Your Destination Guide to San Francisco

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Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf

© Ashleigh Nushawg

Blubbery locals lounge on their salty docks, barking at tourists, the famed sea lions of the wharf. The silver spray-painted statue nearby shifts his weight slightly and before you can react, he's doing the robot.

Fisherman's Wharf is home to the 200,000 square foot bazaar known as Pier 39, which features an assortment of dining venues and attractions. An afternoon at Fisherman's Wharf will also afford you the opportunity to step into California history as you amble down Hyde Street Pier. The San Francisco Maritime Museum maintains several historical steamboats, schooners, tugboats and square-rigged ships, all of which are docked on the pier and open for self-guided tours.

Since 1964, Fisherman's Wharf has grown to become a motley venue for street performers and vendors. Visual artists, magicians and street musicians all thrive in the damp, salty atmosphere of the wharf. It's entirely possible to lose an afternoon listening to a baritone voice and a weathered steel guitar on the sidewalk.

The tangy scent of fresh Dungenesscrab and sourdough hangs perpetually in the air. Dockside, you'll find the freshest crab meat of your life, as well as the clam chowder that the city has become known for, served in a bread bowl.

If you prefer a soft, candlelit dining ambiance, the Wharf also hosts many high-end restaurants. Tarantino's will guarantee seafood brought in from the tip of the pier, and the family-run Alioto's still delivers Sicilian dishes that would make its ancestors proud. Or, if you're simply looking for an afternoon's diversion, the people-watching by the pier is unbeatable.

Be wary of the infamous Bush Man, however. The merry prankster delights in appearing from behind seemingly innocuous plants and startling pedestrians.

Attraction Information

  • Hours:
  • Varies by venue. See website for specific destinations
  • Metro Stop:
  • Muni streetcar F: exit at Powell, Taylor or Fishermans Wharf
  • Contact:
  • Fisherman's Wharf Merchants Association:
  • Location: Al Scoma Way at Pier 47, San Francisco, CA
  • Phone: 415-674-7503
  • Website:
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