Lockdown day 1,000,000. Let's face it, it's going to be a long time before any of us go on a vacation with a plane, so I'm trying to get good at being a tourist in my own town. On the Sunday before Memorial Day, I decided to go on a sea lion "hunt" along the Embarcadero. (As a 20+ year vegetarian, I would never go on an actual sea lion hunt—this was a hunt for sea lion sculptures.)
Here's a little backstory....
Last weekend, I decided to run home to the Mission from North Beach and explore some hills and stairways along the way. On my way back, I noticed a sea lion statue on the Embarcadero. (I originally thought it was a seal, but I was wrong. Here's the difference.) I am a huge animal lover, so I crossed the street to get a closer look. It reminded me of the "I left my heart in San Francisco" sculptures you can still see around town, so I figured this statue might be part of a series. When I got home from my run, I decided to learn more.
On the Aquarium of the Bay website, I found out that through January 2021, you will be able to find 30 hand-painted 6-foot-tall sea lion statues throughout San Francisco. The statues commemorate the 39th anniversary of the sea lions arrival at Pier 39. In order to be seen by a maximum of people, the sea lions have been placed in some of SF's most-visited areas.
I found a map of their locations online (and made a fun bit.ly link" bit.ly/sealionhunt) and decided to visit as many sea lions as I could. So I started out in Mission Beach and ran just under 5 miles to Aquatic Park. As this is lockdown, some places like Pier 39 (which houses an abundance of statues) are closed, but I still got to see a lot of them.
I highly recommend taking yourself or your family on a sea lion "hunt." If you stay on the Embarcadero, you don't need to think about any directions and can just spot the statues alongside the path. For a short 1.5-mile walk, start at the Ferry Building and walk to Pier 39.