco - The Buena Vista Cafe - Irish Coffee

I was back at a place of my youth consuming something I remember seeing everyone else drink. Their Irish Coffee making goes back to 1952 and has become an icon in the city of San Francisco and known to some, include me, around the country as “The” Irish Coffee.

I’d been there before as an adult, but I wasn’t that much into whiskey so I passed. What could have I been thinking. Between liking whiskey more, becoming a lover of coffee and wanting to rekindle memories of youth, The Buena Vista was a must stop on this trip. If I could only get my hands on a world record sized Irish Coffee haha. 🙂

The top item on my San Francisco to-do list was checking off and hopefully one day you can check this place off of yours. Checkout their website and story.

Any must stops  for Irish Coffee that you’ve come across in your travels? Where are some of your go-to places for eats and drinks in San Francisco?