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Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

Coordinates: 37°48′30″N 122°24′56″W / 37.80833°N 122.41556°W / 37.80833; -122.41556
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Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf sign
Fisherman's Wharf sign
Fisherman's Wharf is located in San Francisco
Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf
Location within Central San Francisco
Coordinates: 37°48′30″N 122°24′56″W / 37.80833°N 122.41556°W / 37.80833; -122.41556
CountryUnited States
CityCity and County of San Francisco

Fisherman's Wharf is a neighborhood and popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, California, United States. It roughly encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Square or Van Ness Avenue east to Pier 35 or Kearny Street. The F Market streetcar runs through the area, the Powell / Hyde cable car line runs to Aquatic Park, at the edge of Fisherman's Wharf, and the Powell / Mason cable car line runs a few blocks away.




Feluccas at Fisherman's Wharf at the foot of Union Street, circa 1891

In 1884,[1] the first state-owned Fisherman's Wharf was built at the foot of Union Street,[2] jutting out from the shore on a north by northeast angle, comprising a long narrow rectangle about 450 feet long and 150 feet wide, with an entrance along the leeward eastern side.[3]



In 1900, the state of California set aside the waterfront between the foot of Taylor and Leavenworth streets for commercial fishing boats.[4]



Despite its redevelopment into a tourist attraction during the 1970s and 1980s, the area was still home to many active fishermen and their fleets.

2000s to present-day


In 2010, a $15 million development plan was proposed by city officials hoping to revitalize its appearance for tourists, and to reverse the area's downward trend in popularity among San Francisco residents.[5][6][needs update]

Attractions and characteristics

Aerial view of San Francisco, looking south, with Fisherman's Wharf just left of center, directly above a lone sailboat

One of the busiest and well known tourist attractions in the western United States, Fisherman's Wharf is best known for being the location of Pier 39, the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, the Musée Mécanique, Madame Tussauds, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Seafood restaurants are plentiful in the area, including the floating Forbes Island restaurant at Pier 39 to stands that serve fresh seafood. Some of the restaurants, including Fishermen's Grotto, Pompei's Grotto and Alioto's, go back for three generations of the same family ownership. Other restaurants include chains like Applebee's and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The area also has an In-N-Out Burger; local business leaders said they opposed every other fast food chain except In-N-Out, because they wanted to maintain the flavor of family-owned, decades-old businesses in the area, with one saying locals would ordinarily "be up in arms about a fast-food operation coming to Fisherman's Wharf," but the family-owned In-N-Out "is different."[7]

Other attractions in Fisherman's Wharf area are the Hyde Street Pier (part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park), the USS Pampanito, a decommissioned World War II submarine, and the Balclutha, a 19th-century full-rigged cargo ship. Nearby Pier 45 has a chapel in memory of the "Lost Fishermen" of San Francisco and Northern California.

On November 13, 2023, the SkyStar Wheel began operations in Fisherman's Wharf after spending three years in the nearby Music Concourse within Golden Gate Park.[8][9] Its opening coincided with the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.[8]

Flying Scotsman on State Belt Railroad track, at Fisherman's Wharf, in 1972

There is a sea lion colony next to Pier 39. They "took-up" residence months before the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. The sea lions lie on wooden docks that were originally used for docking boats.

Fisherman's Wharf plays host to many San Francisco events, including a firework display on the Fourth of July and some of the best views of the Fleet Week air shows featuring The Blue Angels.

Pier 45


The USS Pampanito (SS-383) and the Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien are National Historic Landmarks, preserved as a memorial and museum ships as part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park located near the Wharf.


In 1985, the wharf was used as a filming location in the James Bond film A View to a Kill, where Bond (played for the last time by Roger Moore) met with CIA agent Chuck Lee (David Yip) in his quest to eliminate the villain of the film, Max Zorin (Christopher Walken).[10]

The cover photos for Van Dyke Parks' music album Clang of the Yankee Reaper (1975) were taken by Ed Thrasher at Fisherman's Wharf.

See also



  1. ^ Muir, John C. (Summer 2000). "Tides of Change: Fisherman's Wharf (1870-1930)". Sea Letter. San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  2. ^ "San Francisco Wharves and Piers. 1800s. The Maritime Heritage Project. Ships, Merchants, Merchandise". maritimeheritage.org. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  3. ^ "Fisherman's Wharf East of Telegraph Hill". FoundSF.org. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Fisherman's Wharf". FoundSF.org. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  5. ^ Sward, Susan (2010-11-25). "Fisherman's Wharf, Primed at Last for Makeover". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  6. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  7. ^ Strasburg, Jenny (March 3, 2001). "In-N-Out Burger Beefs Up the Wharf Chain's followers now have S.F. site". The San Francisco Gate. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  8. ^ a b Whiting, Sam (2023-10-23). "Giant Ferris wheel closes at Golden Gate Park. It will return for APEC in new location". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2024-01-28.
  9. ^ "SkyStar Ferris Wheel arrives at Fisherman's Wharf just in time for the holidays". The Bold Italic. 2023-11-14. Retrieved 2024-01-28.
  10. ^ http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM6QH9_Fishermans_Wharf_View_to_a_Kill_San_Francisco_CA waymarking.com

Further reading

  • San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, Alessandro Baccari Jr. Arcadia Publishing (2006)

37°48′30″N 122°24′56″W / 37.80833°N 122.41556°W / 37.80833; -122.41556