Fisherman’s Wharf: A Hidden History

Neighborhood: Fisherman's Wharf


It may not look like it now, but underneath the sleek, commercial facade of today’s redeveloped Fisherman’s Wharf, hundreds of Italian immigrants built an entire industry on the backs of Dungeness crab. Dive into the tremendous history of a world-famous shore front. Hear stories of the lateen-rigged feluccas sailed by the city’s fishermen. We’ll talk about the bay and the courageous souls who’ve gone for a swim in it and if we’re lucky we’ll spot a harbor seal or sea lion.

Not everything on this tour happens on the water. We’ll look at Ghirardelli Square, once the factory of San Francisco’s most beloved chocolatier, and later an early adaptive re-use project. As we pass the Hyde Street Cable Car Turnaround, we’ll spend some time discussing the distinguished history of San Francisco’s cable cars, the last manually operated cable car system in the world.  For something truly unique we visit the Musée Mécanique, a completely analog arcade

But San Francisco has always been a seaport and we’ll explain the stories of many of the historic ships anchored at the Hyde Street Pier, the largest in-water ship museum in the world.

Discover a new side of the Wharf, featuring stories of the Bay that locals themselves don’t know.

Next Tours

  • Monday, December 11 at 11:00 am given by Kay R.Sign Up
  • Friday, December 15 at 10:30 am given by Jim C.Sign Up
  • Monday, December 18 at 11:00 am given by David R.Sign Up
  • Friday, December 29 at 10:30 am given by Jim C.Sign Up
  • Friday, January 26 at 11:00 am given by Kelly C.Sign Up
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Tour Length: Approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours


Meet at Mermaid Fountain, Ghirardelli Square courtyard , Larkin St. between North Point & Beach Sts.

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Please note: Private groups tours required for groups of 8 or more.