Oakland's Jack London Square has become an amazing venue for both local and international visitors.  Sitting right on the Oakland Estuary, it is a collection of handsome restaurants, shops, and it's famous Sunday Farmer's Market.  It is also the starting off point for the San Francisco Ferry which will take passengers to the City or Marin county.  However, if you want to spend some leisure time on San Francisco Bay, the USS Potomac is the place for you.  There are no high speed trips across the water, just leisurely tours packed with lots of information.

Originally built for the U.S. Coast Guard in 1934, this 165 ft. vessel was renamed the USS Potomac, in 1936, and became Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Presidential Yacht until his death in 1945.  It moved from different ports, and settled in Oakland, where it underwent some major rebuilding and fitting out, with the intention of opening it to the public for tours, and to attract tourists to the newly developing Jack London Square area. 

Presently, it offers a very pleasing variety of 2-3 hour Bay tours with a variety of subject matter to interest just about any type of visitor.  There are History Cruises, Bridge Tours (there are 3 in the Bay), Island and Lighthouse Tours, and, for those who prefer to see the City at night, they offer a Flights and Lights Tour featuring a sunset tour featuring wine from local area vintners, and assorted fruits and cheeses to add to the evening. 

When you are done, after you have toured the Square, you may want to make plans to visit the nearby Uptown area, which has become an exciting new artist venue, or Chinatown, for some delicious dim sum. 

Whatever your choice, downtown Oakland has a lot to offer. For information regarding the USS POTOMAC. 



Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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