National Maritime Park and Historic Ships located at the Hyde Street Pier

Located in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers visitors the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history. The Park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, a Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District.

Historic ships of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
Historic ships of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
Historic ships of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park Chris Wood [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

What to See

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located on the edge of San Francisco Bay in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood and can be visited year-round.

Begin at the Park Visitor Center (Phone: 415-447-5000), located at 499 Jefferson Street (Zip Code: 94109) at the corner of Hyde Street. There, Park Rangers will help you plan your visit. 

From the Visitor Center, cross Jefferson Street to Hyde Street Pier and visit the park's collection of floating historic ships. Here, you can also see breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

From Hyde Street Pier, take a short stroll across the park to see the exhibits in the Maritime Museum located in the ship-shaped Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building.

Historic Vessels at Hyde Street Pier

Balclutha is a three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged ship built to carry a variety of cargo all over the world. Launched in 1886 by the Charles Connell and Company shipyard near Glasgow, Scotland, the ship carried goods around Cape Horn (tip of South America) 17 times. It took a crew of about 26 men to handle the ship at sea with her complex rigging and 25 sails.

The CA Thayer is a wooden-hulled, three-masted schooner, designed for carrying lumber.  She was built in 1895 in Northern California at Hans D. Bendixsen’s shipyard in Fairhaven, CA. The original hull was made of dense, old-growth Douglas fir carefully chosen for shipbuilding. She sailed with a small crew consisting of four seamen, two mates, a cook, and the captain.

San Francisco Maritime Museum is located in the  Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building
San Francisco Maritime Museum is located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building
San Francisco Maritime Museum is located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building Photo by: Chris Wood [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

The Bathhouse building was built in 1939 as a joint project of the City of San Francisco and the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA), and is the focal point of the Aquatic Park Historic Landmark District. This unique structure was designed in the Streamline Moderne style, a late offshoot of the Art Deco period, and mimics the clean lines of an ocean liner.

The building is a showcase for art created during the 1930s by Sargent Johnson and Hilaire Hiler. Dazzling murals cover the interior walls.

Nearby Points of Interest

Cable Cars: open to the public since 1873, this fascinating mode of transportation conveys visitors from Market Street to Beach Street, where Fisherman’s Wharf is less than a ten minute walk away. Be sure to watch operators move the cable car on a turntable to point it in the right direction for the return trip to Market Street!

Alcatraz Island: this island prison is now a famous tourist attraction, but in its heyday, it housed the era’s most infamous prisoners. Inmates could hear laughter carried across the water from the city, and many attempted the one-mile swim to land. Visit today for a tour!

Pier 39: Famous for its sunbathing sea lions, shopping, and seafood, Pier 39 houses a delightful collection of specialty shops and tourist attractions that will delight the entire family. Eat at the Hard Rock Café, ride the vintage hand painted carousel, or watch a live magic show with the kids. Don’t forget to visit the Welcome Center for your free coupon booklet!

Aquarium of the Bay: Located at Pier 39, the aquarium is home to sharks, bat rays, sea anemones, and more! Its interactive exhibits allow visitors a rare chance to feel and interact with creatures difficult to access in the wild, such as sea anemones and starfish.

Coit Tower: don’t miss the panorama from the 210-foot high tower, which offers views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, the Bay Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline.

North Beach / Little Italy:  Little Italy offers a variety of bars, comedy clubs, and authentic Italian restaurants. Try some focaccia bread, or take a walk in the relaxing green space of Washington Square.

Maritime Park and Historic Ships at Hyde Street Pier is featured on:

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