Like many of the most interesting places to visit in San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf became populated during the gold rush of the mid-1800s. Immigrants flocked to the city, and many, particularly Italian and Chinese immigrants, used their skills as fishermen to make a living. Back in the day, the Italian sailors were known for their singing, including operatic tunes that weren’t always on key. Along with the fog, sailboats were prevalent in the bay until the turn of the 20th century, when gas-powered boats enabled the fishermen to go farther afield for their catches. (The fog remains.)
A great number of those Monterey Hull boats are still in use today alongside modern diesel-fueled commercial crafts that bring in fish and crabs. Some of today’s fishermen are the descendants, generations removed, of earlier fisherman. The original wharf drew not only fisherman but also immigrants, as well as the food and lumber that helped build San Francisco and rebuild the city after the 1906 earthquake.
It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that Fisherman’s Wharf was developed into a major tourist attraction. At Pier 39, visitors delight in watching the sea lions. Foodies can enjoy a variety of seafood and other fine restaurants and Ghirardelli Square, where they can purchase some delicious chocolate. Looking to be spooked or intrigued? Check out the wax museum and/or the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. History buffs can peruse a 19th-century cargo ship, the Balclutha and World War II submarine the U.S.S. Pampanito.
You might remember seeing San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf as the backdrop in the James Bond flick A View to Kill, starring Roger Moore. You’ll definitely remember seeing yourself, your family, your friends, your employees or coworkers in a few selfies and other photos of one of the most popular attractions on the West Coast—Fisherman’s Wharf in beautiful San Francisco.