Embarcadero

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Now: The long stretch of The Embarcadero features something to be seen from every decade in San Francisco's history, if you look carefully. The shell of the 19th-century seaport has been inhabited and variously built over in the form of shopping mall, market plaza, ferry terminal, bayfront restaurant, and condominium. On days when the wind and sun are gentle, it's hard not to feel glad to be here with the water on one hand and all of the city on the other.

Then: During the mid to late-1800s, San Francisco residents did not feel the city was big enough. The eastern shoreline was augmented with mud and debris, and a road was built along the new perimeter. The mostly empty docks jutting out from the road once serviced commerce and transport ships. See related postcards.

How To Get There: Muni and BART stop directly at the Embarcadero Station. For driving, the streets around the Ferry Plaza are usually busy during the Farmer's Market, and parking at Embarcadero Center is expensive. A parking spot is often easier to find on the streets around the South Beach area, south of Market.


  • The Embarcadero from above (Coit Tower)

  • The Embarcadero

  • Embarcadero and bay

  • Justin Herman Park at Davis Street

  • Justin Herman Park

  • Ferry Building Clock Tower

  • Ferry Building Tower from Justin Herman Park

  • Fountain at Justin Herman Plaza

  • South side of the Ferry Plaza

  • Cafe outside the Ferry Plaza

  • At the Ferry Plaza Saturday Farmer's Market

  • Flowers at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market

  • Inside the Ferry Building during the Saturday Farmer's Market

  • Top level of the Ferry Building

  • Inside the Ferry Building during the Farmer's Market

  • Shoppers at the Farmer's Market

  • Farmer's Market booths, behind the Ferry Building

  • Outside the Farmer's Market, looking west

  • In back of the Farmer's Market

  • The Ferry Building Farmer's Market

  • Scharffen Berger chocolate in the Ferry Building

  • Storefronts inside the Ferry Building

  • Mijita Mexican Cuisine, inside the Ferry Building

  • Cowgirl Creamery

  • Groceries inside Ferry Building

  • Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant

  • Acme Bread

  • Entrance to Slanted Door, Vietnamese restaurant, Ferry Building exterior

  • Windows on Slanted Door, Bay Bridge reflection

  • Bay Bridge from Ferry Plaza exterior

  • Book Passage, bookstore at Ferry Plaza

  • Crossing the Embarcadero during the Farmer's Market

  • Craft booths across from the Ferry Plaza

  • Entrance to the Embarcadero Center, from Commercial Street at Sansome Street

  • Looking up from inside the middle level of Embarcadero Center

  • One Embarcadero Center tower, viewed from the upper level of the Embarcadero Center

  • Upper level of the Embarcadero Center, looking west toward the Cinema and Transamerica Pyramid

  • Metal sculpture in the upper level of Embarcadero Center

  • Spiral walkway leading down to the middle level of Embarcadero Center

  • Walkway and fountain in the lower level of Embarcadero Center

  • Walkway from one section of Embarcadero Center to another

  • Bath shop inside Embarcadero Center

  • Shops inside Embarcadero Center

  • Embarcadero Center Number Three

  • Staircase at Embarcadero Center

  • East entrance to Embarcadero Center, at Justin Herman Plaza

  • Embarcadero at Washington Street, at the north exit from the Ferry Plaza

  • Lar Mar Seafood Restaurant on the Embarcadero at Washington Street

  • F-line Streetcar on the Embarcadero

  • Waterfront dining along the Embarcadero between Hinckley Walk and Broadway

  • Plant Cafe Organic, on the Embarcadero

  • Ferry and cruise ships docked along the Embarcadero

  • Pier 7, from the Embarcadero

  • Pier 7, at the Embarcadero, near the end of Union and Green Streets

  • Charter Boat at Pier 7

  • View of Coit Tower from Pier 7 on the Embarcadero

  • F-line Streetcar on Embarcadero near Green Street

  • Embarcadero at the intersection of Green Street

  • Parking lot on Embarcadero between Green and Union Streets

  • TCHO Chocolate, on Embarcadero at Green Street

  • Pier 23 Cafe, on Embarcadero at Greenwich Street

  • Houston's, where the Embarcadero meets Montgomery Street