You can’t visit San Francisco without taking a walk, a cab, or a cable car ride to Fisherman’s Wharf. There is joy here, excitement, restaurants that won’t break the bank, street theater, and, of course, the ocean and barking seals. You smell the spray, and you feel vibrant.
Fishermen from Genoa and Sicily arrived at what would become Fisherman’s Wharf in the late 19th century. After the Gold Rush, San Francisco was the global go-to place. Money flowed, there was plenty of work catering to those who had struck it rich, and the state grew up.
After the immigrants got the fishing industry started, it boomed. Until the 1950s, it was strictly a working man’s wharf. Sometime during the 50s, tourists started wandering to the wharf and they liked what they saw. Brightly colored ships setting out to sea each morning, and the catch coming in during the early evening hours—you can’t beat it.
Today there are plenty of gaudy shops, a few elegant restaurants, great seafood, some real characters, live music, and plenty of people to watch and chat with. Go watch those seals—they are a riot. Be loose enough to enjoy the scene!
Hop on a cable car, and it will take you right to the wharf. Get on a boat, the red and white fleet, and take a ferry spin around the Bay right beneath the Golden Gate. It’s a thrill to be out on the water, and on a very clear day, the beauty is practically surreal.