Friday 7 Feb, 2014

A San Francisco Classic: Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf

No student trip to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to the famous Fisherman’s Wharf.

The name and characteristics of this neighborhood date back to the early days of the Gold Rush (around the mid to late 1800’s). This community was heavily populated with Italian immigrant fishermen who set the foundation to make it the bustling area it is today.

Today, it is a lively neighborhood with a little bit of everything – from shopping and restaurants, to museums and sea lions (Yep, we said sea lions.)

Restaurants

Pier 39 is the place to go when you’re looking for a bite to eat. Here you can find amazing Italian and seafood restaurants such as Fisherman’s Grotto, Pompei’s Grotto and Alioto’s,  a family-run restaurant going back three generations. Wherever you eat, you can’t forget to order the Dungeness crab (a San Fran favorite).

Shopping

Converted from Del Monte’s largest fruit-canning plant to a mall with dining, shopping and entertainment, The Cannery is a must-see while at Fisherman’s Wharf. With over 30 shops, a courtyard full of vendors’ stalls and sidewalk cafes and street performers filling the area with lively acts, there is more-than-enough to see and do!

Museums

If you’re looking for two floors of weird, strange and unbelievable exhibits then make a stop at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum. This is your chance to see the unusual art coupled with genuine and incredible artifacts from around the globe.

For a more interactive outing, head over to the Musée Mécanique.  Consisting of 20th century penny arcade games this is a great way to enjoy the entertainment of the early 1900s. The best part is that walking through the museum is completely free, unless you feel like trying your luck playing any of the games!

And the sea lions…

Right off Pier 39 you can find a colony of “sea-lebrities”. These famous sea lions started arriving after an earthquake in 1989, and now simply sunbathe on the docks for locals and visitors alike to take in.  If you’re looking to get a sneak peek before your visit, now you can thanks to Pier 39’s Sea Lion Webcam. (But the real thing is always better.)