Top 10 Things To Do & See in Fisherman’s Wharf: The Sea Salty Flavor of San Francisco

Seleba Ouattara

It is the first point of attraction that greets you as you enter the city of San Francisco: Fisherman’s Wharf. One of the most iconic fishing harbors of the West, the Wharf is a beautiful combination of history and culture the world can’t seem to get enough of. Here are ten attractions that are definitely a hit.

A frog at the Rainforest Café

A frog at the Rainforest Café © Seleba OuattaraThe Rainforest CaféPerhaps the closest thing to dining in the actual Amazon, the Rainforest Café boasts “part adventure, part restaurant, and wholly entertaining for the whole family!” (Rainforest Café, Main Website) The café uses a beautiful setup of foliage, animal sculptures, fountains, and rainforest ambiance to create the perfect replica of an actual rainforest. It serves as both a souvenir shop and fantastic dining experience for families at a reasonable price.The Rainforest Café, 145 Jefferson Street #400, San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 440-5610 Sea lions sunbathing in the afternoon © Seleba Ouattara

Sea lions sunbathing in the afternoon

The Sea Lions of PIER 39 They began inhabiting the K-Dock of PIER 39 after an earthquake in 1989, and they haven’t really left since. According to the San Francisco Sea Lion Center, these slippery sun-bathers total over 1,700 in number, and serve to teach tourists and city dwellers alike the importance of protecting sea life in the Pacific Ocean.The Sea Lion Center, The Embarcadero at Beach Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 262-4734 Lefty’s store sign © Seleba Ouattara

Lefty’s the Left Hand Store For righties, it’s an unusual experience. For lefties, it’s heaven on Earth. In a world that caters mostly to right-handed folk, Lefty’s in San Francisco is understandably a fresh breath of air for left-handed friends. Lefty’s has been selling both everyday and novelty items (including guitars!) to the left-handed since 1978.Lefty’s San Francisco , Pier 39, San Francisco, CA (415) 445-0141

Entrance to the Aquarium of the Bay

Entrance to the Aquarium of the Bay © Seleba OuattaraAquarium of The Bay Next to the sea lions, the Aquarium of The Bay serves as another great opportunity to learn about sea life in the Bay and Pacific Ocean. Patrons of the aquarium could potentially interact with about 20,000 different species of Bay Area sea life, including octopi and sharks. A day spent at the Aquarium of the Bay is a truly mesmerizing experience for both young and old alike.Aquarium of The Bay , The Embarcadero at Beach Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 623-5300

Entrance to Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

Entrance to Ripley’s Believe it or Not! © Seleba OuattaraA house for all things unusual, Ripley’s of Fisherman’s Wharf has provided bizarre attractions for San Francisco since 1918. This museum of oddities boasts over 10,000 square feet of creepy, cool, and just plain weird. From centuries-old mummified body parts, to a Transformer built completely from scrap car parts, Ripley’s definitely caters to the curiosity of all, no matter their interests.Ripley’s San Francisco , 175 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 202-9850

Across the street from the Exploratorium

Across the street from the Exploratorium © Seleba Ouattara The Exploratorium There are many educational opportunities and experiences in San Francisco alone, and the Exploratorium on Fisherman’s Wharf is among the most interactive of them all. Founded in 1969, this scientific playground has never failed to meld ongoing research and art together for the masses. Its iconic exhibits are all designed with the purpose of entertaining AND educating people of all ages and learning backgrounds. The Exploratorium , The Embarcadero at Green Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 528-4444

In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger © Seleba OuattaraIn-N-Out Burger Arguably one of the best burger chains on the west coast, In-N-Out found its way to Fisherman’s Wharf in 1992. You can either choose items from the original menu, or get creative with the well-known and delicious “Secret Menu”. Either way, any choice definitely makes an experience here worthwhile.In-N-Out San Francisco , 333 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA (800) 786-1000

Main entrance of Ghirardelli Square

Main entrance of Ghirardelli Square © Seleba OuattaraGhirardelli Square At night, the well-known sign glitters at the waterfront of San Francisco. A beautiful restoration of the chocolate factory established late 17th century, Ghirardelli Square is home to many unique boutiques and fine dining experiences, including the premiere Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop.Ghirardelli Square , 900 Point Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 775-5500

Inside Boudin’s Bakery

Inside Boudin’s Bakery © Seleba OuattaraBoudin Bakery SF No trip to San Francisco is complete without eating chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, and Boudin Bakery can definitely satisfy that need. Since 1849, Boudin has been credited for creating the iconic “San Francisco-style” sourdough French bread, using a centuries-old family recipe. The museum and bakery is currently home to culinary history, great food, and artistic bread-pieces. Boudin SF , 160 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 928-1849″Laffing Sal” at Museé Mécaniqué © Seleba Ouattara

“Laffing Sal” at Museé Mécaniqué

Museé MécaniquéA step into antiquity, Museé Mécaniqué is home to over 200 privately-owned classic mechanical music machines and arcade games. Relocated to Fisherman’s Wharf in 2002, the museum pays homage to the days of San Francisco’s Playland, formerly located near the Great Highway and Ocean Beach. Patrons can watch a self-playing piano, have a mechanical grandmother read their fortune, or even try their luck with the love-tester machine, for a relatively low price. It is truly meant to be a blast from the past for older patrons, and an interactive history lesson for the young.Museé Mécaniqué, Pier 45 and Taylor Street , San Francisco, CA (415) 346-2000 by Seleba Ouattara

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article