Treasure Island, San Francisco CA

Things To Do in Treasure Island, SF

Named after the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson (a San Francisco resident), Treasure Island was created specifically for the 1939 Golden Gate International Expo. The best part of visiting the island is the impossibly short commute from SF — a 10-minute ride from the city.

Treasure Island, SF
Treasure Island, SF by DB’s travels

Treasure Island was built to accommodate the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition. The GGIE was a gleaming Art Deco “Magic City” of towers, gardens, goddesses, and brilliant lighting effects built to commemorate California’s and San Francisco’s rise as an economic, political, and cultural powerhouse in the Pacific area. The festival also recognized the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges’ local engineering achievements. Following the fair, the US Navy seized possession of the island and converted it into a naval base.

What is Treasure Island?

What makes Treasure Island a recreation lover’s dream is the raised walkway, which encircles it, making the island ideal for cycling, walking, and observing wildlife, like the resident sea lions. It’s an insider secret that one of the best views of the SF skyline is from Treasure Island at Clipper Cove. It’s also home to a winery or two, a sailing school, a museum, cool restaurants & a mega-popular monthly flea market.

Treasure Island, SF sculpture
Treasure Island, SF sculpture by DB’s travels

Walking or biking along the shoreline, visiting the Treasure Island Museum, wine tasting at one of the island’s low-key establishments, such as Winery SF, and attending the monthly TreasureFest, where you’ll find food trucks, clothing, and art vendors, kids’ entertainment, and live music, are all popular activities on the island.

How to Get to Treasure Island – Yerba Buena Island

As we said, Treasure Island is a ten-minute drive from SF or the East Bay. It’s about 30 minutes to an hour away from Marin and South Bay.

Pay attention — the exit is sneaky. Stay in your left lane and then turn left onto Treasure Island from the Bay Bridge. If you’re taking public transportation (easier, no parking!) take Muni 108.

Using Uber or Lyft is also a fantastic choice. If you prefer to take public transit, the 25 Bus will take you to Treasure Island.

Iconic San Francisco Vista

Head here for the best views. Tucked in a small cover next to the yacht harbor, is hidden Clipper Cove Beach, reached by taking a steep wooden staircase down.

The Iconic San Francisco Vista

The moon-shaped beach, protected with eucalyptus trees, offers stunning views. From this hidden stretch of beach, the Bay Bridge appears close enough to touch. Across the water, you can also see the Berkeley campus and Sather Tower. The best time to come is in the morning before the trees shade the beach.

Treasure Island San Francisco Attractions

The Flea Market

Launched to support local artists and artisans in 2011, TreasureFest quickly grew to become one of the Bay Area’s largest gatherings of artists, collectors, designers, crafters & food trucks.

Tourists and locals alike are delighted to learn about this one-of-a-kind shopping experience. The breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline from Bridge to Bridge complement locally manufactured souvenirs, San Francisco’s famous ethnic foods, wine, and entertainment.

Come for the flea market and stay for the music, local wines, beers, and cocktails. Shoppers love to pick up original, quirky artwork, antiques, and vintage & re-purposed apparel. There’s also a kid zone with petting zoos, pony rides & magic. The market happens on the last weekend of every month. Check the website for details.

Treasure Island Museum

1 Avenue of the Palms #111, San Francisco, CA 94130

The Treasure Island Museum engages tourists and island residents in discussions about Treasure Island’s rich cultural heritage, Yerba Buena Island’s natural wealth, and the islands’ upcoming sustainable development to find innovative solutions to the difficulties of living harmoniously with our environment.

Learn all the fascinating facts about this manmade island at the funky Art Deco museum. Here you’ll discover nifty facts about how the island was built and with what (hint, mud!) and what might happen to the mud-made island during the next earthquake. In a word, the island will liquefy! You’ll also discover rich details about the 1939-40 World’s Fair where it all started plus naval history.

Wine Tasting at Treasure Island Wines

995 9th St, San Francisco, CA 94130

Treasure Island has always looked like an enigmatic place to me. Perhaps it’s the name or the fact that it’s hidden away from the rush and bustle of the city, making the trek all the more exciting. Whatever the reason, the breathtaking perspective of the San Francisco skyline is reason enough to add this landmark to your bucket list. In addition, for a more relaxed day of wine tasting, the smaller wine region is a good alternative to the larger Napa and Sonoma districts. It is also a faster drive. And, as an added bonus, the tasting costs are significantly lower than those in the valleys. One tasting area even provides free tastings, and several others have a bocce court, so you can make a full day of it.

There seems to be a lot of wine tasting on Treasure Island. TSI is a serious urban winery dedicated to making luxury artisan wines. On the tasting menu is cabernet sauvignon from Mendocino County, merlot and zinfandel from Sonoma County, and a delightful rosé from the North Coast. They also host several fun special events during the year including Vines & Valentines, Harvest Howl & Winter Solstice. Established in 2007, the tasting room is open on weekends.

Fat Grape Winery

1080 13th St, San Francisco, CA 94130

Love wine but are allergic to sulfites? Fat Grape founder & winemaker, Patrick Bowe discovered a way around his allergies by making sulfite-free wines. Housed in a former Navy prison, Fat Grape makes many delicious varieties of sulfite-free wine; Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Old Vine Zinfandel, and Petite Syrah. Visit the winery, have a barrel tasting, and maybe bring home a souvenir bottle

Treasure Island Sailing Center

698 California Ave, San Francisco, CA 94130

This non-profit organization is open to the public and invites everyone to learn how to sail and how to navigate the water safely. Since 1999, they have helped over 10,000 young people learn how to sail. How cool is that? With their fleet of 100+ boats, you’re sure to find a course to help you sail, kayak or paddleboard in the bay.

Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bar

Pier 23, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111

After beachcombing, museum touring, flea market shopping, wine tasting, or sailing lessons, head here for fish tacos & clam chowder, and margaritas at the popular outdoor patio. Heat lamps are also in service when the fog rolls in.

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