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Fisherman’s Wharf


Fisherman’s Wharf, one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist areas, is a vibrant neighborhood known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood, unique shopping experiences, and family-friendly attractions. Situated on the northern waterfront, it is one of the city’s busiest tourist areas, offering an array of sights, tastes, and sounds that encapsulate the vibrant culture of San Francisco.


The history of Fisherman’s Wharf is steeped in the tradition of San Francisco’s fishing industry. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Italian immigrant fishermen settled in the area and fished for the plentiful dungeness crab, among other catches. It was these hardworking fishers who established the Wharf as a hub for the city’s seafood industry, a legacy that is still present today.

As San Francisco grew, so did Fisherman’s Wharf’s popularity. The post-World War II era saw it turn into a bustling tourist destination. Former canneries and fish processing buildings were transformed into shops and restaurants, and attractions like the Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! added to its appeal.


  • Fisherman’s Wharf covers the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Square or Van Ness Avenue east to Pier 35 or Kearny Street.
  • The area is home to San Francisco’s fishing fleet.
  • It is one of the busiest and well known tourist attractions in the western United States.
  • Fisherman’s Wharf is best known for being the location of Pier 39, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, and the Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf.


Fisherman’s Wharf is located on the northern edge of San Francisco, bordered by the bay. The main streets running through Fisherman’s Wharf are Jefferson and Taylor, with the Embarcadero running close by, which leads to Pier 39, one of the area’s most famous attractions.


For more information about Fisherman’s Wharf, including events, attractions, and dining options, visitors can check out the official website of the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District at

Opening Hours

Fisherman’s Wharf is an open area accessible 24/7, but individual businesses, attractions, and restaurants have their own specific hours. Most retail stores and attractions open between 10:00 am and 9:00 pm.

Things to Do

  • Seafood Dining: Enjoy clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl or fresh crab from the stalls on the sidewalk.
  • Explore Pier 39: Experience various shops, restaurants, and the famous sea lions that lounge on the docks.
  • Visit the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park: See historic ships, a maritime museum, and a visitor center.
  • Take a Cruise: Embark on a boat tour to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the San Francisco skyline from the water.
  • Ride the San Francisco Cable Car: Catch a ride from Fisherman’s Wharf for a historic trip through the city.

Tips For Visiting

  • Arrive Early: To avoid the crowds, try to get there early in the day.
  • Don’t Drive: Parking can be scarce and expensive; it’s better to use public transport, a taxi, or a rideshare service.
  • Dress in Layers: The weather can be cool and breezy, especially in the morning and evening.
  • Try the Street Food: Don’t miss out on the fresh seafood that’s available from street vendors.
  • Explore Beyond the Main Attractions: There are quieter and less crowded areas of the Wharf that are rich in history and offer fantastic views.


Fisherman’s Wharf is a bustling and lively area filled with activities and attractions that cater to all ages and interests. Whether you’re in search of a gourmet meal, interested in maritime history, or looking for family fun, the Wharf offers an authentic San Francisco experience. Its combination of scenic beauty, cultural offerings, and historic significance makes it an enduring representation of the city’s charm and a place where visitors can create lasting memories.

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