San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf
The Argonaut Hotel brings boutique style to San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf
Major attractions and vacation ideas for San Francisco. San Francisco was once the epicenter of prospecting and immigration to California during the heart of the Gold Rush. That spirit is alive and well today, especially in Fisherman's Wharf, our home and one of San Francisco's most iconic neighborhoods. Our hotel location makes it easy to explore San Francisco in the heart of famed Fisherman's Wharf, conveniently located near the historic F-Line trolley cars.
Walk along the boardwalk to Pier-39 just steps away to enjoy dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Angel Island, Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay and Marin County. Maybe head over to North Beach and discover more foodie delicacies and fantastic nightlife. Or get your shopping on in Union Square. And, if it's sports you're looking for, ask our friendly staff or helpful concierge to plan your night at Giants Stadium or to see the 49ers. From Alcatraz to Muir Woods to Yosemite to Fort Point to the Golden Gate, you can explore some truly amazing National Parks.
The Argonaut Hotel on Fisherman's Wharf: A Boutique Hotel Near Pier-39
Fabled Fisherman's Wharf is one mile long but stretches back decades into the most colorful years of San Francisco's history. The iconic site not only was a witness to the days of tall ships, Barbary Coast roustabouts and Gold Rush fever, it was the central player. And talk about longevity. Today, it's still the number one attraction for most visitors to the City by the Bay. Visitors from an earlier era, immigrants from all over the world, have since brought their culture â and flavors â to the Wharf, so today you can experience savory Italian cioppino, French bread freshly off the racks and New England-style crab served fresh out of a roiling pot.
Families in particular love attractions here such as the Ripley's Believe it or Not, the Hyde Street Pier with its historic clipper ships, and Hornblower boat tours of the Bay to see sights such as famous Alcatraz Island. But Fisherman's Wharf is much more than a piece of history. The area is a vibrant piece of San Francisco's fabric of daily life for locals.
From the older Italian-American gents playing bocce ball in Aquatic Park to fit joggers running the nearby footpaths, Fisherman's Wharf still moves to the rhythm of the city and the Argonaut is happy to call it home.
Housed in the historic Haslett Warehouse, a completely renovated all-brick building over a century old, The Argonaut is the ideal venue to experience the color and ambiance of Fisherman's Wharf. You're also walking distance from other popular nearby attractions including the shops and restaurants of Pier-39, Ghirardelli Square, the tall ships of Hyde Street Pier and the famous Powell-Hyde Street cable car turn-around.
Many who visit us call these attractions the highlight of their stay. We're just lucky enough to call it our front yard.
Popular with tourists and sea lions, Fisherman's Wharf is full of shops, silly museums and family fun. Still a working wharf, its vendors sell thousands of tons of fish and shellfish. Take an early morning walk down "Fish Alley" to see fisherman at work. Later, the Wharf evolves into boardwalk-style family entertainment with decidedly tourist attractions such as Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, the Red & White Fleet, the Wax Museum, and, a favorite to San Franciscans, the Aquarium. For maritime-lovers and WWII buffs, the San Francisco Maritime Museum is at the foot of Polk St. and massive USS Pampanito is docked right at Pier 45.
Hyde Street Cable Car
Explore a piece of truly unique San Francisco, and American, history – the Cable Cars! This is a must-do when you visit San Francisco.
There are three cable car lines, two of which connect with Fisherman's Wharf. The two Fisherman's Wharf lines, also known as the Powell Street lines, will take you past past Union Square and up Nob Hill. You can also cross over (on the Mason Powell line) into North Beach – and if you take the Mason Powell line, you'll be riding on the longest transit line in the world, and one which has been running continuously since 1888.
If you take the Powell-Hyde line, you can go through Russian Hill and see Lombard Street. On the descent towards Fisherman's Wharf, you'll get a fantastic view of Alcatraz, Angel Island, Mount Tamalpais, and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a ride to remember – but be sure to bring your camera and hold on tight!
If you want to take a cable car ride without the inevitable wait, you can ride the California Street line. On this line, the majority of riders are locals just going from point A to point B. This line will take you through the Financial District, the Battery, into the heart of Chinatown and up into Nob Hill.
Also, be sure to watch the cable cars "pull in" at the end of the day. It's an impressive sight!
The Argonaut Hotel Offers Easy Access Pier-39
Two decades ago, one of San Francisco's most popular attractions was inaugurated at the Embarcadero. Lucky for us all, Pier-39 is just a short walk from the front door of the Argonaut. Here, shops, restaurants, boutiques and more cluster on the pier, giving you one-stop shopping for a truly unique San Francisco Bay experience. At Pier 39 that can mean anything from shopping at multiple boutiques to a sunset sail on a catamaran that will take you under the Golden Gate Bridge. (Yes, that's one for the bucket list). But even from your seat at a cafe here, your views of iconic sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz are spectacular.
And speaking of getting some rare views of San Francisco, you won't want to miss the crown jewel of Pier-39, the Aquarium of the Bay. Featuring thousands of local sea creatures on display, this is your chance to go eyeball to eyeball with an array of denizens of the deep as you walk through oversized clear tubes that leave you surrounded - and amazed by San Francisco's aquatic residents.
Maritime National Historic Park
A Hotel With History: The Argonaut Hotel Includes The SF Maritime National Historical Park's Visitors Center And Interactive Museum.
It's hard to imagine a better location for The Argonaut Hotel. Housed in the century-old Haslett warehouse, we have San Francisco's vibrant past infused into every corner our all-brick building. That's especially true when you consider that the National Park's Visitors Center and Interactive Museum is located right within our four walls. This is where you can do everything from view vintage navigation equipment to experience a sensory "A Walk Along The Waterfront" exhibit that recreates the sights and sound of the wharf's Golden Era.
Beyond the Visitors Center, there's more to explore in the park. Want to go back in time and raise sails on an historic schooner and sing sea shantys? Check. Just head to Hyde Park Pier where gracious sailing-era ships such as the Balclutha and CA Thayer are moored. There are also ranger-led tours of the park and guided historic walking tours of the waterfront. Or you can simply stroll the quiet paths and picnic on the lawn and take in the incredible Bay views and breathe the fresh, briny air.
With many choices of what to do in San Francisco, why not enjoy one that will tempt your eyes and stomach? You can walk around the famed Ghirardelli Square and see history that covers more than a century. From the original factory buildings to the restaurant options available, you're sure to find something that appeals to you.
Ghirardelli Chocolate (the whole reason there is a square!) is a chocolate company dating back to the early 1800s. Domenico Ghirardelli, an Italian who landed in San Francisco by way of Peru, based his confectionary company in what is now Ghirardelli Square. After the company was relocated to San Leandro, a group of enterprising and far-seeing San Franciscans bought the property. It was reborn as a mixed use retail area, with restaurants and shops. The area does, of course, include many ways to consume the famous Ghirardelli Chocolate that made the zone famous.
Ghirardelli Square has National Historic Register status, ensuring that the area will remain the lively hub that it is today.
Do you wish you could go back in time and play all those old-fashioned arcade games? You can! At the Musée Méchanique, located on Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 45, you can play all the coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines you want! It's free to enter, and only coins per game.
They have games that date back to the 1800's famed traveling carnivals as well as those that are more modern, from the 20th century. Bring your change and your spirit of fun, the museum is a fun interlude on Fisherman's Wharf.