Fisherman’s Wharf

Alley Cat Guides San Francisco, Pier 39 seals
Photo Credit: Dené Gabaldón

Every city has the equivalent to Fisherman’s Wharf, a mostly touristy area with few locals. Famous for the Ghirardelli chocolate store, mediocre clam chowder bread bowls, and barking seals, there are many other neighborhoods I would recommend over Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Fisherman’s Wharf Highlights

  • Musée Mécanique (Pier 45 Shed A): An old fashioned arcade (FREE entry!) with over 300 games. If you only play one game, I recommend that you find the old fashioned typewriter in the back to get your fortune told! It is freaky how accurate it is! These games were originally housed at Playland, an old amusement park at Ocean Beach.
  • Buena Vista Café (2765 Hyde St): An old school iconic bar and restaurant known for their Irish Coffees.
  • Dolphin Swim & Boat Club (502 Jefferson St): One of the most hidden gems in the entire city, this swimming club was established in 1877. It’s $10 for a visitor’s pass which includes water access, locker room facilities (including a hot sauna), and a walk down history lane. If you want to fit in, follow suit from the members and don’t wear a wetsuit when swimming in the bay.
  • Monthly Sea Chantys (Hyde Street Pier): First Saturday of every month. An old Irish tradition aboard a historic ship. About 100-200 community members gather together to sing songs of the sea. Super special experience, wide range of people (families, old people, yuppies…) Grab an Irish Coffee at Buena Vista Cafe beforehand.