San Francisco Bay measures three to twelve miles (5–19 km) wide east-to-west and somewhere between 48 miles (77 km) and 60 miles (97 km) north-to-south.

It is the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas. From the mid-19th century through the late 20th century, more than a third of the original bay was filled and often built on. The most famous of five island is Alcatraz. The former federal prison on Alcatraz Island no longer functions, but the complex is a National Park and very popular tourist site

San Francisco Alcatraz Island and Sailboat from Municipal Pier
San Francisco Alcatraz Island and Sailboat from Municipal Pier
San Francisco Alcatraz Island and Sailboat from Municipal Pier Photo: David Ohmer from Cincinnati, USA [CC BY 2.0)]


From 15,000 – 10,000 years ago, the Ohlone tribe inhabited the area that is now the San Francisco Bay. The first European to enter the bay is believed to have been the Spanish explorer Juan de Ayala, who passed through the Golden Gate on August 5, 1775 in his ship the San Carlos, and moored in a bay of Angel Island now known as Ayala Cove. Ayala continued to explore the Bay area and the expedition's cartographer, José de Cañizares, gathered the information necessary to produce the first map of the San Francisco Bay area. A number of place names survive (anglicized) from that first map, including Point Reyes, Angel Island, Farallon Islands and Alcatraz Island.

Alcatraz Prision in the middle of San Francisco Bay
Alcatraz Prision in the middle of San Francisco Bay
Ferry to Alcatraz and Cell block audio tour part of the Alcatraz Combo package

Nearby Points of Interest:

The Presidio: is located at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge and contains Fort Point, Crissy Field, and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Golden Gate Bridge: You’ve seen it in movies, television, books, and postcards – now go ahead and take a walk on it! And don’t forget your camera. North Beach / Little Italy:  Little Italy offers a variety of bars, comedy clubs, and authentic Italian restaurants. Try some focaccia bread, or take a walk in the relaxing green space of Washington Squar

San Francisco Bay is featured on:

  • Private Charter
    Private Charter San Francisco Tuk Tuk Tour

    Available Daily

    9AM, 11:30AM, 2PM, 4:30PM or 7:30PM

    How long?
    Approx. 2 hours
    Do we fit?
    Seats 6 (Child ages 3+)
    How much?
    From $275.00

    Explore beautiful San Francisco in your own private, electric Tuk Tuk! Perfect for families and groups. A personal guide for your party commandeers this modern-day rickshaw at a pace that’s right for you!

  • Public Tour
    Alcatraz Combo - Ultimate SF City Tour and Alcatraz Ferry

    Available Limited Tickets

    9AM or 2PM Alcatraz AM or PM

    How long?
    Approx. 3 hours
    Limited Tickets
    Do we fit?
    Seats 6 (Ages 5+)
    How much?
    From $145.00

    With a Lucky Tuk Tuk Ultimate City Tour + Alcatraz Combination Package you get a full day of fun! Explore the City in a cozy Tuk Tuk then learn the history of Alcatraz as you visit "the rock".