Fisherman’s Wharf is an iconic neighborhood in downtown San Francisco. From the Wharf, one can easily see postcard-worthy sights like Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Pier 39. You can find a souvenir shop on every street, a vendor selling fresh crab, along with the clam chowder that made Fisherman’s Wharf famous on every corner. San Francisco attractions like the Alcatraz Island Ferry/Tour, the arcade game museum Musée Mechanique, and the iconic Grotto 9 restaurant make the Fisherman’s Wharf a truly unique place to visit. Honestly, if 12 million people visit Fisherman’s Wharf each year, why shouldn’t you? Here are a few fun things to do in San Francisco this weekend.
Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco Attractions – Where To Eat:
Fisherman’s Wharf is famous for seafood and more specifically it’s native Dungeness crab. The Wharf’s fishing industry features 185 active fishing vessels, along with 22 seafood distribution and processing companies responsible for handling 19 million pounds of seafood unloaded by commercial fishing boats every year. Totally impressive right? This bustling fishing industry places crab, swordfish, squid, salmon, and more at the tip of your tongue when visiting Fisherman’s Wharf. From boat to plate, this is the freshest seafood you will find.
Boudin Bakery & Cafe – 160 Jefferson St, 415-351-5561 boudinbakery.com
Boudin Bakery is famous for its sourdough bread with a recipe dating back to 1849. The flagship store offers an impressive view of fresh bread being made, attend the museum and bakery tour, and dine on an elevated seafood menu available at Boudin Bistro! I highly recommend you try one of the most popular items on the menu from the grab and go counter at Boudin Bakery & Cafe. Order the clam chowder served in Boudin’s classic sourdough bread bowl. With outdoor seating, you can enjoy a brisk breeze off the bay while you eat! Make sure to pack your suitcase light because you will want to take one of everything home with you from Boudin Bakery & Cafe! No room in your carry-on suitcase? Don’t worry Boudin Bakery ships sourdough bread and gift baskets nationwide. Boudin Bakery bread of the month club also makes a great gift for a loved one or yourself!
Ghirardelli Square – 900 North Point St, (415) 775-5500, ghirardellisq.com
The original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop opened in Ghirardelli Square in 1893. The rich heritage of Ghirardelli chocolate in San Francisco is impressive and undeniable. The famous Ghirardelli illuminated sign looms high in the sky and is visible for miles. In years past, the iconic sign was a landmark to welcome ships passing through the Golden Gate Strait. Now the sign also welcomes you to Ghirardelli Square where you can taste a variety chocolate concoctions! During your visit, sample Ghirardelli’s famous SQUARE chocolates, enjoy a Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae and other ice cream treats, or grab a sea salt caramel hot chocolate to warm you up during a brisk walk through the Wharf!
San Francisco Brewing Company – 900 N Piont St West Plaza, sfbrewingco.com
San Francisco Brewing Company, will be Fisherman’s Wharf’s first brewery. The craft brewery and restaurant located in at Ghirardelli Square will feature a tap room, plus a menu serving up elevated pub fair. The grand opening is scheduled for April 2018.
Hard Rock Cafe – 256 Pier 39 Concourse, (415) 956-2013
Hard Rock Cafe located on Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf reopens after an extensive $8 million renovation complete with a giant glass guitar to welcome you as you walk in the door, private dining room to host intimate celebrations, and new music memorabilia!
Surisan – 505 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133 415) 771-8449 surisansf.com
Surisan is named as Yelp’s “Most Popular Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf.” This modern take on Korean/American fusion is a culinary delight. Dine on favorite dishes including kimchi fried rice, Krispy KFC Korean Fried Chicken, and Millionaire’s Bacon. All of the menu items at Surisan are created with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
The Grotto – 2847 Taylor Street, 415-673-7025 TheGrottoSF.com
Historic landmark Fishermen’s Grotto #9 has been restored by a new owner. After renovations to modernize and preserve the historic restaurant, you can dine at The Grotto! Want sustainable seafood you can enjoy while browsing at the Wharf? Stop by the Crab Shack, located in the lower level of The Grotto to enjoy fresh steamed crab, wok tossed crab or one of three seafood salads from one of San Francisco’s oldest restaurants.
Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco Attractions – Where To Play:
In the past seven years, Fisherman’s Wharf has undergone over $300 million improvements. You will still see remanents of rich ties to the past, but the historic waterfront district has experienced a make-over you don’t want to miss.
Cartoon Art Museum – 781 Beach Street, 415-CARTOON CartoonArt.org
The Cartoon Art Museum is one of my daughter’s favorite stops while exploring San Francisco attractions. View over 7000+ original comic art pieces in various mediums from many great artists around the world including Dali, Picasso, and Keane.
Musée Mécanique 45 Sausalito – San Francisco Pier 41 museemecaniquesf.com
Visit Musée Mécanique to play over 200 coin-operated, antique arcade machines in their original working condition. My daughter and I love the antique fortune tellers!
Madame Tussauds & San Francisco Dungeon 145 Jefferson St
San Francisco Dungeon’s thrilling Escape Alcatraz drop ride & “Ghost of Alcatraz” are both San Francisco attractions you don’t want to miss. I was highly impressed by the actors in “Ghost of Alcatraz.” Through imaginative storytelling and a 360 set, guests are transported ourselves into a day and the life of an Alcatraz prisoner. At The Dungeon, you will be scared straight with 10 shows & rides, 360 sets, and 20 live actors.
PIER 39 Beach St & The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133 pier39.com
Are you brave enough to take on The Flyer? This new attraction coming to PIER 39 in 2018 features a 28-seat flying theater with a gigantic movie screen and new 3D technology to showcase the best San Francisco attractions. Join in the family fun as PIER 39 celebrates their 39th anniversary with 39 weeks of family fun including music, street performers, outdoor movie nights, and fireworks.
Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco Attractions – Where To Park:
PIER 39 Parking Garage – 2 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Fisherman’s Wharf is the number one destination for San Francisco attractions with an average of 24,000+ visitors per day. As you can imagine, parking is a challenge. There are many options available. My favorite based on safety as a woman who frequently travels alone or with kids, location, and the cost is the PIER 39 Parking Garage.
Parking at PIER 39 Parking Garage:
Weekdays – $9/hour (maximum daily rate of $45)
Weekends – $10/hour (maximum daily rate of $50).
(Rates are subject to change)
When you arrive at PIER39, make sure your first stop is at The California Welcome Center. They are a wealth of information about San Francisco attractions. They also have money-saving coupons for San Francisco attractions, restaurants, and maps for exploring! Keep in mind, visitors who dine at participating full-service PIER 39 restaurants receive one hour of free validated parking in the PIER 39 Garage. Just ask your server to validate your parking when paying your bill. Find a list of participating restaurants here.