San Francisco Destination Guide

The 411 You Need for a Boating Vacation in San Francisco

Things to Do in the “City By the Bay”

The beauty of the San Francisco Bay is seldom an argument. The breeze from the Pacific Ocean can dot the bay with white caps and sometimes the fog sits low on the north shore reminding you that even in a city as busy as San Francisco there are moments of peace and clarity. It’s no wonder people flock from all over the country to see this popular cityscape.

From the San Francisco Bay stems many waterways that make the “city by the bay” an ideal place of boaters and water lovers of all kinds, including jet skiers, fishermen and sailors.

River Boating

Petaluma River – The Petaluma River leads to wine country. Aww, boating and wine. It’s a lovely combination that you don’t hear very often. On the Petaluma River it is totally a thing. There are places to dock your boat rental downtown so you can get out and explore. It’s first come first serve. If you can’t get a spot the marina is two miles away.

Sacramento River – The Sacramento River is dotted with beaches worth checking out. Chicory Bend City Park is located just downstream from Sherwood Harbor Resort and you can only get there by boat. It’s private and beautiful at sunset except for one thing: mosquitoes. Bring your bug spray or these flying pests might just ruin your mood.

San Joaquin River – Even though it is the second longest river in California, San Joaquin River doesn’t get as much attention as some other spots in the area. The river is a quiet boating spot. It’s peaceful. It’s pristine. It’s “off the map.” Kayaks and canoes are a more popular sight than powerboats, but the curvey river can accommodate both. If you’re looking for a true boating adventure on the San Joaquin River consider a boat to camping trip. The camping is primitive, but the view of the stars is so worth it.

Water Sports

Fishing – Venture past the Golden Gate bridge for ideal salmon fishing. Boating around the bridge can be dangerous depending on the weather conditions. Read more about safe boating tips for the area so you can confidently navigate the waters. If this is your first time in the Bay consider a boat rental with a captain so you don’t have to worry about the tides, changing winds and shallow waters. Other common catches in the area include halibut, rockfish and sturgeon. Yum!

Windsurfing – If you enjoy windsurfing then Sherman Island needs to make it on your list of must hit spots. The island is internationally known for its ideal windsurfing conditions. You can launch your boat at the park or nearby at Senorita Beach.

Tubing – Check out this full listing of locations that are ideal for tubing. We think launching at the Outrigger Marina is ideal. You can easily access both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. There is a restaurant nearby with a bar right on the water – can you picture the views!?

Sailing – San Francisco makes a perfect backdrop for sailing. If you get the chance, spend some time on the Pacific Ocean on a sailboat. It’s luxurious. When your sailing trip is over you’ll feel like a new person!

Rent a Boat for Your San Francisco Adventure

When your planning is done the next step is to secure a boat rental. The process is stress-free with boat sharing companies like Boatsetter. We invite you to find your boat rental using our simple search feature that allows you to filter by type of boat, passenger count, length of boat and whether or not you prefer to have a captain do the navigating.

Your reservation can be canceled within 24-hours so there is no risk. The reward, however, is great: a private adventure on the water. Start your search by checking out these trending San Francisco boat rentals.

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