SF Explorations: A Stroll Along Marina Blvd.

Call me a nerd or a country bumpkin, but what I absolutely love about San Francisco is MUNI. Every time I get on I feel like I’m getting a front seat tour of the city (but not always in the front seat because those are reserved for the handicapped and elderly…I know the deal). I’ve ridden the F Market street car from beginning to end multiple times, and have been known to hop on a bus literally because it’s right there, just to see where it goes.

One of my very first bus adventures was taking the 22 Fillmore down to Marina Blvd. This area gives you awe-inspiring views of the San Francisco Bay, and though it’s peaceful and quiet on land, there’s usually plenty going on at sea. The first time I was entertained with some sort of teen boating competition….hundreds of sails were clustered together throughout the bay, I assume for the purpose of a race but it looked to me that the struggle was just to stay afloat. Either way, entertaining.

This next visit I was determined to walk and explore further, just to see where I’d end up. So after getting off the last Fillmore stop at Bay Street, I walked to the boulevard, turned left to the north, and committed to seeing whatever there was to see.

And in San Francisco, there’s always something to see.

That day’s sporting event was something I’d never seen before. People seemed to be surfing with wind sails. Actually, less surfing and more skidding along the ocean’s surface. The wind would pull them along at quickening speeds, and the board they stood on actually rose above the water, with just a little tip extended below the surface. I’d never seen anything like it before, and have no idea what it’s called, but it looked fun as hell. If I didn’t have the uncanny ability to drown in water, I’d totally want to try it. If given the opportunity I still probably might.

I continued north on what I came to realize was the San Francisco Bay Trail, which took me along Chrissy Field Beach. A beautiful area, it’s essentially a long, thin beach. Now, the beaches in northern California shouldn’t be confused with southern California; here you need nerves of steel wrapped in a wet suit if you want to enjoy the waters without freezing to death. But even with its frigid temperatures, the ocean is always a beautiful sight to behold.

And so is that famous landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge. Once it’s in your line of sight, you simply cannot escape the bridge’s majesty. SF natives and decades long transplants may be used to it by now, but every time I see the Golden Gate I can’t help but marvel at it.

What was even more marvelous was that in my wandering I’d inadvertently walked all the way to it! I don’t know how far the bridge entry is from my starting point at Fillmore and Bay Street but I earned my pride that day (and for the first time in my life I wish I’d worn a step counter). Beginning at the Yacht Harbor, I traveled through both the east beach and marsh areas of Chrissy Field, wandered onto Torpedo Wharf, and made it all the way to the start of the Golden Gate Bridge, with nothing more than a willingness to walk and see. And that’s what I love about San Francisco. All you need to do is go out, because there will always be something to see.

For my next Marina Blvd adventure, I’ll be turning right. Can’t wait to see what’s down that way!

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Started from the bottom, now I'm here!

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