Financial District (AKA “FiDi”) serves as San Francisco’s main central business district. It physically looks different to the rest of the city being primarily comprised of high rise office buildings. Here you’ll find corporate headquarters, law firms, insurance companies, real estate firms, banks, other financial institutions, and high-end gyms. All six San Francisco Fortune 500 companies—McKesson, Wells Fargo, PG&E, Gap, URS Corporation, and Charles Schwab—are located in the district. Probably the most famous resident of the FiDi—and San Francisco’s tallest resident at 853 feet—is the Transamerica Pyramid (although no longer home to Transamerica Corporation).
Fun fact: Prior to the California Gold Rush(1848–1855) the Financial District was underwater or swamp land, and referred to as Yerba Buena Cove.
Opened in 1898 as a ferry terminal, the ferry building today still ferries people to the North Bay and East Bay, but is also full of artisanal food shops and high-end souvenir shopping. After construction of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s, the Ferry Building saw a significant drop in traffic as people had other means to move about the Bay.
Fun Fact: The Ferry Building’s iconic 245-foot tall clock tower’s dials are each 22 feet in diameter.
Ferry Building Highlights
- Farmers’ markets on Tuesdays (10am-2pm), Thursdays (10am-2pm), and Saturdays (8am-2pm).
- Cowgirl Creamery: Artisanal cheeses from Point Reyes Station in Marin County. Their most popular cheese is named after Mt. Tam. A smart choice to bring to any (non-vegan) dinner party.
- Blue Bottle Coffee Co: Yummy cappuccinos and pastries!
- You can take a ferry to visit one of many bay towns in Marin (if you go to Sausalito, make sure to check out the houseboat communities) or Angel Island (a national park and home to lots of hiking as well as the old Immigration Station.) Check the ferry schedule here.