Sportsmens Report
June 25, 2018
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Ferry to a Giants game

By: Bill Hanson
May 18, 2018
Sportsmans Report

Here is a local outing that is no secret except for this, if you have never been to a Giants game via the Larkspur Ferry, then go, even if baseball is not your thing. You must plan in advance to buy a good seat and to book passage on the ferry. A word of caution here, the ferry system is run by the state, as such the bureaucracy is profound. You must be responsible for booking the right ferry, verifying your tickets and printing them out, all in advance. The fee is $13 each way and you must buy one ticket going to and one going back for each person, an odd thing. A person close to me bought four tickets and discovered two days before the game that there were four tickets going and none coming back. Since this is a dedicated ferry it should not be a problem. The clerk said, ‘Sir you’ve had weeks to look at these tickets and you should have noticed they were all one-way going to the park. We are sold out coming back to Larkspur.’ 

The party of two ended up driving, fighting for a parking spot, fighting the crowds going to and then going home. 

Once game tickets and ferry tickets are in hand it is easy, very easy. Check out the schedule on the ferry’s web site: http://goldengateferry.org/events/ATTParkSched.php to find departure times and plan the drive accordingly, they offer overflow parking nearby with dedicated shuttle service to and from the ferry terminal. Be sure to check out the rules on what you can and cannot bring onto the ferry and into the park. Bring a heavy coat and a seat pad. AT&T Park is a beautiful place with fun things for the kids and lots stuff to eat, souvenirs to buy and things to drink. There also are the food hawkers who work the park the whole time. Bringing a Costco bag of peanuts is, well, a game changer. 

At the parking lot you can exhale, the ferry ride is right across San Francisco Bay, close by Alcatraz and offers an incredible view of the bridge. The ocean is under your feet and the clean salt air is invigorating. The city is close enough to touch, then the ferry slows as it passes the main terminal at the foot of Market street, floats under the Bay Bridge and Treasure island and the East Bay are laid out for you to admire. The ship docks gently, the crew sets the gang plank and you are a few steps from the back door. The ferry leaves 30-minutes after the last inning. The ship casts off and the whole Bay Area sparkles in the night. As you near the Richmond San Rafael Bridge the ferry noses into the inlet as you pass by the exercise yards at San Quentin. The return trip is over too soon, the shuttles take you back to your car and the ride home is just long enough to get your feet back on the ground.

Some people see the game as a waste of time and not really for small children. For that kind of trip, use the ferry in off-commute times and visit the city as a tourist, the magic of riding on the bay is still beautiful and relaxing. If you are lucky you will pass close to one of the behemoth cargo ships, they make you feel like you’re in a row boat. It is fun for a local to be a tourist in the most visited city in the world, our own jewel.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a dedicated sportsman. He is the former president of the Mycological Society. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.