San Francisco: The New Great White Shark Destination

San Francisco may be best known for the Golden Gate Bridge and trolleys, but some of its other assets have been coming to light recently. The city is now considered one of the best places to view great white sharks in the world. Florida’s Incredible Adventures has begun offering shark-seeing expeditions to San Francisco’s Farallon Islands, and the area has been welcoming a significant amount of shark divers from other states and countries.

“In 2005, only 35% of our clients lived outside of California,” explained Incredible Adventures president Jane Reifert. “Last year, 58% of our customers were from outside of the state, including a record 18% from other countries.”

Located around 27 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, the Farallon Islands are a component of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Besides the ever popular sharks, the Farallones also shelter some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, as well as many endangered mammals including blue and humpback whales. Sanctuary regulations forbid visiting the islands and the surrounding waters, but Incredible Adventures has a sanctuary permit and offers expeditions on select dates only.

They are careful to clarify that they cannot guarantee that participants will see a great white shark. “We take you to the best place at the best time of the year, but we can’t control nature,” Reifert says. “Our team wants to see white sharks just as badly as you do, and will do everything they legally can to make sure you have an incredible adventure.”

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