A HOTEL, A BOAT, A BRIDGE: So often a vacation package will involve a single entity. A hotel. A bus trip. A wine tour. Two things might be in the mix but three? Much rarer. So when a stay-over, a boat trip, and a famous bridge all show up on the same deal, we think that's of note. It's also of note when the bridge is in San Francisco and is not the Golden Gate. We love the Golden Gate, oh yes we do -- we're rather wild about it, like most of the known bridge-obsessed universe -- but it was time for the Bay Bridge to shine. Shine quite literally, in fact, courtesy of the new art installation entitled The Bay Lights. The mega LED light spectacular was switched on on Tuesday, March 5, and the lights'll stay on every night through 2015. (Props to the Leo Villareal, who has incorporated 25,000 LED bulbs into his gargantuan-sized vision.) So how does a newly lit-up bridge work into a sleep package at a nearby hotel?
LIKE THIS: Joie de Vivre, which first found root in the city's boutique hotel scene back in the '80s, is offering a stay-over deal that incorporates an on-the-water trip to see the Bay Bridge in all of its brightly bulb-nice glory. A Tideline boat will do the on-water driving. And the bridge itself? All it needs to do is impress.
TWO THINGS OF NOTE: Nine Joie de Vivre properties are participating in the Illuminated Cruise package, and not just ones nearest the water. Hotel Vitale, Phoenix Hotel, and Hotel Kabuki are three of the hotels in the swing. Package price will vary with hotel. Also? Tideline boats are smaller, so you won't be jockeying for rail space. One boat'll seat six guests and the tour is an hour. Another thing about a less-bulky vessel? More maneuverability, which sounds like it definitely goes in the plus column in the viewing-a-bridge department. You can probably get up a bit closer. (We know, we know, you've been close to the Bay Bridge in a car before, but that's up top. When have you ever gotten close from below?)
The tours depart from Pier 1 1/2 each night at 7:30 p.m.