Nic LOVES Fisherman’s Wharf. That sentence probably made San Francisco locals shudder. When we lived in The City, Fisherman’s Wharf was the last place you’d find us, but now that we’re parents, our kids have brought us back. Yes, there are tons of other great things to do in The City with kids (Dolores Park, Academy of Sciences, Crisssy Field, etc.), but there’s something about sea lions and the Rain Forest Café that just makes our boys squeal with glee.
When the folks at Ride the Ducks reached out to me, I knew I had to take them up on the offer of a tour for our family (yes, the tour was free, but the opinions are my own). Not only would we be able to catch the amazing amphibious duck boat in Fisherman’s Wharf, but we’d get a tour of The City, and most importantly, get a ride on the Bay. That’s right, this tour goes from land to water to land again—all in the same vehicle!
I tried to take as many pictures as possible, but I was also holding on to a squirmy 2-year-old. Below is an overview of the ride in pictures and text.
Check in for the tour is in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf at Taylor and Jefferson. The staff was super friendly.
As soon as they saw and heard the duck-bill kazoos, I knew we’d be shelling out $3 each. I’ve added them to our music bin at home and they were worth every penny.
We were the last ones on and got a great view from the side and rear windows. Z thought the back windows were particularly lick-worthy. We departed from Fisherman’s Wharf, went through North Beach, China Town, Union Square, SOMA, China Basin, into the Bay and then back along the Embarcadero.
Inside view of the Duck Boat as we entered the water near AT&T Park.
My favorite part of the tour was seeing the enormous ships up close.
The views of The City and Bay Bridge were pretty awesome too.
Everyone was all smiles on our return trip. Please ignore the hair—we were on the water and it was humid!
So Would I Recommend this Tour?
Yes. Just the novelty of driving through The City in this crazy truck and then going into the water would have been enough for us to “get our money’s worth.” Add in the interesting crowds of people, loads of construction equipment and the awesome soundtrack and historical tidbits, and we were all more than thrilled.
Things to Keep in Mind
I wish I would have brought my Ergo for Z. For 90% of the time, I felt comfortable holding him and that he wasn’t going to leap from the truck (there are no seltbelts/child restraints), but the other 10% of the time I was holding on for dear life. This was mostly in the water. Looking back, I’m sure there was no actual risk, but I would have been more relaxed (and comfortable) if I could have put him in the Ergo.
Bring lots of snacks. The tour is 90 minutes long—it’s action packed, but I was still worried we would have a meltdown. The boys ate the granola bars I packed about 20 minutes in and I was worried that I wouldn’t have a secret weapon should they lose it.
So, if you want to see The City from a new point of view or if you’re new in town, give the Ducks a ride!