The bay is a huge part of San Francisco's charm, and getting out on the water gives you an attractive and unique (though windy) perspective on the city. A ride on a commuter ferry is cheaper than a cruise, and just as lovely.

Blue & Gold Fleet. This ferry operator offers bay cruises and, in summer, high-speed RocketBoat rides, as well as commuter service to Oakland, Alameda, Tiburon, Sausalito, Vallejo, and Angel Island. Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94133. 415/705–5555.

Red and White Fleet. Choose from among the widest range of tour options, including sunset cruises from April to October. Pier 43½, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94124. 415/673–2900.