Downtown San Francisco is stunning to say the least. It is filled with iconic landmarks ranging from the Transamerica Pyramid, Alcatraz Island, Pier 39, and the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. There’s so much to do in the Fisherman’s Wharf area that it’s sometimes hard to decide what to see first. Never fear, Paupers Without Travel is here to provide you with the must-do activities and restaurants you simply must see before leaving the harbor.
1. The Ghirardelli Store: Believe it or not, Ghirardelli was founded and established along the pristine waters of the San Francisco Bay in a factory-like building located on Pier 39. The store lights up at night with a giant neon sign overhead and unleashes an aroma of freshly-made chocolate, fudge, and cocoa throughout the wharf. The store is cozy, with plenty of room to sit down and have a bite of something sweet after a delicious dinner at the harbor. Adjacent to the shop is the Fairmont Hotel, a beautiful luxury resort with splendid views of the harbor.
2. See the Sea Lions: Many people miss this attraction in Fisherman’s Wharf because they are too busy to even notice it. As you are walking down Pier 39, you will come across a large rock near the dock. Every day, hundreds of sea lions gather on the boulder to soak in some sun and wave to tourists and residents alike. They are charming, silly, and cute animals just begging for attention. Make sure you have your camera ready! – PS – This year, the Sea Lions seem to have done a disappearing act! http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Famed-sea-lions-vanish-from-Fisherman-s-Wharf-5585563.php
3. Boudin’s Bakery: Boudin’s is a restaurant off of Fisherman’s Wharf and across the street from Pier 39. It is similar to a Panera but has a unique German and central European flavor to it that is to die for. The bread comes out of the oven fresh and is delivered to your table not by a waiter, but by an elaborate system of baskets hanging from the ceiling that travels from table to table. Boudin’s certainly knows how to make the ordinary, extraordinary.
4. Candy: We mentioned the Ghirardelli store earlier but aside from that chocolate warehouse, Fisherman’s Wharf is littered with candy stores offering fresh taffy and caramel for you to indulge in. It’s all made at the wharf and there’s nothing quite like it.
5. Soak in the Sights: You never know what will happen on Fisherman’s Wharf. Near the carousel, you can usually find a street performer or two; juggling or doing magic tricks. Sometimes, there are spontaneous laser-light shows and fireworks that are completely unplanned and unannounced. Fisherman’s Wharf is vibrant when the sun sets and full of surprises making every day feel like something special.
After a relaxing evening at the Wharf, it’s fun to take a cable car up one of the sloped streets and see the wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the mysterious Alcatraz Island from a birds-eye view. Talk about a way to conclude a fun-filled day in San Francisco!