San Francisco's Man-made Treasure Island was created for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition and then became home to a naval training station and other military sites. In recent years, the small isle has become a trendy destination for its urban wineries, a monthly festival, and unbeatable views of downtown San Francisco and the bay.
Located in the middle of the bay between San Francisco and Oakland, Treasure Island is outside the range of most city tours. If you want to visit, opt for a nighttime tour, where you can admire the lights of the Bay Bridge and the twinkling San Francisco skyline. Alternatively, get a view of the island from a helicopter flight, bay cruise, or speedboat ride.
Activities on the island include walking or biking along the shoreline, visiting the Treasure Island Museum, wine tasting at one of the island’s low-key establishments, such as Winery SF, and checking out the monthly TreasureFest, where you’ll find food trucks, clothing and art vendors, kids’ entertainment, and live music.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Treasure Island is ideal for wine lovers and those who want to see a different side of San Francisco, off the tourist path.
- With its location on the water, Treasure Island is exposed to the elements so bring layers and sunscreen to shield yourself from wind, fog, and sun.
- There are a few cafés and restaurants on the island.
- Redevelopment and construction on the island is ongoing; closures of roads, venues, and events are possible.
How to Get There
Most visitors drive to Treasure Island via the Bay Bridge from downtown San Francisco; there is plenty of parking available. Those without access to a car can also take MUNI bus No. 25. You can also take a private boat to the Treasure Island Marina.
When to Get There
TreasureFest takes place the last weekend of each month, except December. Most winery tasting rooms are open weekends only. On weekdays, avoid crossing the Bay Bridge during morning and evening rush hours.
Yerba Buena Island
Treasure Island is attached to a second isle—Yerba Buena Island—which connects to the Bay Bridge. Much of it belongs to the United States Coast Guard, but there are a couple of spots where visitors can enjoy the views, such as Blue Park and the Bay Bridge Trail Lookout.