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

  • Friday, July 19 at 11:00 am given by David R.Sign Up
  • Monday, July 22 at 11:00 am given by Kelly C.Sign Up
  • Friday, July 26 at 11:00 am given by Rachel B.Sign Up
  • Friday, August 2 at 11:00 am given by Rachel B.Sign Up
  • Friday, August 9 at 10:30 am given by Susan M.Sign Up
  • Monday, August 12 at 11:00 am given by Carol W.Sign Up
  • Monday, August 19 at 11:00 am given by David R.Sign Up
  • Friday, August 30 at 11:00 am given by Kay R.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 group tours required for groups of 8 or more.