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San Francisco/Fisherman's Wharf

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Revision as of 16:25, 22 June 2008

Giant Crab at Pier 39

Fisherman's Wharf is San Francisco's most popular destination among travelers, with circa 12 million visitors each year. For over a century its historic waterfront has been the hub of the city's fishing fleet and has always been famous for the variety of seafood it harvests. Today, it's more renowned for its museums, shopping, historic buildings, and some of the best seafood restaurants in the city. It is located at the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, along the San Francisco Bay. It runs all the way from Pier 39, through to Municipal Pier at the end of Aquatic Park. It is bordered by Van Ness Avenue to the east and Bay Street to the south.


Three generations of fishermen have worked on the Wharf since the days of the Gold Rush. It used to be home to a flotilla of over 400 fishing vessels, but over time their numbers have dwindled. Today, the fleet moored at the Wharf can only supply San Francisco's restaurants with a small fraction of their seafood needs. Most of the remaining vessels are moored at Fish Alley, close to Pier 47.

Tourists come here to enjoy the attractions that the Wharf has to offer. These encompass the sea lions at Pier 39, the Maritime Museum, the chocolate factory at Ghirardelli Square, Hyde Street Pier, and of course the infamous Alcatraz. There are also some great vistas overlooking the Bay, and a plethora of restaurants to enjoy them from. Additionally, many people visit the Wharf to either take a ferry or a cruise around the Bay. The Wharf is also home to many events such as the Fourth of July celebrations, Crab Season, and Fleet Week. Being a tourist haven, expect to see large crowds, an abundance of t-shirt stores, novelty museums, and street performers all vying for your attention. Many locals are put off by the crowds on the Wharf, and the seemingly 'tacky' nature of many of the tourist stores. However, all things considered, there is probably enough here to keep everyone happy.

Get in

Map of Fisherman's Wharf

Getting here on foot or via public transportation are certainly the best options if you are already in or near San Francisco.

By car

Driving here is easiest (but often slow) by going north on Van Ness Avenue (which is part of U.S. Highway 101) up to North Point Street (a block beyond Bay), turning right, and then locating a parking space after a few blocks. There are a number of smallish lots, and two major garages near Pier 39, at Stockton and Beach. If you plan to spend much time, you may want to park on a street farther away (but watch the posted limits) and take public transportation to the Wharf.

If you are so inclined and have good brakes, you can go from Van Ness Avenue onto Lombard Street east, up Russian Hill and down the "crookedest street" in San Francisco. Turn north on any of the streets (except Taylor, because of the cable cars) into Fisherman's Wharf. Stockton street, 2.5 blocks past Columbus Avenue, gets you to the garages. Note that pedestrians and cable cars have the right of way.

From the Bay Bridge it is best to get off soon, head north and east towards the Embarcadero, and then go west into the Fisherman's Wharf area. These exits are still being reconfigured to cope with future earthquakes. You'll see the garages across the way near Pier 39.

San Francisco is small, so consider taking a taxi, at a cost of around $10 from downtown, and double the price from outlying areas.

By cable car

  • The Powell/Mason cable car [73] line brings you a few blocks south of the center of the district, at Taylor and Bay Streets.
  • The Powell/Hyde cable car [74] line brings you to Fisherman's Wharf western end, at the intersection of Hyde and Beach Streets.

Both cable car lines start at Market and Powell, near the BART and Muni station there, pass Union Square, and traverse the charming hills and houses of San Francisco before reaching Fisherman's Wharf. The fare is $5 each way ($1 for seniors or disabled before 7AM and after 9PM), or use a Muni all-day Passport.

By streetcar

Streetcar near Pier 39
  • The historic F streetcar line (regular $1.50 Muni fare, $0.50 for seniors/disabled/youth) comes up on Market from Castro Street, turns west at the Embarcadero in front of the Ferry Building, and traverses much of Fisherman's Wharf. You can exit at any of the Market Street BART or MUNI Metro stations to catch the streetcar to Fisherman's Wharf.
  • There is a long-term plan to add an E-line with the same equipment, to go from the Caltrain station in South-of-Market (SoMa) to Fisherman's Wharf, and eventually past Aquatic Park, through a tunnel under Fort Mason into the Marina district.

By bus

  • MUNI [75] offers several bus routes to Fisherman's Wharf. The frequent 30 Stockton trolley bus and the 47 Van Ness bus go from the Caltrain station to Fisherman's Wharf, using very different routes. The 30 bus goes through downtown, passes Chinatown and North Beach, and then west via North Point Street up to Van Ness. The 47 bus takes longer; it goes first through the grubby parts of the South-of-Market (SoMa) area, then via the Civic Center up Van Ness, and finally east on North Point Street. Additionally, the 9X San Bruno Express, 10 Townsend, 19 Polk, and 20 Columbus also serve the area. The 39 Coit heads up to Coit Tower in North Beach. Fares are $1.50, $0.50 for seniors/disabled/youth.

By ferry

Several companies offer ferries serving the piers of Fisherman's Wharf:

  • Blue & Gold Fleet, Pier 39, +1 415 705-8200 (, fax: +1 415 705-5429), [1]. Times vary - see website. Offers ferries from Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island, Vallejo, and Alameda/Oakland to Pier 41. Price varies by departure point: adults $6-$12.50 one-way, children $3.25-$6.25 one-way.
  • Alameda/Oakland Ferry, Pier 41, +1 510 749-5972 (), [2]. Times vary - see website. Offering ferry service to/from Alameda/Oakland and Angel Island. Adults $6 one-way, seniors $3.50, children $3.25 one-way.
  • Vallejo Baylink Ferry, Pier 41, +1 877 643-3779 (, fax: +1 707 562-3141), [3]. Times vary - see website. Offering ferry service to/from Vallejo. Adults $12.50 one-way, seniors/children $6.25 one-way.

On foot

Due to its proximity to the Downtown area, one of the best ways to get to the Wharf is simply to walk! Eastbound through Fort Mason from the Marina (15 mins), northbound along Columbus Avenue from North Beach and Chinatown (25 mins), or northbound along the Embarcadero promenades and then westbound from the Ferry Building and the Financial District (25 mins).

Get around

Fisherman's Wharf is best seen on foot, but there are also pedicabs [76], horse-drawn carriages, and of course the F-Line streetcar [77], all of which will take you up and down the Wharf. There are also several companies in the district that rent bikes out to tourists by the hour or for the day, including Bay City Bike [78], Bike and Roll [79], and Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals [80]. The California Welcome Center is located on the second level of PIER 39, and they offer visitor maps and information on Fisherman's Wharf which will help you navigate your way around.


From east to west:

  • Pier 39, the Embarcadero at Beach Street (located on the fringe of Fisherman's Wharf), +1 415 705-5500 (), [4]. A 45-acre complex featuring 100 specialty stores, 12 full service restaurants, theater, cruises, live entertainment, and more. Free.
  • Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39 (at the foot of Pier 39, on the eastern side), +1 415 623-5300 (, fax: +1 415 623-5324), [5]. Open daily except Dec. 25. Summer hours daily 9AM-8PM. Most other times M-Th 10AM-6PM, F-Su 10AM-7PM. A great place and the right size for kids, with an underwater tunnel, where the fish look at you instead of vice versa, and ponds where you touch various live marine animals. $14.95 adults; $8 seniors (age 65+) and children (ages 3-11); $37.95 family (2 adults, 2 children). Children under 3 free.
  • The sea lions, PIER 39's West Marina, +1 415 289-SEAL (7325) (), [6]. Shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, these "Sea Lebrities" (as they are known) moved into the west marina at Pier 39. There can be as many as 900 sea lions there during the winter months. In the summertime many of them migrate but there is always a steady population at PIER 39's K-Dock all year round. The Marine Mammal Center’s Kiosk is located next to the sea lions where volunteers are happy to answer questions about the mammals. Free.
  • Street Performers, the Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water Center Stage, [7]. Daily Show Times: 12:15PM, 1:30PM, 3PM, 4:30PM, 5:45PM, 7PM, 8PM & 9PM. Jugglers, magicians, mimes, and comedians entertain PIER 39 visitors throughout the day. Free.
  • USS Pampanito Submarine, Pier 45, +1 415 775-1943 (, fax: +1 415 561-6660), [8]. Th-Tu 9AM-8PM, W 9AM-6PM; Winter hours: M-Th 9AM-6PM, F-Su 9AM-8PM. This is a National Historic Landmark - an authentic WWII submarine with many original artifacts on display. Up to 80 personnel ran this submarine for up to several weeks at a time. $9 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children/active military, free for children under 6.
  • SS Jeremiah O'Brien, Pier 45, +1 415 544-0100 (, fax: +1 415 544-9890), [9]. Daily 9AM-4PM. Located behind the Pampanito submarine is this WWII Liberty Ship open for tours. The SS Jeremiah O'Brien is the sole survivor of the armada of Allied ships which was involved in D-Day, and one of only two remaining WWII Liberty Ships surviving today (the other being the SS Lane Victory in San Pedro). $8 adults; $5 seniors, $4 children, free for children under 6 and active Military.
  • Amusing America Exhibit, Pier 45 (at the foot of Taylor Street), [10]. Daily 10AM-8PM. An fun exhibit that traces the history of amusement attractions in American cities, with a focus on San Francisco. Free.
  • Musee Mecanique, Pier 45, Shed A (behind Fisherman's Grotto No. 9), +1 415 346-2000 (), [11]. M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa-Su and Holidays 10AM-8PM. Has quite an interesting collection of about 300 coin-operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines, that date from the turn of the century.
  • Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, 145 Jefferson Street, Suite 500, +1 415 202-0400 (, fax: +1 415 771-9248), [12]. Daily 10AM-9PM. It has more than more than 270 wax portraits of entertainers, heroes, villains, etc. Adult (18-54) $12.95, Child (6-11) $6.95, Junior (12-17)/ Senior (55+) $9.95.
  • Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum, 175 Jefferson Street, +1 415 771-6188 (, fax: +1 415 771-1237), [13]. Mid June - Labor Day Su-Th 9AM-11PM, F-Sa 9AM-midnight; rest of the year Su-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa 10AM-midnight. 2 floors, 11 galleries and 100,000 square feet of exhibits, illusions, and interactive displays. $14.99 (ages 13 and older), $8.99 children (ages 5-12), $12.50 seniors and students (with I.D.).
  • Fish Alley, (turn right off Jefferson at Leavenworth). Don't forget to go and see the real fishing boats at what’s known as Fish Alley - after all it is "Fisherman's Wharf". If you want to see them actually hauling in their catch, you'll have to be there around 6:00 to 7:00 AM. Free.
  • The Cannery, Del Monte Square (at the foot of Columbus Street), +1 415 771-3112 (, fax: +1 415 771-2424), [14]. Built in 1907 with its award-winning architecture, overlooks San Francisco Bay and once upon a time was the largest peach cannery in the world. Today it's a bustling marketplace featuring three levels of restaurants, shops, offices, and live entertainment. In the middle it has a secluded courtyard with outdoor bars and cafes.
Balclutha on the Hyde Street Pier
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, (begins at the Hyde street pier), +1 415 447-5000 (fax: +1 415 556-1624), [15]. The park consists of a visitor center, Hyde Street Pier and the fleet of historic ships moored there, the Maritime Museum, Aquatic Park, and the Municipal Pier.
  • Visitor Center, The Cannery, Del Monte Square (at Hyde and Jefferson, across the street from the bridge), +1 415 447-5000. May 25 - September 30: 9:30AM-7PM, October 1 - May 24: 9:30AM-5PM. The Visitor Center has a visitor information desk and there are also a bunch of small craft and hands-on exhibits that depict San Francisco's rich maritime heritage. Free.
  • Hyde Street Pier, Ranger Office: +1 415 561-7170. May 25 - September 30: Daily 9:30AM-5:30PM (last entry 5PM). October 1 - May 24: 9:30AM-5PM (last entry 4:30PM). Prior to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, this historic ferry-pier was the primary automobile ferry terminal connecting San Francisco with Marin County and the East Bay. Free.
  • Fleet of Historic Vessels, moored at Hyde Street Pier, [16]. Six major ships are on display on the Hyde Street Pier. Some are available for a self-guided tour, others by docent-led tours. On payment of the $5 National Park Service fee several can be boarded, depending on tides; kids can join for free. Among the ships you can see are the Balclutha, an 1886 steel-hulled square rigged sailing ship, the Eureka, an 1890 steam ferryboat (which also has an exhibit of antique cars on board), the C.A. Thayer, an 1895 lumber schooner, and the Hercules, a 1907 steam tug. Boarding pass for historic vessels: $5 adults, supervised children under 16 free.
  • Maritime Museum, (located in Aquatic Park at the western end of Fisherman's Wharf), +1 415 556-3002, [17]. Daily 10AM-5PM - CURRENTLY CLOSED UNTIL 2009. Shaped like a ship, this building houses nautical treasures of all descriptions; model ships, figureheads, maritime paintings, nautical photographs, and various artifacts. For the moment, the exhibits have been moved to the Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center at Jefferson and Hyde. Free.
  • Aquatic Park and Municipal Pier, (located at the western end of Fisherman's Wharf), [18]. This area was once part of Fort Mason but is now a complex for museums and artisans, and a great place to take a break from the bustle of Fisherman's Wharf. There is a small beach at the foot of the park where you'll see kayakers, kite fliers, swimmers from the nearby Polar-Bear Club, and rock sculptors at work. At the end of the park is Municipal Pier - the closest you can get to Alcatraz on foot or bike. After dark it's a bit desolate. Free.
  • Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street (at the corner of Beach and Larkin Streets), +1 415 775-5500 (, fax: +1 415 775-0912), [19]. It was officially declared a city landmark in 1965, and today it's still possible to view the old chocolate-making machinery there. The square is packed with boutiques, restaurants, specialty stores, and galleries. It also has great views over the Bay. Free.


  • Walk. Walk and enjoy being a tourist. If it gets too much for you, escape to the west into the Marina and the Presidio. You can always find a bus to take you back. You can also make your walk more interesting if you download the Geogad Mobile Tour of Fisherman's Wharf [20] to your MP3 player. This tour explains that there is much more to Fisherman's Wharf than souvenir shops as you explore its history on your own schedule. Starting at Pier 39 and winding its way among the outdoor crab stands, the fishing fleet, the historic ships and cable cars, the tour ends at the Municipal Pier as you gaze out over the San Francisco Bay toward the Golden Gate Bridge. This free MP3 walking tour can be downloaded directly from the Geogad website. Then you can upload the tour to any MP3 device, but you will get the most from the tour if your MP3 player can display the included photos and maps.
  • Segway Guided Tour, Tours depart from the rear parking lot at 757 Beach Street near the corner of Hyde, +1 415 474-3130 (fax: +1 415 885-6070), [21]. Tours depart daily 9AM, 12:30PM and 4PM April-October. Tours depart daily 10:30AM and 1:30PM November-March. Take a 2 1/2-3 hour tour of Fisherman's Wharf by Segway. From $75 per person.
  • Pier 39. Detailed information listed under the See section above.
  • Ride the carousel, (first level at the Bay end of PIER 39), [22]. Handcrafted in Italy, the carousel is intricately hand-painted and depicts several famous local landmarks $3 per ride.
  • City Kayak, Pier 39, slip A21 and Pier 40, South Beach Harbor, +1 415 357-1010 (), [23]. Weekdays: Rentals are available by reservation from 10AM-7PM. Weekends: Walk-ins are welcome between 10AM-7PM. Enjoy the many great views of San Francisco from the water! It was named one of 50 great adventures by Travel & Leisure Magazine, April 2005 and the Best of the West in Sunset Magazine, April 2004. They offer kayak rentals from South Beach Harbor in San Francisco but only kayak trips from Fisherman's Wharf location. A 'trip' comes with a guide. From $39 adults, $33.15 students.
  • Frequent Flyers, Pier 39, +1 415 981-6300, [24]. This is a fun-filled bungee trampoline suitable for all ages, which allows you to try your hand at acrobatics, jumping up to 20 feet in the air. Jumpers must weigh between 30 pounds and 230 pounds. $10 per session.
  • Turbo Ride, Pier 39, +1 415 392-8872, [25]. An action packed adventure using sophisticated simulation technology to combine high resolution graphics and mechanical movement. $12.95 adults, $9.95 seniors (60+)/ children (3-11). For two features or a combo ticket, the admission is $15.95 adults, $12.95 seniors/children. The multi-ride ticket, which allows the visitor to ride each of the features, costs $17.95 adults, $14.95 seniors and children.
  • Riptide Arcade, Pier 39 M-3 (at the end of Pier 39), +1 415 981-6300 (, fax: +1 415 981-6308), [26]. Su-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa 10AM-11PM. Have some fun in the largest games arcade in San Francisco. Free Admission, price of games varies.
Cable cars at Hyde and Beach
  • Cable Car, Powell-Mason Line from Taylor & Bay or Powell-Hyde Line from Beach & Hyde, +1 415 981-6300 (), [27]. This is fun way to enter or leave the Wharf area. For your convenience, two cable car lines terminate at Fisherman's Wharf - one at Hyde Street & Beach Street and one at Bay Street & Taylor Street. $5 each way ($1 for seniors or disabled before 7AM and after 9PM).
  • Boudin Museum and Bakery Tour, 160 Jefferson Street, +1 415 928-1849, [28]. M, W-F 12PM-5PM, Sa-Su 11AM-6PM. Take a tour round the bakery, enjoy some of their interactive exhibits and learn about the history of Boudin.

Bay Cruises and Ferries

From Fisherman's Wharf, one has a wide variety of options to explore the City and the Bay by water.

  • Bay Cruises. Bay cruises are very popular 60-90 minute boat tours that usually take you underneath the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz, and along San Francisco's historic 150 year old waterfront. They also offer great views of the city's skyline. Some of them come with lively guides, others with headphone audio equipment. Some cruise providers have extended routes that take you past Angel Island and close to the shores of Tiburon and Sausalito. Others provide alternate routes that sail under the Bay Bridge as far as AT&T Park, along the San Francisco skyline, around Treasure Island, and along Alcatraz Island. Several operators provide specialist cruises of all descriptions including 'Sunset Cruises' and 'Dining Cruises' among others.

Take note
The National Park Service has an arrangement where a single company is granted an exclusive franchise to travel to Alcatraz. If you want to go to Alcatraz, there is only one company you can travel with, and private boats are forbidden. Recently the franchise was won by the non-union Hornblower Cruises company. The previous company, Blue and Gold Fleet, was a union shop. The union is currently picketing the Alcatraz Cruise to protest the loss of their jobs — only a small number of employees were hired by Hornblower. The union also claims the new cruise is unsafe and that the crews are inexperienced, despite the fact that the NPS and Coast Guard inspects for safety and Hornblower has been a cruise company for over twenty-five years. For the foreseeable future, you can only visit Alcatraz if you are willing to cross this picket line.

Approaching the Island of Alcatraz
  • Alcatraz Cruise, Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing, Box office: +1 415 981-ROCK (7625) (, fax: +1 415 986-1721), [29]. Cruises start at 9AM and continue throughout the day. Ten to 14 daily departures depending on the time of year. Evening tours offered Thursdays-Mondays. Alcatraz is a decommissioned island federal penitentiary in the bay. Information on the island can be found on the National Park Service's website [30]. Known by it's nickname "The Rock", this prison was once home to some of the most notorious inmates in the U.S., including Al Capone and Robert Stroud (The Birdman of Alcatraz). Take a tour and listen to an audio tape in English, Japanese, Chinese or other languages. The most interesting aspect of the tour is that you can go into the prison and see what it is like to be imprisoned. It might be more interesting if you've watched the movie Escape from Alcatraz and seen what happened in Alcatraz when it was operating as a prison. Tickets for the Ferry to Alcatraz are available at the Alcatraz Cruises website, but they sell out fast so buy in advance. Only one company is allowed exclusive access to dock at Alcatraz. Adults from $24.50, Children from $15.25, Seniors from $23.25.
  • Angel Island, [31]. Angel Island is open from 8AM to sunset year around. Take a ferry to this historic California State Park and Wildlife preserve - the "Jewel of San Francisco Bay". Spend a whole day on the largest island in San Francisco Bay - which was known as the "Ellis Island of the West". There are lots of activities once you get there - picnicking, hiking, biking, boating, camping, and baseball, or just spend a day lounging on one of the many beaches there.
  • Ferries. You can also take a simple ferry across the bay to Sausalito, Tiburon, Vallejo, or Alameda/Oakland, and explore on from there.

The following companies provide cruises or ferry service from Fisherman's Wharf.

  • Blue & Gold Fleet, Pier 39, +1 415 705-8200 (, fax: +1 415 705-5429), [32]. Cruise times vary - see website. In addition to their Bay Cruise from Pier 39, Blue & Gold Fleet offers ferries from Pier 41 across the bay to Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island, Vallejo, and Alameda/Oakland. Bay Cruise: adults $22, seniors (62+) and teens $18, children (5-11) $14. Ferries (price varies by destination): adults $6-$12.50 one-way, children $3.25-$6.25 one-way.
  • Red & White Fleet, Pier 43½, +1 415 673-2900 (fax: +1 415 447-0619), [33]. Cruise times vary - see website. They offer a 1 hour "Golden Gate Bay Cruise". They also offer a 2 hour "California Sunset Cruise". Bay Cruise: Adults $22, children/teens (5-17) $16 Sunset Cruise: Adult (18+) $48; and Youth (5-17) $33.
  • Alameda/Oakland Ferry, Pier 41, +1 510 749-5972, [34]. weekends/holidays only from late May through October. Offering ferry service to Alameda/Oakland and Angel Island. Adults $6 one-way, seniors $3.50, children $3.25 one-way.
  • Vallejo Baylink Ferry, Pier 41, +1 877 643-3779, [35]. Offering ferry service to Vallejo. Adults $12.50 one-way, seniors/children $6.25 one-way.
  • Adventure Cat Sailing Charters, J Dock next to Pier 39, +1 212.209.3370 or 800 498-4228, [36]. Cruise times vary - see website. Offer a 90 minute Bay Cruise on a 55-foot luxury Catamaran and also Sunset Cruises in the evening. Bay Cruise: Adult: $30, Children 6-12: $15,Kids 5 and under: $2; Sunset Cruise: Adult: $45 (no discount for children) - Includes light hors d’oeuvres and 2 complimentary drinks.

Events and Festivals

  • Crab Season. The festivities and excitement of Crab Season begin in November after a priest has officially blessed the fleet and crabbers set out to land their catch. Local vendors fire up their pots in preparation for the arrival of the delicious, and much sought-after Dungeness Crab. Approximately 1 million pounds of Dungeness are caught every year, ensuring that the feast lasts for several months.
  • Fleet Week, +1 650 599-5057 (), [37]. Usually held in the first week of October, it's a tribute to the men and women in the armed forces. A flotilla of Navy ships dock on the Wharf in parade fashion, and there are many free Deck tours available from crew members. There are also several air displays by the Navy's Blue Angels, Team Oracle, and the Air Force's F-16 Demonstration Team. Free, although you can pay up to $150 to watch the Air Show from premium select locations along the Marina Green and waterfront area.
  • Fourth of July. 2PM-10PM, 9:30PM fireworks. San Francisco's main Independence Day celebrations take place on Fisherman's Wharf. There is lots of free entertainment during the day, particularly around Aquatic Park and all down Jefferson Street. The festivities culminate with an impressive fireworks display from the foot of Municipal Pier, and off barges to the north of PIER 39. Free.
  • Opening Day on the Bay, Fisherman's Wharf Waterfront, +1 415 331-0702, [38]. An annual boat parade, held on the last Sunday in April, that signals the start of the Northern Californian sailing season. Up to 200 vessels, decked out in full regalia, participate each year and sail from the Golden Gate Bridge to Pier 39. Judges are on hand to award prizes in several categories. It is run by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association. Free.


There are five principal shopping centers in Fisherman's Wharf. However, all along the Wharf and its side streets, you will find an abundance of souvenir stores, T-shirt stores ("I'm with stupid" and "Alcatraz Outpatient"), electronic stores (digital cameras etc), candy and sweet stores, jewelry stores, craft stores, and various other specialty stores of all descriptions.

Three of the major shopping centers of Fisherman's Wharf are also attractions in their own right: Pier 39, The Cannery, and Ghirardelli Square (all listed above under See). Each one has multiple shops to explore.

  • The Anchorage Shopping Center, Anchorage Square (Leavenworth at Beach Street), +1 415 775-6000, ext. 203, [39]. Covering just one-square block in Fisherman's Wharf, there are over 30 specialty shops and restaurants here.
  • North Point Shopping Center, 900 North Point Street. Less touristy, and set back a few blocks from the actual Wharf, it contains 15 Shops and services, including a Safeway supermarket, Walgreens drug store, GNC, Radio Shack, ATMs, and 24 Hour Fitness center.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget $10 or less
Mid-range $10 - 20
Splurge $20 or more

Alas, much of the fare available is overpriced, but not all. If you're not into seafood at all, it's best to go to any other section of town. North Beach (Italian) and even Chinatown are within healthy walking distance. Many of the older established restaurants have Italian names, reflecting the diverse immigrant history of the City.


  • Chowder and Crab Sidewalk Stands, 200 Jefferson Street. Get clam chowder in a bread bowl, Dungeness crab (in season November through June), fish and chips, shrimp cocktails, calamari salad, etc. from this busy outdoor marketplace. If you're getting a crab, ask for a fresh one and they'll cook it up for you on the spot. From $4 up.
  • Boudin, Fisherman’s Wharf (3 locations): 156 Jefferson Street, 2890 Taylor Street, and Pier 39, +1 415 928-1849 (, fax: +1 415 283-1251), [40]. Pier 39 cafe: Daily 8AM-7PM. 2890 Taylor Street cafe: M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 9AM-7PM. Bistro: Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM. Home of the Sour dough bread with a recipe they've nurtured since 1849, where you can get (among other things) their popular clam chowder in a bread bowl. Visit their flagship location (the Bistro Boudin) at 156 Jefferson Street, where you can shop for gifts here or stroll around their museum to learn about Boudin's history. Cafes: $5-$7, Bistro: $15-$30.

Mid Range

  • Buena Vista Cafe, 2765 Hyde Street (at Beach Street), +1 415 474-5044 (, fax: +1 415 474-2207), [41]. M-F 9AM-2AM, Sa-Su 8AM-2AM. Famous for its Irish Coffee and great views over the Bay. Entrees $9-$17.
  • Eagle Cafe, Pier 39, Ste 201, +1 415 433-3689 (), [42]. Daily 7:30AM-9PM. One of the more reasonably priced places to eat on the Wharf. Traditional fare served. Pancakes are a favorite. $7-$30.
  • Sea Lion Cafe, Pier 39 (part of Neptune's Palace at the end of Pier 39), +1 415 434-2260 (, fax: +1 415 434-4208), [43]. Daily 11AM-8PM. Good restaurant if you're with kids, it serves fish & chips, fresh seafood entrées, cafe sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes while watching the sea lions (but expect to pay a "San Francisco Minimum Wage Surcharge" with every meal). Entrees from $9-$30.
  • Rainforest Cafe, 145 Jefferson Street, Suite 400, +1 415 440-5610, [44]. Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa 11AM-11PM. A jungle-themed restaurant with a wide variety of fare from chicken, seafood, pasta, pizza, and beef. Popular with young children. $5-$24.
  • Cioppiono's on the Wharf, 400 Jefferson Street (on the corner of Jefferson and Leavenworth Streets across from the Cannery Building on the bayside of Fisherman’s Wharf), +1 415 775-9311 (, fax: +1 415 775-7044), [45]. Open 365 days a year 11AM-10PM. Family dining with indoor and outdoor seating. Cioppino is a flavorful San Franciscan seafood soup. Entrees $14-$27.
  • McCormick and Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant, Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point Street, +1 415 929-1730 (, fax: +1 415 567-2919), [46]. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 10:30AM-10PM. A good seafood restaurant that also serves other fare such as pastas and steaks. The restaurant is perched atop Ghirardelli Square and has magnificent views of the Bay, as well as a spacious and airy feel inside. Dinner from $11 up.


  • No. 9 Fisherman's Grotto, No. 9 Fisherman's Wharf, +1 415 673-7025 (), [47]. Su-F 10AM-10PM, Sa 10AM-11PM. On the side of the plaza, this restaurant is an old favorite. The small ground floor room is a homey Venetian place; the upstairs is larger and more modern. Its windows overlook the fishing boats. Entrees from $14-$49.
  • Sabella and LaTorre, 2809 Taylor Street (Taylor Street and Jefferson), +1 415 673-2824 (, fax: +1 415 923-0585), [48]. Restaurant - 10:45AM-10:45PM; Crab Stand - 7AM-10:45PM. A family owned restaurant that's been open since 1927 providing fresh seafood, family fare, and a full bar. Famous for their "cracked crab". Entrees from $11-$37.50.
  • Alioto's, No. 8 Fisherman’s Wharf, +1 415 673-0183, [49]. Daily 11AM-11PM. Established in 1925 by the Alioto family, it serves Sicilian recipes incorporating the local, fresh seafood. Entrees $22-$48.
  • Scoma's Restaurant, Pier 47 on Al Scoma Way (where Jones and Jefferson Streets intersect), +1 415 771-4383 (, fax: +1 415 775-2601), [50]. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Su 11:30AM-10:30PM, Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. The Bar is open daily 30 minutes prior to lunch service. Overlooking the Bay and Alcatraz, and nestled among the fishing boats on Pier 47, this restaurant is popular among locals and tourists alike for it's fresh seafood. Entrees from $20.
  • Castagnola's, 286 Jefferson Street (across from Ripley's and the Wax Museum, and the nearby Ghirardelli Square), +1 415 776-5015 (fax: +1 415 776-0463), [51]. Daily 11AM-9PM. Voted San Francisco’s No. 1 Seafood and Family Restaurant of 1998 by The National Academy of Restaurant Evaluation and The Best of San Francisco Pocket Guide. They specialize in seafood and Italian Cuisine, and accent the food with quality Californian wines. Entrees from $20.
  • Nicks Lighthouse, 2815 Taylor Street (at Jefferson), +1 415 020-1300 (fax: +1 415 989-1544), [52]. Su-Th 11AM-10:30PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. Warm and aromatic Italian restaurant serving popular family fare. Entrees $12-$37.
  • Crab House at Pier 39, Pier 39, Second Level, West Side, +1 415 434-2722 (, fax: +1 415 434-4038), [53]. Daily 11AM-11PM. Voted "Best Crab in San Francisco" and famous for it's "Killer Crab" - 2 pounds of Dungeness Crab! Comes with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Entrees $18-$60.



  • Knuckles Sports Bar, 555 North Point Street, +1 415 486-4346 (), [54]. Bar 10:30AM-11:30PM, Restaurant 6:30AM-11PM. A lively sports bar with a huge 61" big-screen and filled with sports memorabilia.
  • Jacks Cannery Bar, 2801 Leavenworth Street, +1 415 931-6400. Daily 10AM-2AM. Opened in 1932. The bar has a 90 foot oak-paneled hall. 110 Beers on tap!
  • Lou's Pier 47 Restaurant and Blues Club, 300 Jefferson Street, +1 415 771-LOUS (5687) (, fax: +1 415 771-7060), [55]. Open at 11AM daily. Lou's has live Blues music 7 days a week. Cover Charge: M-Th: 4PM-8PM $3, 8PM-close $5, F: 4PM-8PM $3, 8PM-close $10, Sa: 4PM-8PM $5, 8PM-close $10, Su: 4PM-8PM $3, 8PM-close $5, Sa 12PM-3PM show is free.
  • Dirty Martini, 2801 Leavenworth Street, +1 415 775-5110 (), [56]. M-Th 4PM-2AM, F-Su 2PM-2AM. Featuring "Happy & Hungry Hour: 4-8PM Daily - $3 coronas, $5 margaritas, $5 specialty drinks. Light menu is available. Free snacks, free pool.
  • Fiddler's Green, 1333 Columbus Avenue, +1 415 441-9758, [57]. Daily 9AM-2AM. Irish bar and restaurant featuring live music and DJ's.
  • Las Margaritas, Del Monte Square, 2nd Level, South Bldg (Jefferson and Leavenworth), +1 415 776-6996. Daily 10AM-11:30PM. A Fruit Margarita in the Cannery.
  • Red Jack Saloon, 131 Bay Street, +1 415 989-0700. Daily 11AM-2AM. Dive Bar, set back a few blocks from the Wharf, it's popular with Eastcoasters and Red Sox fans. Cheap drinks and a decent Juke Box.
  • O'Neill's Irish Pub, Ghirardelli Square, +1 415 771-8560, [58]. Daily 12PM-2AM. Irish Bar with great views over the Bay and of the Golden Gate Bridge. Given its swanky location, the drinks are unsurprisingly a little more expensive.
  • Club 383, 383 Bay Street, +1 415 399-9555. Th-Sa 9PM-2AM. Has a trendy lounge feel with reasonably priced drinks.


  • San Francisco Tea & Coffee Co., Pier 39 (Beach Street and The Embarcadero), +1 415 421 5119, [59]. M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa-Su 10AM-10PM. Serving a broad range of organic teas, herbal teas, white teas, rooibos, and coffee.
  • Ghirardelli Choclaterie and Cafe, Ghirardelli Square, +1 415 474-3938. M-Th 8:30AM-8PM, F 8:30AM-10PM, Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 9AM-8PM. Serving premium espresso drinks, pastries, and desserts.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget under $200
Mid-range $200 - 274
Splurge $275 and over

Many of the nation-wide chains have hotels in the area. Do check for the actual location if you want to be right in Fisherman's Wharf - the names of the accommodations can be confusing.


  • Wharf Inn, 2601 Mason Street, +1 415 673-7411 (, fax: +1 415 776-2181), [60]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Small, friendly, and in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf. It has free parking. $160-$195.


  • Holiday Inn Express San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf, 550 North Point Street, +1 415 409-4600 (, fax: +1 415 409-5111), [61]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. One of the better rated hotels on the Wharf. $200-$270.
  • Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf, 250 Beach Street, +1 415 392-6700 (, fax: +1 415 986-7853), [62]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 12PM. Nice hotel, centrally located (only two blocks from Pier 39). Heated outdoor swimming pool. $190-$400.
  • Holiday Inn - Fisherman's Wharf, 1300 Columbus Avenue, +1 415 771-9000 (fax: +1 415 771-7006), [63]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Among the bars, cafes, and the vast number of specialty shops in Fisherman's Wharf. $220-$270.
  • Hilton Fisherman's Wharf, 2620 Jones Street (2 blocks southwest of Pier 39), +1 415 885-4700 (fax: +1 415 771-8945), [64]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Non-Smoking Hotel. $240-$360.
  • Suites at Fisherman's Wharf, 2655 Hyde Street, +1 415 771-0200 (), [65]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 10AM. Limited to 24 luxury suites in San Francisco, the Suites at Fisherman’s Wharf offers comfortable one or two-bedroom floor plans, each finely appointed with the lavish furnishings you’d expect from a sophisticated San Francisco hotel. $175-$250.
  • Best Western Tuscan Inn Fisherman's Wharf, 425 North Point Street, +1 415 561-1100 and +1 800 648-4626 (fax: +1 415 561-1199), [66]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Selected as one of the "World's Best Places to Stay," by Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List 2005. $180-$250.
  • Courtyard-Fisherman's Wharf, 580 Beach Street, +1 415 775-3800‎ (fax: +1 415 441-7307), [67]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Part of the Marriott group this non-smoking, four story hotel is just 2 blocks from Ghirardelli Square. $210-$290.


  • Sheraton-At Fisherman's Wharf, 2500 Mason Street, +1 415 362-5500 (, fax: +1 415 956-5275), [68]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. This hotel is newly renovated and centrally located. $230-$290.
  • Hyatt-At Fisherman's Wharf, 555 North Point Street, +1 415 563 1234 (fax: +1 415 486-4444), [69]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Modern hotel, full-service, clean. $250-$350.
  • Marriott Fisherman's Wharf, 1250 Columbus Avenue, +1 415 775-7555 and +1 800 551-6433 (fax: +1 415 474-2099), [70]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 12PM. 285 Rooms and 11 suites. $200-$300.
  • Argonaut Hotel, 495 Jefferson Street (at the end of the Powell-Hyde cable car line and right across from the historical ships, with nautical exhibits next to the lobby), +1 415 563-0800 (fax: +1 415 563-2800), [71]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. A high-end luxury boutique hotel overlooking the Bay and very centrally located on the Wharf. Ask for a room away from the front if you mind noise. It's a 100% smoke free environment. $250-$450.


  • Fisherman's Wharf Deli & Taqueria, 2640 Mason Street (between Beach St. & Jefferson St.), +1 415 788-1110. Daily 7AM-5PM. Internet Facilities. $3 for 20 min, $5 for 40 min, $7 an hour.
  • California Welcome Center, PIER 39, P Building-2nd Level (on Pier 39, next to the Frequent Flyers), +1 415 981-1280 (), [72]. Winter hours: daily 10AM-5PM. Summer hours: daily 10AM-6PM. In addition to maps and info, the welcome center also offers a computer with internet access. $5 for 20 min.

Stay safe

Fisherman's Wharf sometimes attracts an unsavory element; with questionable charitable organizations, timeshare marketers, and 'Three Cup Shuffle' scam artists. It's wise to steer clear of these traps, and be mindful of how you spend your money!

Beware of pickpocketing, it is a common occurrence at Fisherman's Wharf. Follow the usual steps for avoiding being pickpocketed, such as keeping your wallet inside your front pocket or an inside jacket pocket.

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