Duck, Duck, Drive!

San Francisco's famed waterscape wouldn't be complete without at least one quacky landmark. Cue the open-air duck boats,…

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San Francisco’s famed waterscape wouldn’t be complete without at least one quacky landmark. Cue the open-air duck boats, carving their way through Fisherman’s Wharf, emitting the sound of passengers belting out their best “Quaaack!” Sound silly to you? Sometimes you’ve just gotta say “What the duck”—and go with it! Don your own personal beak, courtesy of the crew, and embark on a 90-minute Ride the Ducks tour. A couple of kitschy duck-themed songs later and you’ll be singing your chorus support as the amphibious car-boat (designed after a WWII DUKW) steers about town. The guides are shameless in sharing puns to quack you up as they talk trivia about familiar San Francisco landmarks, curving past Lombard, North Beach, Chinatown, SoMa, and finally, straight into the main attraction—the glorious bay. As you near AT&T Park, brace yourself for a big splash (feathers may get ruffled): You’ll dip down from pavement to pond—er, McCovey Cove—joining the gulls and seals for a half-hour cruise on the easy waves, and even have the opportunity to take the wheel at water. Gone astray? No worries. The captain will take the helm, shaking a tail feather back to the wharf.

TIP: Time your trip for sunset, and afterwards stop by San Francisco institution Gold Dust Lounge for a classic drink like a key lime margarita or Jameson Irish coffee. The bar—still clad in much of its original century-old decor—opened at the wharf in 2013 after relocating from Union Square, where it had resided since 1933.

Ride the Ducks operates from Fisherman’s Wharf, 2766 Taylor St. (corner of Taylor and Jefferson St.). Tours operate daily and cost $35 for adults, $25 for kids. Gold Dust Lounge is located at 165 Jefferson St. and is open daily until 2:00 a.m. No dogs. Just ducks. 

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