Part of San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, the Hyde Street Pier introduces visitors to San Francisco’s maritime heritage as a busy Pacific port with its collection of ships from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Jutting out into San Francisco Bay, the pier also offers scenic views of the waterfront.
Hyde Street Pier is located on the western edge of the tourist-centered Fisherman’s Wharf. From the wooden pier you can tour historic ships. Check out the Balclutha, a 3-masted square-rigger that rounded the horn 17 times, or learn how Hercules, a steam tugboat, towed another ship from New Jersey around the tip of South America to San Francisco. Guided walks and Segway tours of the waterfront are available.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Hyde Street Pier is ideal for history and naval buffs.
- There is a visitor center at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson streets.
- Driving is not recommended in this busy neighborhood, as street parking is limited.
- Wear comfortable shoes to walk out on the pier and along the waterfront.
How to Get There
For a quintessentially San Francisco experience, take the Powell–Hyde cable car line, which runs north from Union Square to the cable car turnaround at Hyde and Beach streets. Alternatively, take the F line streetcar along the Embarcadero.
When to Get There
Go in the evening to enjoy the sunset light, which is perfect for photos, or go in the morning to beat the crowds that descend on Fisherman’s Wharf every day. Fleet Week (early October), and July 4 (when the city puts on a fireworks display) are great times to be on the waterfront.
Head just down Beach Street to Aquatic Park to visit the art-deco Maritime Museum and learn more about San Francisco’s maritime history. You’ll also see bold locals—members of the historic South End and Dolphin swimming and rowing clubs—swimming in the frigid bay waters. Just above the park is Ghirardelli Square, where you can treat yourself to some chocolate or an ice cream sundae.