Sea lions in sunlight at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is by far the more popular neighborhood in San Francisco, especially for the first-time S.F. traveler. No matter what time of day, tourists are enjoying the sights and sounds of the history, attractions and street performers. Hop on a cable car and make your way down to Fisherman’s Wharf to see what the neighborhood has to offer.

Fisherman’s Wharf was originally just that – the wharf for fishermen during San Francisco’s Gold Rush of the 1850s. Over time, as the population of San Francisco grew, though, and as the San Francisco Bay was gradually filled in, Fisherman’s Wharf became the neighborhood we know today, with attractions such as Alcatraz, the former prison and current tourist attraction; Pier 39, where you can see the famous San Francisco sea lions; or the Maritime Museum located on Hyde Street Pier, with historic sea vessels and submarines.

You can grab an Irish coffee alcoholic beverage, made famous by the Buena Vista CafĂ©, which has used the same recipe since 1952. The locals consider the neighborhood a tourist haven – which at times can be overwhelming.

Within walking distance to most other neighborhoods such as North Beach or the Marina District, Fisherman’s Wharf is hard NOT to see during your visit to San Francisco.

Whether you’re renting a bike to ride to the Golden Gate Bridge or smashing one Irish coffee after another waiting for your ride on the Powell-Hyde cable car, Fisherman’s Wharf has plenty of entertainment for travelers on their San Francisco holiday. Go see the neighborhood at least once during your visit.

Be prepared to deal with crowds of people, as well as seals.

Fisherman's Wharf xmas

How Do I Find Fisherman’s Wharf?

  • The neighborhood is located on the north end of San Francisco. It’s by far the main tourist attraction in the city.
  • You can use public transportation routes 9x, 10, 19, 20, 30, 39, 47 and bus 49; the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines; or the easiest (and most crowded in the morning), the F-line. If you’re in a rush, just grab an uber.
  • To reach Fisherman’s Wharf from Union Square you can ride most of the above bus lines, the fastest being bus 30 (around 20 mins), or you can ride the F-Line (40 mins) and face crowds. And FYI — waiting for a cable car IS NOT worth your time. Instead, ride a cable car during a less-crowded time of day.

Orange Sky Co. says:

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Fisherman’s Wharf is the main tourist neighborhood of San Francisco. You can try clam chowder, photograph Alcatraz and browse Pier 39 which includes the sea lions lounging on the docks. The neighborhood is a tourist trap, though, so watch out.

Location of Fisherman’s Wharf