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San Francisco, this “Cool Gray City Of Love,” is stacked with millions of places, but the destination which completes its true essence is “Fisherman’s Wharf.” Considered the prime destination of San Francisco, this place is known for great waterfront restaurants, Specially the Forbes Island Restaurant, museums, shopping centers, souvenir shops, boutiques, chocolate factory, historic ships, cable cars, memorial chapels, sea lions, and so much more. Deemed as heavily tourist-laden, this place is shrugged away at times over authentic attractions such as Golden Gate Park or Castro. Although, at the right time, this waterfront neighborhood can be caught in its true beauty, devoid of the crowd.


About Fisherman's Wharf

It is located on the northern waterfront and faces out to Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Starting around Pier 33. It spawns across the west to Fort Mason and Ghirardelli Square. This place boasts the highest concentration of activities for families and children. Thus, it earns the reputation of being highly crowd-laden. In retrospect, the Chinese and Italian immigrant fishermen arrived at this city to take advantage of the population due to the gold rush. They made a living with seafood as the place was swarmed with tons of fish. Thus, the name Fisherman Wharf came into existence. The wharf became popular not only due to the seafood restaurants but due to the lumbar trader Henry Meigg bringing his industry to the wharf.

Attractions Of Fisherman’s Wharf

The Unique Experience Of Fisherman Wharf

Musée Mécanique is quite a unique experience as it is Pandora's box of ancient arcade machines, robotic marionettes, fortune-telling machines, and animated film reels. It is a place gushing with video games, old mechanics, and electronic machines, which are quite lost in oblivion.

Experience Pier 39’s Best Attraction

A boat ride to Alcatraz, a 22-acre island, is deemed as one of the best attractions of Pier 39 as it bestows a surreal experience of water with incredible views over the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. One needs to book tickets for this in advance owing to the peak season, and the cruises depart from Pier 33. Also, one can book a tour that includes not only Alcatraz but also other San Francisco sites like Golden Gate Bridge. Along with this island tour, one can grab their Junior Ranger Booklet, which takes them on a ride to the Alcatraz Prison.

Related: Safety In San Francisco: Tips For First-Time Visitors

Hang Out With Most Playful Creatures

Yes! These playful creatures are Sea Lions who are also playfully known as ``The Pier’s Sea Lebrities”. Their arrival has been speculated in San Francisco since 1989 with the Loma Prieta earthquake. These giant mammals are usually found on the docks and are almost 1000 in number. Their migration is still quite mysterious, which affects their numbers. Californian sea lions are known for their intelligence and playfulness and have attracted thousands of tourists with these traits. One can head from Pier 35 to Sea Lion Center, where one can inquire about the sea lion exhibits.

Enjoy The Charm Of Old Town

Ghirardelli Square is an iconic destination with the charm of an old town. Home to many retail shops, local restaurants, and galleries, this area is infused with old and modern vibes. With a history of being a chocolate factory for more than a century ago, it is quite a successful adaptive reuse project. Located at the western end of Fisherman Wharf, the famous sculpture of Andrea as a mermaid is quite famous here.

Marvel At The Eccentric Museum

If you have a penchant for weird, strange, bizarre, eye-popping stuff, Ripley’s Believe or Not Museum is your go-to place. Themed galleries, incredible art, interactive games, and pop culture boast of having enchanting artifacts. Apart from Ripley’s Believe Or Not, there is Ripley’s Marvelous Maze as well.

Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday: 11 am to 6 pm

Friday - Saturday: 10 am to 9 pm

Sunday: 11 am to 7 pm

Related: What Makes Chinatown, San Francisco So Popular?

Go Around The Town In A GoCar

A GoCar is a luxury in case one wishes to avoid walking massive hills or fussing around the bus system. This GPS-guided tour allows access to many areas, which comes with preloaded 200 points of interest. Including helmets, built-in audio guides, and information about specific landmarks of San Francisco, Go Car is quite a distinctive way to explore San Francisco. Even though they are a pricey option, it has the advantage of being carefree about paying parking fees.

When To Visit Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman Wharf is open 365 days a year, but it's always recommended to visit it from May-June and September-October to avoid the peak season. Also, early morning, around 9 am, is quite recommended to avoid the crowds. The weather is quite pleasant with clear skies.

Why Is Fisherman's Wharf Worth The Visit?

Despite being notoriously crowded at times, this place has incredible views of San Francisco, lending it a true essence of the place. Having plenty of local restaurants, shopping complexes, galleries, and can't-miss attractions, including Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, Fisherman Wharf can be completed in 1-2 days.

How To Reach Fisherman's Wharf?

Public transportation is considered the best way of commuting, although one can also opt for a cable car to the western part of the wharf at Hyde Street Pier. Another option is opting for a street car from Market Street near downtown. By private transport, it may take around $15 to $45 per day.