Mark Twain is sometimes quoted as saying “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” While we’re not sure if the renowned Tom Sawyer author ever actually said that, we know that the words ring true—in the best possible way.
San Francisco is home to the country’s coolest summer temperatures, with a daily mean of 61°F and highs that rarely get past the upper sixties. So while it’s no Arctic Circle, it certainly makes for a worthy vacation spot, equipped with a bay and plenty of culture, shopping, and innovative eats to go around.
On the water
You’ll want to pack your windbreaker if you’re boating on the Bay this summer. While taking your own vessel out can be demanding (expect 30-knot winds and 5-knot currents), there’s nothing stopping you from venturing onto the water. The Oakland Estuary offers a calmer trip, while area boat rentals can come with a skipper to help navigate on your trip.
San Francisco’s most famous boat trip, of course, takes visitors to Alcatraz, the prison on a rock. It might be a bit high profile for more seasoned trekkers, but we recommend it as a must-see for any first time visitor.
If you want to venture out on your own, you can keep your boat at one of several area marinas; Pier 39 has its own, where you can pay for a monthly or day-by-day slip rental, all while being next door to the waterfront complex’s sixty-some gift shops and specialty boutiques.
Also on the water at Pier 39: a cute group, or “colony,” of sea lions. Since they first arrived in 1990, the sea lions have become a beloved attraction of Pier 39’s K-Dock. During June and July, the sea lions’ familiar bark may quiet down as they move south to breed—but by August, their numbers should start getting back to normal.
From cable cars to fine cuisine
Like we mentioned before, San Francisco is no stranger to tourist-friendly shopping and dining. Pier 39 marina guests can visit the California-exclusive Boudin Sourdough and pick up a gift basket of California wine and bread, or check out the Alcatraz Gift Shop.
Off the pier, San Francisco’s Union Square, Chinatown district, and the rest of Fisherman’s Wharf are only a cable car ride away. Westfield San Francisco Centre is also worth checking out—the upscale mall offers five stories of shopping and is located on Market Street at the heart of the city.
We think the best way to see San Francisco is from your own Monterey boat. Can’t get it to the Bay? Rent a boat and enjoy the cool-down for us! In the area and looking for a new boat? Take a visit to our dealer Larson Boats at either their Stockton or Rancho Cordova locations.