San Francisco Whale Tours
Pier 39
Beach Street and the Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 705-5500
sanfranciscowhaletours.com

From their majestic post about 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the Farallon Islands, are about as far from city life as you can get. The islands, which are also known as “California’s Galapagos,” are pure and (almost) unadulterated nature—a perfect place to catch a glimpse of some wildlife.

Thousands upon thousands of birds make their homes every year among the jagged cliffs that give the Farrollons their more commonly known pseudonym, “The Devil’s Teeth,” and a little lower down on the isles you might catch a glimpse of the seals and sea lions that attract the area’s most famous habitants: the Great Whites. Visitors can also chance upon dolphins, Orcas, Humpback, Sperm, and even a rare Blue Whale, all of whom call Northern Caifornia’s chilly waters home.

Only biologists can actually set foot on the islands, but the average Joe can take see quite a bit on a whale tour around them. San Francisco Whale Tours donates to the Farallons when you book here ($89).

Read about more of the best places to take a photo in the Bay Area

Directions
Take the MUNI F train to get to Pier 39.

Photos: Jesse Wagstaff, jeffgunn