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SAN FRANCISCO'S FISHERMAN'S WHARF
Best things to do on the Famous Wharf by the Bay

San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf famous sefood restaurant row photo“If you're goin’ to San Francisco” as the hippie sixties song said, you’re going to The Wharf. There are lots of things to do in the city by the bay, but the number one tourist destination and symbol of the city’s identity is the Fisherman’s Wharf. Lined on one side by tourist attractions like the Wax Museum with lifelike likenesses of Michael Jackson competeing with Barack Obama, and "Ripley’s Believe It or Not" with its curious oddities, while on the other, by steam pots of fresh crab cocktails, fresh fish and nautical supply stores. The name brand seafood restaurants, Alioto’s, Castangnola's, The Grotto, or just the No. 9, which surround the docks of fishing boats bobbing in the tide. Scoma’s has long had the reputation for the best dining on its secret pier (see Scoma's Fisherman’s Wharf), while The Franciscan offers a revitalised menu with great reviews and best view of the bay for sunsets and 4th of July fireworks (until the fog rolls in just before they go off) and the food has achieved its own accolades (see Franciscan Crab Restaurant).

Fishing Tours Fleet of San Francisco bay at Fisherman's Wharf photoCheck out the fishing boats or get a pole and head out on a early moring fishing trip from the docks by Castagnola.Old sailing ships like the Balcutha square-rigger smelling of creosote you can board at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park at the Hyde Street Pier to feel the life of the seamen who abandoned their clipper ships in the bay during the gold rush to seek their fortunes, and a collection of nautical history about the bay, ships and shipping can be found inside the museum. For more recent naval history, tour the WWII era submarine the USS Pampanito (see WWII Submarine at Fisherman's Wharf) and the Liberty Ship the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, or a bit of antique arcade machine nostalgia (see Musee Machanique) at Pier 45

bay cruises at Fisherman's wharf san francisco sight-seeing destination photoGhiradelli Square was the original chocolate factory established in 1860 and the historic building now house a mall of international shops and restaurants with a spectacular bay view and landscaped plazas for eating, relaxing or watching chocolate still being made. If you want to get out on the water, a variety of cruises are available. Get up early enough to go out fishing on the brisk bay Boudin Bread San Francisco  Wharf photowaters with the Wharf Sport Fishing Fleet. Or take a bay cruise with Red and White Fleet under the Golden Gate Bridge ( see Guns of the Golden Gate) or take the Blue and Gold Fleet to Alcatraz and get locked in a cell which hell Al Capone or the “Birdman of Alcatraz”, or ferry to Sausalito or Oakland’s Jack London Square. Or take a Hornblower dinner cruise if you really want to see the city lights at night from the bay. Get a couple of loaves of the sourdough bread made famous at Boudins Original Sourdough Bakery, in the shape of an alligator or a seal.

Start your morning at Pier 39 for one of the best breakfasts on the Wharf at the Eagle Café and then go watch the barking seals basking in the morning sun. The Aquarium of the Bay is a recent addition at Pier 39, walk through 300 feet of clear tunnels to get close up to the marine animals who make the bay their aquatic home. Of course you’ll take a cable car ride up from the Hyde Street and Powell Turntable (see Cable Car Museum) and return to end the day at the home of the original Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista. © Bargain Travel West

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