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Fisherman's WharfSan Francisco

This waterfront neighborhood dates back to the gold rush era and is a hub for tourist activities, sea lions and seafood restaurants.

The traditional waterfront life on this historic wharf founded in the mid-1800s has long since faded, with only a few fishing boats now serving a handful of local restaurants. For generations, Chinese and then Italian immigrants mined the rich ocean. The Italian fishermen were as colorful as the tiny wooden boats they sailed into the bay, singing arias while hunting for oysters, shrimp and Dungeness crabs and then selling their catch in stands along the wharf. While these craftsmen are no longer there, the festive environment of the wharf has been preserved.

Fisherman’s Wharf is now a thriving shopping and entertainment hub with souvenir stores, clam chowder stands, upscale seafood restaurants, museums and street performers. It’s a bustling day-and-night carnival that extends from Ghirardelli Square at the wharf’s west end to Pier 39 and its amusing sea lion population at the east end. The sea lions, who live on floating wooden platforms beside the pier for most of the year, are among San Francisco’s most famous and verbal residents.

For some old-fashioned fun, spend some time at the Musee Mecanique, an interactive collection of mechanical machines and penny arcades. Mingle with wax figures of your favorite movies stars at Madame Tussauds or experience what life was like aboard a World War II submarine with a visit to the USS Pampanito. If you have a few hours free, head to Pier 33 and catch a ferry to Alcatraz Island.

There are plenty of dining options here, from sidewalk stands to cafés and restaurants, with seafood front-and-center on many menus. However, you can also find Italian, Chinese and other sumptuous ethnic offerings. Many restaurants offer a quiet respite in which to refuel as well as great views of the ocean, Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge.

The best way to visit this neighborhood is by public transport and on foot. Parking is available in the vicinity of the wharf but it’s not cheap. To really get you in the feel for old-time San Francisco, jump on the Powell/Mason cable car line and you'll land only a couple of blocks south of Fisherman's Wharf. The rattle and clang of the typically San Francisco transport adds to the spirit of the journey.

Top Hotels in Fisherman's Wharf

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco
Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco
4 out of 5
555 N Point St, San Francisco, CA
The price is $159 per night

Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and Lombard Street. Pier 39 and Van Ness ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,366 reviews)

"They have FREE bike rentals for guests, their restaurant, the Brick and Beam was so cool and delicious. It so close to everything, including the cable car!"…"

Reviewed on Mar 11, 2020

Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
3.5 out of 5
1300 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA
The price is $148 per night

This family-friendly San Francisco hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Maritime Museum, ...

4.3/5Excellent! (150 reviews)

"Staff was very friendly. Location was excellent, easy walk to Fisherman's Wharf. There were 2 problems with the description in the Expedia booking. It was stated that breakfast was to be included but breakfast was for purchase only also we were booked for a king bed with a port view, there was no ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 18, 2020

Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
4 out of 5
250 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA

Located in North Beach, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of USS Pampanito and Pier 39. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 15 ...

4/5Very Good! (3,352 reviews)

"The room was spacious and extremely comfortable,the view beautiful Only disappointment was to have a shower and no tub"…"

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020

Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel
Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel
4.5 out of 5
495 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $229 per night

This family-friendly San Francisco hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Hyde Street Pier and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (7,531 reviews)

"The view is great,, the room was also beautiful and welcoming"…"

Reviewed on Mar 22, 2020

Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The price is $139 per night

Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Alcatraz Island are ...

3.9/5Very Good! (6,013 reviews)

"The hotel Riu was very nice very clean the room was beautiful and very Martin the lobby was very nice the food was very good"…"

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2020

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Wharf Inn
Wharf Inn
2.5 out of 5
2601 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The price is $101 per night

Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also ...

3.6/5Good! (2,010 reviews)

"I will definitely return to this property. In the midst of the Corona Virus and lock down in San Francisco the people were so informed and helpful. The Wharf Inn is located perfectly and parking is great. Very secure and safe!"…"

Reviewed on Mar 19, 2020

Wharf Inn

Popular places to visit in Fisherman's Wharf

Pier 39
Image for Pier 39

Pier 39

4.5/5(6,816 reviews)

This waterfront attraction offers thrilling rides, innovative street performers and colorful souvenir shops, but it’s the sea lions that win the day. 

Ghirardelli Square
Image for Ghirardelli Square

Ghirardelli Square

4.5/5(3,699 reviews)

You can browse for souvenirs when you visit Ghirardelli Square, a favorite shopping spot in San Francisco. Discover the beautiful sunsets and notable monuments in this vibrant area.

Aquarium of the Bay
Image for Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay

4.5/5(142 reviews)

Make time in your itinerary to visit the sea life who live at Aquarium of the Bay during your trip to San Francisco. Experience the acclaimed art scene and fascinating museums in this vibrant area.

USS Pampanito
Image for USS Pampanito

USS Pampanito

You can spend time studying the exhibits at USS Pampanito during your trip to San Francisco. Experience the fascinating museums and acclaimed theater scene in this vibrant area.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Image for San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

4.5/5(25 reviews)

Step aboard century-old ships, watch boat builders at work, browse exhibits about U.S. maritime heritage and enjoy scenic picnics at this historic waterfront district.

Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze
Image for Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze

Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze

Enjoy an outing to Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze during your stay in San Francisco. Experience the acclaimed theater scene and fascinating museums in this vibrant area.

Top things to do in Fisherman's Wharf

Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island
Image for Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island

Escape From the Rock - Cruise Around Alcatraz Island

78% of travellers recommend
$42
Per adult
Bridge 2 Bridge Tour: Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge
Image for Bridge 2 Bridge Tour: Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge

Bridge 2 Bridge Tour: Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge

92% of travellers recommend
$44
Per adult
Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour
Image for Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour

Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour

100% of travellers recommend
$25
Per adult
Muir Woods Tour of California Redwoods (Ticket fee included)
Image for Muir Woods Tour of California Redwoods (Ticket fee included)

Muir Woods Tour of California Redwoods (Ticket fee included)

96% of travellers recommend
$85
Per adult
Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay
Image for Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay

Catamaran Sailing Cruise on the Bay

96% of travellers recommend
$45
Per adult
Monterey, Carmel & Pacific Coast Highway - Full Day Tour
Image for Monterey, Carmel & Pacific Coast Highway - Full Day Tour

Monterey, Carmel & Pacific Coast Highway - Full Day Tour

88% of travellers recommend
$89
Per adult

Other neighborhoods in San Francisco

North Beach which includes skyline and a city

North Beach

4.5/5Wonderful!(2,698 area reviews)

Pier 39 and Exploratorium are top sights in North Beach, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at The Embarcadero & Bay St Stop or Beach St & Stockton St Stop to see more sights in the area.

North Beach
Nob Hill showing a city and street scenes

Nob Hill

4.5/5Wonderful!(1,100 area reviews)

Travelers love Nob Hill for its popular shops, and you can see more of San Francisco by jumping on the metro at Washington St & Leavenworth St Stop or Washington St & Jones St Stop. You might spend time checking out top sights like Van Ness Avenue and Grace Cathedral.

Nob Hill
Chinatown which includes street scenes

Chinatown

4/5Very Good!(268 area reviews)

Norras Temple and Tin How Temple are top sights in Chinatown, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Powell St & Clay St Stop or Powell St & Jackson St Stop to see more sights in the area.

Chinatown
Marina District featuring heritage architecture as well as a small group of people

Marina District

4/5Very Good!(1,279 area reviews)

The beautiful waterfront views and popular shops are just a few highlights of Marina District. Make a stop by Palace of Fine Arts or Fort Mason while you're exploring the area.

Marina District
Cow Hollow featuring street scenes and signage

Cow Hollow

4/5Very Good!(164 area reviews)

The beautiful waterfront views and popular shops are just a few highlights of Cow Hollow. Make a stop by Van Ness Avenue or Union Street while you're exploring the area.

Cow Hollow
Financial District - Ferry Building

Financial District

4.5/5Wonderful!(1,246 area reviews)

Enjoy the popular shops in Financial District. Embarcadero Center is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at California St & Battery St Stop or Market St & Battery St Stop to see more of San Francisco.

Financial District