san francisco fishermans wharf
San Francisco
Fisherman's Wharf

At Fisherman's Wharf, the smell of salt air and breezes blowing off the ocean makes you want to hop on the first boat and sail across the Pacific, but a cruise around San Francisco Bay with kids is great fun (no sailing experience required). On land, explore historic sailing ships or a World War II submarine. Around Pier 39, you'll find a different sort of marine life - California sea lions. Round out your visit to Fisherman's Wharf with a visit to "The Rock," Alcatraz Island.

Alcatraz Island
Pier 39
Maritime National Historical Park
Bay Cruises - Take a boat cruise around San Francisco Bay. In the hour-long cruise, you'll sail past the San Francisco waterfront, Sausalito, Alcatraz and Angel Islands. The most memorable highlight - sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Boudin Bakery (Jefferson St.) - The Boudin family has been making sourdough bread in San Francisco since 1849. Pick up bread for your picnic or to eat right now. Bread comes in delightful shapes - crabs, alligators, bears, turtles. Also, in the cafe, sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches, soup or chili in a bread bowl, family meals.
USS Pampanito Submarine - Take a tour of this World War II long-range cruising submarine. The "silent service" wasn't so silent - it was noisy and hot in a submarine, and it had very cramped quarters. Inside the submarine, you'll see berths in the torpedo room, the tiny galley kitchen, radio and engine rooms, and crew's quarters, with bunks stacked three deep (the crew took turns sleeping). The audio tour is free, informative, and you can take it at your own pace.
Musee Mechanique (Pier 45) - The Musee Mechanique is an antique coin-operated arcade, a collection of mechanical toys from the late 19th and 20th century. These charming mechanical toys feature a handmade miniature carnival and farm, gypsy fortunetellers, 3-D steroscopes of the San Francisco earthquake, player pianos, plus old favorites such as Whac a Mole, pinball machines and old video games. Great place to come on a bad weather day.
Ride the cable car - At the corner of Beach and Hyde Streets is the cable car turnaround for both the Powell-Hyde cable car. Riding up the hill, be sure to look back for views of the wharf and San Francisco Bay.
Lombard Street - Lombard Street looks like a child's drawing - a red brick road, planted with bright flowers, curving back and forth down the steep hill. Drive down the hill in a car for the full effect (but it is very crowded in summer.) Or, take the Powell-Hyde cable car, and hop off at Lombard Street. The view from the top of the hill is spectacular.
Fun food
Chocolate lovers (kids and parents) will want to head over to Ghirardelli Square, for gooey ice cream sundaes and chocolates, a San Francisco tradition. At the Chocolate Experience shop every kind of Ghirardelli chocolates, also hot fudge sundaes, and views of the Bay.