Visit San Francisco’s #1 tourist destination! Fisherman’s Wharf is a bustling hub of activity from morning until after dark. Eat freshly caught Dungeness crab, purchase San Francisco memorabilia, or take a tour of the surrounding area on a Segway. Fisherman’s Wharf offers hours of entertainment, especially if you know where to look. Hot deals on many of the Wharf’s best attractions and eateries!
Take a streetcar to Fisherman’s Wharf! The F line and the E line streetcars both run along The Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf. This is the easiest way to visit Pier 39 if you are coming from The Embarcadero.
Public Transit: Muni line 47 stops a block away from Fisherman’s Wharf. Muni line 30 stops two blocks away.
BIG SAVINGS on Recommended Things To Do, Places to Dine and Shopping for Souvenirs
- Take a TOUR
- DINE for a discounted rate
- Enjoy many of the Wharf’s ATTRACTIONS and MUSEUMS
- Spend the day SIGHTSEEING or SHOPPING for souvenirs
- Explore HISTORIC FISHERMAN’S WHARF
The Fisherman’s Wharf area was originally the location of a small fishing community of first generation Italian immigrants who made the area their home in the early 1800s. These families owned fishing boats that set sail daily, hauling in a wide variety of fresh fish, crab, and other seafood to sell and eat at home.
It was only natural that these fishermen and their families would develop delicious recipes from the food they caught. Italian-owned seafood restaurants began cropping up along the waterfront. Today, the original fishermen have passed on, but their descendants continue the family legacy by operating restaurants established by their seafaring ancestors.
Fisherman’s Wharf attracts millions of visitors every year, making it the #1 tourist destination in San Francisco. The famous Fisherman’s Wharf sign, with the crab emblazoned on a ship’s steering wheel, is one of the most photographed locations in the city.
Fisherman’s Wharf offers the widest variety of fresh seafood in town! Street vendors sell fresh crab and other seafood, while tour operators line the sidewalk and offer tickets to bay cruises.
The fishing boats moored at Fisherman’s Wharf today mostly belong to third generation descendants of the original Italian fishermen who populate the area. Most local restaurants are Italian-owned, thanks to a deeply rooted Italian-American history.
Nightlife at Fisherman’s Wharf consists of live music at Castagnola’s, sunset cruises, and more.
Wharfpass: This one-price admission pass to the best Wharf attractions, Tours, and Bay Cruises, is a great deal for every visitor! For just $90.00 for adults and $65.00 for children visitors can save up to $38 per person! Take a tour, bay cruise, or visit the wharf’s famous attractions.
Segway Tour: Located a ten-minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco Electric Tours offers you hours of enjoyment upon a Segway! Tour the wharf and waterfront, Little Italy, and Aquatic Park during your guided tour. Alternately, take an electric bike tour across the Golden Gate Bridge!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: Visit this “Odditorium” and marvel at the museum’s collection of incredible artifacts, strange exhibits, and unusual art! This self-guided tour is interactive and allows guests to enjoy the attraction at their own pace. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop, where candy comes in delightful shapes and colors.
Aquatic Park: Visit the only floating National Historic Park! Hyde Street Pier is home to historic vessels that offer tours and demonstrations. Don’t forget to visit the Maritime Museum, created in the shape of an ocean liner! Take a tour of several historic ships. The SS Jeremiah O’Brien is a WWII Liberty ship is the only ship that returned to the shores of Normandy for the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. Tour the ship’s vast hold, visit the gift shop, and walk through the engine room that appeared in the movie Titanic. U.S. sailors spent hundreds of days in the small quarters of the U.S.S. Pampanito submarine. Step inside to experience what life was like for these men.
Boudin Bakery: Visit the birthplace of sourdough bread! Boudin Bakery’s glass windows allow visitors to watch bakers pound and mold sourdough bread into the shape of crabs, crocodiles, bears, and more! Try their famous clam chowder sourdough bread bowl, or peruse the gift shop for specialty kitchen items.
Nearby Points of Interest
Cable Cars: open to the public since 1873, this fascinating mode of transportation conveys visitors from Market Street to Beach Street, where Fisherman’s Wharf is less than a ten minute walk away. Be sure to watch operators move the cable car on a turntable to point it in the right direction for the return trip to Market Street!
Alcatraz Island: this island prison is now a famous tourist attraction, but in its heyday, it housed the era’s most infamous prisoners. Inmates could hear laughter carried across the water from the city, and many attempted the one-mile swim to land. Visit today for a tour!
Pier 39: Famous for its sunbathing sea lions, shopping, and seafood, Pier 39 houses a delightful collection of specialty shops and tourist attractions that will delight the entire family. Eat at the Hard Rock Café, ride the vintage hand painted carousel, or watch a live magic show with the kids. Don’t forget to visit the Welcome Center for your free coupon booklet!
Aquarium of the Bay: Located at Pier 39, the aquarium is home to sharks, bat rays, sea anemones, and more! Its interactive exhibits allow visitors a rare chance to feel and interact with creatures difficult to access in the wild, such as sea anemones and starfish.
Coit Tower: don’t miss the panorama from the 210-foot high tower, which offers views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, the Bay Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline.
North Beach / Little Italy: five minutes by car, Little Italy offers a variety of bars, comedy clubs, and authentic Italian restaurants. Try some focaccia bread, or take a walk in the relaxing green space of Washington Square.
More About Pier 39
Pier 39 construction began in 1977. The Pier opened in 1978 and ten years later was named the third-most visited attraction in the country. Pier 39 remains a top tourist attraction to this day, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors from the U.S. and across the globe.
Located at Stockton and Embarcadero, Pier 39 is perfectly situated on the waterfront near the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf. Pier 39 offers two stories of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Pier 39 is family-friendly, with multiple attractions and shops that will appeal to all members of the family. The Pier features over 110 specialty shops and numerous dining options.
Attractions at the Pier
Sea Lions: Dozens of barking sea lions bask in the sun on wooden floats at the end of Pier 39. These sea lions have called Pier 39 home since 1990 and are a prominent tourist attraction.
Carousel: The carousel is a two-story delight that features mythical sea monsters, horses, pandas, and other creatures as mounts. Handcrafted and painted in Italy, this marvelous piece of functional art depicts artwork of famous city landmarks and vistas. The carousel is located halfway down the Pier, allowing for plenty of stops along the way.
Alpine Spring Water Stage: Watch street performers and magicians. Performers select children from the audience to help in the production, allowing for an interactive and exciting experience for the entire family.
Food: Numerous restaurants call the Pier home, including the Hard Rock Café, Bubba Gump, and Hana Zen. Dessert shops include the Crepe Café, Maui Wowi Hawaiian Smoothies, and more.
Shopping: Many options ranging from clothing stores and a poster shop to a collectible memorabilia shop. You can also find high-end jewelry, shells, novelty items, specialty gifts, and more for sale at various shops at the Pier.
Aquarium of the Bay: the aquarium overlooks the bay and offers glimpses of over 20,000 local sea creatures. Visitors can interact with animals like the Giant Blue-Tongued Skink, or the Dwarf Hedgehog, during visiting hours. You can also pet a bat ray and other sea creatures.
Rocketboat: The Rocketboat is a speedboat ride that makes sharp turns and accelerations on the bay, giving riders the feeling of being on a tame water roller coaster. The view of the city from the bay is spectacular, especially on a clear day. This attraction is seasonal and runs from May-October, so be sure to check ahead of time for departure dates.
Parking at Pier 39 Garage
The parking garage is conveniently located across the street from the Pier and is open 24-hours a day. Visitors who dine a participating full-service Pier 39 restaurants receive one hour of free validated parking, so be sure to ask your server to validate your ticket.