San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf
Explore our neighborhood.
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of San Francisco’s most iconic neighborhoods – and we’re fortunate to call it our neighborhood.
Take a short walk along the boardwalk to Pier 39. Experience history on the F-line trolley cars. Head over to North Beach and discover a culinary heaven and fantastic nightlife. Get your shopping on in Union Square. Take in a Giants or 49ers game. For National Parks lovers, you can visit Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods, Yosemite, Fort Point or Golden Gate Park, to name just a few.
Fabled Fisherman’s Wharf is one mile long and stretches back decades into the most colorful years of San Francisco’s history. The iconic site was important in the days of tall ships, Barbary Coast roustabouts and Gold Rush fever. Immigrants from all over the world brought their culture and flavors to San Francisco – make sure to save room for our wide variety of cuisines.
For those traveling with family, kids love Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum, the Hyde Street Pier with its historic clipper ships, and the Hornblower boat tours of the Bay.
From the older Italian-American gents playing bocce ball in Aquatic Park to joggers running the nearby footpaths, people watching is a popular spectator sport here.
Popular with sea lions and tourists, 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 fishermen at work. Later, the Wharf evolves into boardwalk-style family entertainment with attractions such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, the Red & White Fleet, the Wax Museum, and 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.
Within walking distance from the hotel you’ll find the shops and restaurants of Ghirardelli Square and the famous Powell-Hyde Street cable car turnaround. Many who visit us call these attractions the highlight of their stay. We’re just lucky enough to call it our front yard.
Temptation lives in San Francisco in the National Historic site Ghirardelli Square. A short walk from the hotel, you’ll see history that covers more than a century. From the original factory buildings to the shops to the restaurants, 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 San Franciscans bought the property and converted it to a mixed use retail area with restaurants and shops. The area does, of course, include many ways to consume the famous Ghirardelli Chocolate.
Hyde Street Cable Cars
Explore a piece of truly unique 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 Union Square and up Nob Hill. The two lines are the Mason Powell line and the Powell-Hyde line.
You can 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.
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.
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 to 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 our front door. Here, shops, restaurants, boutiques, and more cluster on the pier, offering one-stop shopping. Spend the day browsing multiple boutiques then treat yourself to a sunset sail on a catamaran ride under the Golden Gate Bridge. From your seat at a Pier 39 cafe, your views of iconic sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz are spectacular, as is the people watching.
Don’t miss the crown jewel of Pier 39, the Aquarium of the Bay. Featuring thousands of local sea creatures, this is your chance to go eye to eye with an array of denizens of the deep as you walk through oversized clear tubes that leave you surrounded, literally, by San Francisco’s aquatic residents.
Maritime National Historic Park
The National Park’s Visitors Center and Interactive Museum is located right within our four walls. Here you can view vintage navigation equipment and experience a sensory “Walk Along the Waterfront” exhibit recreating the sights and sounds of the Wharf’s golden era.
Beyond the Visitors Center, there’s more to explore in the park. Want to raise sails on an historic schooner and sing sea shanties? 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 while taking in the incredible Bay views and breathing in the fresh, briny air.
Go back in time and play old-fashioned arcade games with the family. At the Musée Méchanique, located on Pier 45, everyone can play all the coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines. It’s free to enter, and only costs coins per game.
They have games that date back to famed traveling carnivals of the 1800s as well as modern 20th century machines. Bring your change and your spirit of fun!