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Sunny day at the Ferry Building

San Francisco Bay view from the ferry dock

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”  Whether or not Mark Twain actually said this is a matter of dispute, but anyone who has spent time in the City by the Bay knows that there’s a lot of truth to that statement.  If  you happen to be planning a visit to the Bay Area, it helps to remember that the weather can be foggy and unseasonably cold in the summer.  One solution is to visit in the off-season.  Besides the advantage of reduced prices for flights and hotel stays, the weather can also be surprisingly warm in the winter, especially compared to many other cities.  On a recent visit, the skies were clear, and with temps hovering in the upper 60’s, it was easy to forget the chill back home in Seattle.

Whenever I’m in town, I like to make a stop at the ferry building, located at the edge of downtown, overlooking the bay.  The Ferry Building Marketplace features the best of local artisan food purveyors, and you’ll find plenty of selection here, like fresh seafood, delicate pastries, delicious cheese and great bread from Acme Bakery.  If you’re in the mood for a memorable dining experience, there are choices for every taste, such as upscale Vietnamese at The Slanted Door, or creative slow-food at Boulette’s Larder.  For a simpler meal on a sunny day, pick up some picnic ingredients, or grab a sandwich from one of the many food carts that line the front of the building, and head out back to sit on a bench, soak up the sun, and take in the views.

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