In the west of one of San Francisco's most popular areas, Fisherman's Wharf, is the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. This park-museum not only offers spectacular views of the bay, but is a perfect place for lovers of sea life and historic boats.
- Where is it and how to get there
- Timetables and tickets
- Why visit and what to see
- Where to sleep in the area
Breathe in the sea breeze on foot and stroll among boats that are over 100 years old… The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is a maritime national park that hosts within it:
- a fleet of historic ships moored along the Hyde Street Pier. With a short walk you reach the end of the pier and from there you can enjoy a splendid view of the bay;
- un Visitor Center which offers a lot of information and details about the pier and the naval fleet;
- a garden near the shore, just outside the Visitor Center, overlooking the bay and the beach of theAquatic Park Pier, the Water Park. From here, in addition to the bay, you can admire the island of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito;
- il Maritime Museum inside the picturesque building known as the Bathhouse;
- un Research Center inside the Fort Mason Center, about a 10-minute walk from the dock.
The vibrant energy that characterizes Fisherman's Wharf in this park is combined with the charm of going back in time and feeling inside a novel starring hubs, captains and sailing ships ready to set sail to discover new lands.
Where is it and how to get there
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at 2905 Hyde Street, in the famous Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood.
The best way to visit this area is on foot. There are no parking spaces and there are only a few parking spaces. Being a pier, there is no real road running through it. For this reason I suggest you to use i By public transport to reach the Maritime National Historical Park (buses 27, 54, 72 on Van Ness Avenue / Francisco Street or the subway F and the L-OWL bus on Jefferson Street / Taylor Street).
Il Hyde Cable Car tram terminus is located right here, so an idea might be to reach this area by boarding one of San Francisco's iconic trams. If you prefer, alternatively, you can reach the attraction by bike, here are some tips on the subject:
- Getting around in San Francisco
- How to rent a bike in San Francisco
Timetables and tickets
THEHyde Street Pier, the pier that houses the nautical park, is open every day from 10: 00 to 16: 00. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and January 1st.
Il Maritime Museum, the museum, is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, January 1st, Martin Luther King's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day.
The cost of the ticket for get on board historic ships and sailing ships and of $15 a person. Children under 15 do not pay.
If you are staying in San Francisco for a long time and plan to visit this pier several times by boarding its sailing ships there is also a Annual Pass, a one-year ticket, which costs $ 45 and allows you to enter whenever you want throughout the year, bringing two other adults with you. Teens and children under 15 can enter for free with the person who has the pass.
Finally it is useful to know that you can buy the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass or the card for the national parks. The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is, in fact, one of the 200 parks included in the pass.
Why visit and what to see
Among the many attractions of San Francisco, the Maritime National Historical Park definitely deserves a chance, let's see why.
The naval park is not only ideal for a stroll among the boats admiring the ocean, but it is also a place to discover the life of navigators and the history of some ancient boats that sailed the seas of the world at the end of the nineteenth century.
Il Maritime Museum it is worth a visit and is among the most important places in the naval park. It is located inside a building called the Bathhouse which resembles an ocean liner. It was built in 1939 in Streamline Moderne style or a late Art Deco. The lobby is covered in colorful murals and inside you will find exhibits on the lifestyle of sailors, their sailing techniques and boats. In the XNUMXs the structure served as a base for troops, while after the war it became the official seat of the museum.
Another highlight of this park is the exhibition of historic boats. The oldest and perhaps most fascinating is Balclutha, a three-masted sailing ship with square sails, from 1886. She sailed from Glasgow to Scotland that year and in her 'career' has reached Cape Horn 17 times. The CA Thayer is a three-masted wooden-hulled schooner from 1895, used to haul lumber. Another schooner, from 1891, is Alma. Eureka, on the other hand, is a steam ferry from 1890, while Hercules a steam tug from 1907. Finally, here you will also find Eppleton Hall, a steamboat from 1914, and you will see an 1890 houseboat, the Bay Ark.
Where to sleep in the area
Fisherman's Wharf is a great neighborhood to spend a few nights in San Francisco: you're close to the Alcatraz embarkation and the Golden Gate Bridge, you're a stone's throw from Ghirardelli's Square with its clubs and entertainment, you're next to the famous Pier 39. The sea and the nightlife await you! However, there are also other areas that are worth considering. For a complete overview and some recommended accommodations, I refer you to our guide dedicated to the topic:
Our tips on where to sleep in San Francisco