Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, drawing over 12 million visitors every year. Once the Little Italy of San Francisco, today the Wharf offers a diverse selection of excellent cuisine to meet all palates, as well as some of the best shopping in the city. Plus, the Wharf offers gorgeous views of the Bay making it the perfect spot for snapping vacation photos that are sure to make your friends and family back home jealous. If visiting in the summer, stop by at night for a romantic stroll and watch the lights dance on the water.
True to its name, Fisherman’s Wharf is also home to a number of fisherman, and should visitors want to get a truly unique experience on the Bay, they can arrange fishing charters. If you’d like to spend some time on the water, but don’t want to work for your dinner, there are also a number of daytime and sunset cruises available that offer amazing views of the city.
In addition to fishermen, there’s another local community that calls the Wharf home. About twenty years ago, hundreds of California sea lions flocked to the floating docks on the Bay and have stayed ever since to soak up the sun and snack on local herring. Be sure to look for these animal residents lounging and playing in the marina. If you want to learn more about these fascinating creatures, make a point to catch the educational talk run by the Marine Mammal Center on Pier 39 each weekend, weather permitting.
Another truly unique attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf is the Musée Mécanique at Pier 45. Unlike any other museum you’ve visited, the Musée Mécanique is filled with wonderful antique arcade machines (that you can actually play!) instead of paintings or sculpture. Explore the rows of old-fashioned amusements including fortune tellers, a mechanical carnival, and the infamous “Laffing Sal.”
Other popular sights to explore include the aquarium, a real World War II submarine that has been fully restored, a Rainforest Café, and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. From delicious food, to natural beauty, to fantastical attractions, Fisherman’s Wharf is a tourist paradise. Make sure to set aside a good chunk of time to explore all it has to offer!
How to Get There
Getting to Fisherman’s Wharf from The Payne Mansion Hotel is as easy as calling a car through our convenient on-demand iCar service, or hopping on public transportation, located just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.
If you’re traveling by car, head west on Sutter Street and make a loop to get onto Franklin Street heading north. Stay on Franklin until you reach Bay Street, where you’ll take a right. Take a right again a few blocks later on Jones Street, and once you arrive at Jefferson Street, you’ll have reached the Wharf. By car Fisherman’s Wharf is only a 10 minute drive from the hotel.
If you’d rather travel via public transit, you’re only a 19 minute bus ride away from some of the best attractions in the city. Head east out of the hotel on Sutter Street and just one block later you’ll be at the Van Ness Ave & Sutter Street stop where you can catch the #47 bus towards Fisherman’s Wharf. Stay on the bus until it reaches North Point St & Jones St. After disembarking, head north on Jones Street toward the water and in just a few minutes you’ll arrive at your destination.