7 Fun Reasons to Visit San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf Again - Never Too Old To Travel

If you haven’t visited San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf in many years or at best you have been an infrequent visitor; you are missing out on some exciting changes to this popular destination. During my recent media trip to Fishermans Wharf, I was amazed by how much things have changed in the past 15 years (yes 15 years) since I last visited.

To say that I was excited is an understatement, as I dearly love visiting San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, so much has changed! There is a new Aquarium, a delicious row of Food Trucks, a new sidewalk promenade full of shops and restaurants; you can now experience a Segway tour or rent electric bikes, visit a Spy shop and a host of other amazing things to do.

A lot has changed since my last visit!

The Grotto

Fishermans Wharf first restaurant, the historic Fishermen’s Grotto, has finally reopened after an extensive remodel. Closed for over a year, a no expense spared remodel has finally been finished and the rave reviews are already pouring in. Working closely with the  Fisherman’s Wharf’s Historical Society and the City of San Francisco, The Grotto has been completely remodeled and modernized to the delight of all.

The Grotto’s renovated restaurant, oyster bar, and lounge have something for everyone. From classic craft cocktails, microbrews, sustainable seafood to grass-fed beef, their chefs have created a fantastic menu. Owner Chris Henry plans to install an organic garden on the roof of the restaurant, continuing the Grottos sustainability posture.

(415) 673-7025

2847 Taylor St. San Francisco, C.A. 94133


Cartoon Art Museum

From sketchbooks to major motion pictures and world renown amusement parks, comic art is an intricate part of our lives. I still regret relinquishing my comic book collection so many years ago, saying goodbye was a difficult choice and one I never made as the memories of going to the drug store to purchase my favorite comic book still live with me to this day.

San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf has a new reminder of the glorious comic book art with the newly relocated Cartoon Art Museum. Established in 1984 and relocated to its new home, the Cartoon Art Museum has an archive of approximately 7,000 original pieces in their permanent collection, many of which are on display at their new home.

They offer classes for the budding cartoon artist, unique awe-inspiring exhibits on display, traveling exhibitions, and private art lessons for cartoon art lovers of all ages. Worth the visit to enjoy the fantastic art of the cartoon.

781 Beach Street, San Francisco CA 94109


San Francisco Dungeon

Looking for a bit of fun historical reenactment of San Francisco’s dark storied past? There is no better way to get your heart pumping than experiencing the chilling history in San Francisco Dungeons 360º themed sets featuring ten live actor-interactive shows with state-of-the-art special effects that bring the past to life.

Taking the San Francisco Dungeon tour is a whole new way to enjoy the colorful and glorious past of San Francisco history.

Here’s the list of stories you’ll experience on your tour:

The Descent –The gripping tales of the Bay Area’s authentic past await you! Drop into the depths of the Dungeon to begin your journey.

Gold Rush Greed –Violence and corruption dominate the American frontier, as you are immersed into the clash between natives and new settlers.

Lost Mines of Sutter’s Mill – Don’t get trapped in the dizzying and disorienting mirror maze as the dynamite explodes!

Streets of San Francisco – The Hounds are out to find political traitors! They may “Know Nothing,” but they sure know how to get some answers…

The Court of San Francisco – Guilty or very guilty? As Judge Meade always says about heinous criminals: “Give ‘em a fair trial and hang ‘em high!”

Miss Piggott’s Saloon – Come in for a drink on the house! Miss Piggott’s got one heck of a business.

Shanghaied! – Miss Piggott has betrayed your trust. Shanghai Kelly has ordered you to a life of hard labor.

Chinatown Plague Street – The Plague strikes San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century! Lucky you!

The Ghosts of Alcatraz – These prison walls hold the most dangerous military fugitives. Did you hear something?

Escape Alcatraz Drop Ride – You’ve been mistakenly imprisoned in Alcatraz! Team-up with Prisoner 13 to outwit Sgt. Gunter. Make the leap from the cliffs of Alcatraz into the icy depths of the San Francisco Bay.


Coming in early 2018

Can’t make it to San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf today?

Here are four fun new attractions opening in early 2018 that will have you planning your next trip right away! Three will be featured attractions at the iconic Ghirardelli Square at San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf, while the 4th will be opening up at Pier 39.

San Francisco Brewing Co.

Occupying 14,000 square feet in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Brewing Co. will be offering several unique features as well as fantastic craft brews to tourist and locals alike.

Having tried their Alcatraz Amber, I can attest to their brewing skills and a serious focus on quality craft beer. Unique to their brewery will be a “Pay by the ounce” self-serve craft beer wall where you can pour your beer whenever you are ready to wet your whistle. They will have a 32oz limit on self-pouring, you will then have to be cleared by their trained bartenders before you can resume tasting at the beer wall. Controlled by their pre-payed card system that will keep track of your consumption. I love this concept and look forward to their grand opening to try the self-serve craft beer wall out.

San Francisco Brewing Co. will be producing all of their craft beers on site in their 10 barrel brewhouse. Owner Josh Leavy has many years of experience brewing craft beers, and their new Ghirardelli Square location will be delivering up some of the best small batch craft beers you can find anywhere.

Among their fun offerings will be pool tables, a large selection of tv’s displaying sports, hoops and other fun games to keep everyone entertained.


Sub Par Golf

Picture an 18 hole golf course indoors! More details are coming soon on this, but I can envision this fast becoming a fun Fisherman’s Wharf destination. The course will depict various city landmarks at each hole for you to enjoy. I am a big fan of miniature golf for family fun and look forward to spending some time putting around at Ghirardelli Square next spring.

Cheese School

Yes, there will be a cheese making school coming to Ghirardelli Square this April!

“The ground floor will include retail space, including cut-to-order cheese and charcuterie counters and a café serving cheese-centric dishes and wines, along with a private event room. On the second floor, classes for up to 28 attendees will be held with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay as the backdrop.”

So put April 2018 down on your cooking class schedule as a great time to visit San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf.

The Flyer San Francisco

For those of you that have enjoyed the famous Disneyland California Adventures ride Soarin’ Over California ( now called Soarin’ Around the World), you will know what to expect from this attraction. Opening in late spring of 2018, The Flyer San Francisco, located next to the Hard Rock Cafe and the Aquarium by the Bay, will be a visual adventure that will take you up and above the city of San Francisco for a birds-eye view of this fantastic area.

Featuring a 28-seat flying theater, “The Flyer is going to take guests on a thrilling aerial journey over San Francisco’s stunning skyline, the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Alcatraz Island – all rolled into a storyline that embraces the fun and creative spirit of San Francisco.”


Full disclosure,

Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and Hook, Line & Thinker hosted Never to Old To Travel for a day tour of San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf. with no stipulations. All thoughts and opinions in this article are my own.