Monday, September 28, 2020
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Treasure Island is San Francisco’s overlooked island

View of San Francisco’s skyline is one of the best reasons to visit

Most people who have visited San Francisco know Alcatraz, the famous prison island. It´s where history’s most notorious criminals were locked up. But other islands in the San Francisco Bay also deserve their share of the attention. Treasure Island, an artificial island northwest of the city centre built for the World’s Fair in 1939. This is one of San Francisco’s least discovered neighbourhoods. Art, market and museum is the main reasons to visit this island.

On the tram in San Francisco

The unique view of San Francisco’s skyline is one of the best reasons to visit. Another is the huge flea market, Treasure Island Flea, which takes place the last weekend of every month. Last but not least: This is is California’s smallest wine region with no less than 15 wine producers within an area of just over two square kilometres.

The local wine

Urban wineries are popular in San Francisco and Treasure Island is ahead of the game. There are 15 urban winemakers – partly because the island’s climate is well-suited for wine production. Most urban wineries are open on weekends. Many are concentrated in the two cooperatives Treasure Island Wines and Bodega Wine Estates.

Sottomarino Winery has just opened the island’s most unique tasting room in a submarine-like room. That was used for military exercises during WW2. Funnily enough Sottomarino means ‘submarine’ in Italian. The owners’ vision is to create authentic Italian wines in the middle of San Francisco. There are tastings every Saturday and Sunday.

San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the south are the home to most of the world’s leading technology companies.

Treasure hunt

Last weekend of every month the flea market on Treasure Island attracts up to 15,000 vintage treasure hunters in search of vintage finds, rare LPs, and old porcelain. Food trucks selling everything from mini burgers to Indian street food are lined up. There is also live music, scavenger hunts for adults, and fun activities for children.


treasure island
Artwork at the island

The World’s Fair

There is not much left on the island that bears witness to the World’s Fair in 1939, but the exciting Treasure Island Museum offers a good insight into the island’s fascinating history. The museum is housed in one of the original buildings from the 1930s, and the beautiful Art Deco lobby gives a sense of how impressive the exhibition once looked.

Concerts. Treasure Island Festival is held every year in October with the San Francisco Bay and the city’s beautiful skyline as a backdrop to world-class pop music concerts. This concert October use to present some important and well known line-up.

The island is named after the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, who lived in San Francisco. Treasure Island was built with imported fill on shoals on the north side of Yerba Buena Island for the Expo in 1939. The island sits in the “middle” of the San Francisco – near Oakland Bay Bridge .


Key information 
Area: 233 hectares (2.33 square kilometres)
Population: 2,500
Getting there: The easiest way to get to Treasure Island is by car. Bay Bridge connects the island to the city. It is also possible to take bus 108 from the centre.

More inspiration: Sanoma a dream spot to visit

Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya a few years back. Meeting people, local food and engaging stories are my passion. I plan for ambitious once-in-a-lifetime trips. My delight is the prospect of Future Travels: Longer, Slower, Farther! I just want a tiny slice of adventure to be alive, and then excited to return home.


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