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Late afternoon on the Wharf question

Seattle, Washington
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Late afternoon on the Wharf question

Around what time in the evening will most of the tourist shops start closing along the Wharf in April? Will most shops have later spring hours? I know the Musee closes at 7:00 during the week, what about the majority of other shops? Assuming restaurants (but not interested in any) will most likely remain open later.

I've read several posts saying it gets boring along the Wharf at night. Why? Is it only because the shops will be closed? Those comments sound strange...but I've never been there.

If we were to arrive at the FTerminal around 4pm (checking into USquare hotel about 3pm), would that not leave enough time to casually walk down (or is it up?) the Embarcadero and in and out of a few Wharf area shops (for browsing purposes) before closing time?

Will Ghirardelli Sq be open later so that maybe we should visit this last? I'm just trying to plan our first evening in SF with 2 teens in tow.

We'll be doing an Alcatraz tour another evening but we have other plans earlier on that day.

Just curious about my questions and the best use of our time for our first late afternoon/evening in SF.

Thanks

Bloomington, Indiana
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1. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

While it's been a long time since I've been to FW, here's a few comments based on my memories (and I admit things may have changed).

You're observations are generally correct. Stores will be closing in the early evenings, but some will remain open later (more likely the ones in some sort of complex like Ghiradelli Square). Restaurants & bars will be open a later and there can be some "spillover" from this (i.e. a store near a restaurant/bar may remain open a little later).

As for it becoming "boring" at night, well that's because everything starts closing up and since that's much of what is there, the tourists move on. Also, I believe that (given SF is on the west coast) more of the tourists are likely to call it an early night in general (compared to the locals who aren't likely to "drop down to the wharf after work").

As for your specific plans, I don't think it's a problem. With the exception of a few things (such as the Maritime Museum's old ships) I think you can get a pretty good walk-through/idea of what it's like in a reasonable short time and the fact that the shops might be closing up is no great loss.

I'd say an hour or so of strolling from one end to the other is about right. It's around 1/2 mile from Pier 39 to the Hyde Street Pier so you can walk it in as little as 10-15 minutes (obviously longer if you're window shopping, strolling/wandering in general, checking the view/sea lions, etc.).

Bottom Line: I think in a hour or so you can go from one end of the FW area to the other (and probably back) getting yourself a good overview of what it "offers." Add another 1/2 hour to an hour for checking out a few things in more details and . . . you're talking about something like an hour or two. In some respects I think doing this your first evening and "getting it out of the way" is a fair idea (and probably realize it's generally not much more than a series of shops & attractions designed to separate tourists from their money).

I will add that I think the old ships & sub are worth checking out, but that's essentially another topic.

That's my $.02,

hlo

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

You answered my questions perfectly! Thank you

San Francisco
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3. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

I prefer the Wharf when all the ticky-tacky gee-gaw shops have closed, the street buskers have gone home and the sidewalks aren't so crowded.

Bloomington, Indiana
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4. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

Careful Sal,

You just included the words "prefer" and "the Wharf" in the same sentence *without* indicating an alternative that you preferr over it! ;-)

hlo

San Francisco
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5. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

LOL ... I "prefer" it over the Wharf at high noon ....

I used to run early in the morning (5AM) and in winter when it was still dark I'd go east from the Marina to Pier 39 and back. Would see actual fishermen around their boats and trucks heading out to the piers to pick up the catch.

Other than that it was just me and the street sweeper. Which in those days was a little old man with a broom :)

Dublin, California
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6. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

The Wharf is boring to me any time of the day.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

It reminds me of the day after Christmas or Thanksgiving shopping - too crowded and not worth the effort to see what's actually there - Pier 39 especially.

San Francisco CA
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8. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

The concept of "shops" at FW is not accurate - mostly you see the same t-shirts and fleeces and magnets at all the places. I describe the area as mostly tourists looking at other tourists wondering what the fuss is all about. There is so much more to see in the City.

Edited: 8:07 pm, March 26, 2013
9. Re: Late afternoon on the Wharf question

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