By far the most-visited waterfront district on the west coast, Fisherman’s Wharf attracts tourists from around the globe. Established as a fishing facility during California’s gold rush years, the wharf area was originally populated by Italian immigrants who hauled their morning catch aboard green-painted, lateen-rigged sailing vessels called feluccas.
Today there is scant evidence of the old-fashioned sailboats beloved by the singing sailors of San Francisco Bay. Arrive at the pier behind Scoma’s seafood restaurant between 6:00 and 7:00 AM, however, and you will see the now-motorized fishing fleet bringing in their morning’s catch. Early morning is also the right time to catch a wonderful whiff of the Boudin sourdough bakery at 160 Jefferson Street.
How to get there
Fisherman’s Wharf extends along Jefferson Street between Ghirardelli Square at Van Ness Avenue east to Pier 39 at the end of Kearny Street. Board a cable car at the intersection of Powell and Market Streets or at any cable car stop with a brown-and-white traffic sign. Cable cars in The City are color-coded; cars with red signs are heading toward Aquatic Park and Fisherman’s Wharf.
What to see
Top attractions in the area include but are not limited to:
- Ghirardelli Square
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum
- San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
- The Cannery
- Musée Mécanique
Where to eat
San Francisco is revered for its splendid variety of restaurants. At Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll find a number of eateries that specialize in locally-caught Dungeness crab and creamy clam chowder served up in fresh sourdough bread bowls. For a true five-star dining experience, reserve a table at Gary Danko at 800 N. Point Street or Scoma’s at Pier 47. To eat on the cheap, try In-n-Out Burger at 333 Jefferson Street or stop by The Codmother at 2824 Jones Street for a yummy basket of fish and chips.