Western Trips

Monday, June 4, 2018

San Francisco / Fisherman's Wharf to the Historic Ferry Building

Fisherman's Wharf

Encompassing the northern waterfront of San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf can be considered the city's top tourist attraction. At one time Fisherman's Wharf was home to the city's very active fishing fleet that numbered some 500 vessels.

fishermans wharf boats
Fishing fleet
Most often today Fisherman's Wharf is the first area a new tourist to San Francisco visits. Souvenir shops and stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls are found on the walkways. You'll find many excellent restaurants throughout the Wharf area featuring fresh seafood and excellent Italian cuisine. Looking for great photo opportunities and you'll experience a colony of sea lions and two historic ships to tour. These are the World War Two USS Pampanito submarine and the Liberty Ship Jeremiah O'Brien.

Ghirardelli Square is located adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf and is an iconic landmark steeped in the history of San Francisco. At Ghirardelli Square, boutiques and eateries reside in the famous former chocolate factory. 

hyde street pier san francisco
Hyde Street Pier Entrance
The Hyde Street Pier is a historic ferry pier just to the north of Fisherman's Wharf. This is a part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

In addition to several historic vessels, some of which you can board and tour, you'll also be able to explore the historic old car ferry Eureka which plied the waters of San Francisco Bay during the early part of the 1900's. Many fine time period exhibits are on the Eureka including a display of classic cars and trucks from the first half of the 1900's. 
The Fisherman's Wharf area hosts many annual events such as a great fireworks display in July to Fleet Week and Holiday festivities. The San Francisco Bay tour boat fleets are located just to the north of Pier 39.
The San Francisco Bay cruise is one of the must do's in San Francisco. See the sights along the waterfront, Alcatraz Island and a trip under the Golden Gate Bridge. Keep in mind that there are also sport fishing charters available as well.

Fisherman's Wharf Pier 39

sea lions california
Sea Lions off Pier 39
Pier 39 is a very popular waterfront marketplace on the southern edge of Fisherman's Wharf. It is constructed on a 1,000 foot long pier and surrounded by small boat marinas. 

Lots of shops and plenty of excellent restaurants offering a large variety of cuisine. On top of that Pier 39 offers tremendous views of San Francisco Bay and the city. You'll also find the Aquarium of the Bay where you can observe the beauty and diversity of Northern California aquatic life. Add to that Pier 39's colony of sea lions typically resting on floating wood platforms. 

The Exploratorium

exploratorium san francisco
Exploratorium at Pier 15
The Exploratorium is a museum in San Francisco that allows visitors to explore the world through science, art, and human perception. Its mission is to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning worldwide. It is located between the Ferry Building and Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 15. The museum is large and filled with fun and knowledge and it is said by many to occupy first place among museums in San Francisco.

See these additional Western Trips articles found on the links below.... 

The San Francisco Cable Car Museum

Tour the USS Pampanito World War Two Submarine

The Ferry Building on the Embarcadero
The Ferry Building could be the most identifiable building in San Francisco. It is also very popular with tourists and locals alike. 
The Ferry Building was constructed in 1898 by noted architect Arthur Page Brown. The most recognizable feature on the Ferry Building is the clock tower rising 235 feet and visible for much of the length of Market Street.The clock faces on the tower were the largest in the United States at the time. It was noted that the tower was modeled after the Giralda of the Cathedral of Seville .

ferry building san francisco
The Ferry Building
The building opened to the public in July, 1898. The Colusa limestone building replaced an earlier wooden terminal located at the same location. The Ferry Building was used as San Francisco's main transportation hub for a half-century and the most significant building to survive the devastating 1906 Earthquake.

Today. the San Francisco Ferry Building is many things. It serves as a pier for passenger ferries that traverse San Francisco Bay, a large marketplace and an office building.The Ferry building offers a unique shopping experience. Not only is there great produce when the farmers markets are running, but the shops and restaurants inside the Ferry Building are excellent.

(Photos are copyright Western Trips) 

alcatraz island san francisco bay
Alcatraz Island as seen from Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf restaurants
san francisco skyline
Skyline from Pier 39
trolleys san francisco
Trolleys that serve the Wharf and Embarcadero