Fisherman’s Wharf, Family Travel to San Francisco

During our Disney Wonder cruise down the West coast, the ship docked right beside Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, the perfect place for families to sightsee while in San Francisco.

Disney Wonder Port San Francisco My Organized Chaos

Fisherman’s Wharf is also home to Pier 39, which I included in my San Francisco for family travel post, yet The Wharf and surrounding area offer so much, so it needed it’s own post!

Fishermans Wharf San Francisco My Organized Chaos

Note that it’s a busy location, so expect tons of people wandering around, it’s one of the most well known tourist attractions in North America. For a reason, Fisherman’s Wharf is a must-see when in San Francisco. Part of that hustle and bustle is it’s charm, it’s full of energy for adults and children. The street performers were a hit with my kids. Yet don’t let the opportunity pass to try some fresh crab or seafood while in the area that it’s famous for.

San Francisco Travel My Organized Chaos

Fisherman’s Wharf is best known for being the location of Pier 39, the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, the Wax Museum, and restaurants and stands that serve fresh seafood, most notably dungeness crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl. Which leads me too…


Boudin Bakery At The Wharf

A marvel to experience, the Boudin Bakery down the street from the Wharf was the birthplace of Boudin sourdough bread. “In 1849, the Boudin family struck culinary gold. Wild yeasts in the San Francisco air had imparted a unique tang to their traditional French bread, giving rise to ‘San Francisco sourdough French bread.’ “.

fisherman\'s wharf, at boudin sourdough

Cool fact? The starter they use for ALL their sourdough baking, even today, is from the original 1849 batch. WOW! At the front of the building is an observation window with a speaker, so you can ask the baker questions as they create different shapes with the dough.

a restaurant, with San Francisco and Travel

You’ll also notice that the factory pumps out fresh sourdough air into the streets. While watching and smelling, you can’t not help but to go in and explore.


Step inside Boudin Bakery and there’s a shop, restaurant and cafe.

A group of people standing in front of a store

We bought a fresh sourdough roll to share {they are huge!}. We would have stayed to eat more, but we had just eaten. So, we bought a couple cans of their Clam Chowder to take home.

A store filled with lots of food on a table, with San Francisco and Travel

A display in a store filled with lots of food, with Bakery and Street


Water Sightseeing Tours

Our family of 5 also went on the RocketBoat, a speedboat from Blue & Gold Fleet that tours the San Francisco Bay for a half hour at 50mph. I wasn’t sure if the turns, jumps, and splashing would agree with the kids too much {especailly my 4yo twins}, but they loved it. It was a blast! Plus, we got to see some sights real close up, like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge. The next day we also cruised the bay via their ferry boat, taking a close look at Alcatraz, which I mentioned in my previous post.

A young girl flying a kite on the beach

San Francisco Bridge My Organized Chaos

Whether standing on the waterfront by Pier 39, or by touring boat as you leave the shore, you’ll spot an area of hundreds of sea lions. There for most of the year, I’ve never seen so many Sea Lions in one spot before.

Sea Lions Fishermans Wharf San Francisco My Organized Chaos

Basking in the sun and chatting with each other, we watched these guys {and gals} for a long time.


Dining ~ Fog Harbour Fish House

Ahhh, almost an endless topic of conversation at Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s anything and everything imaginable. Yet, seafood is the claim to fame here, so make sure to try something different while there. It’s all part of the travelling experience! For dinner one night we all met at Fog Harbour, a fish house and San Francisco dining landmark.

Fog Harbour San Francisco My Organized Chaos

The restaurant was created by the family who developed PIER 39, the history spans over three decades and includes three generations. So, its one of those places that you can take pride in supporting and enjoying. But the food? Devine! From fresh seafood entrees and appetizers, right down to the Chicken Fingers and fries that my kids ordered, it’s delicious.

Fog Harbour Seafood San Francisco My Organized Chaos

As well, Fog Harbour is the first and only restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf to offer a 100% sustainable seafood menu based on recommendations by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and Aquarium of the Bay. Just look at this lobster! But really, the photo doesn’t do it justice at all. Delish!

Fog Harbour Lobster San Francisco My Organized Chaos

A tip from me? Order the Strawberry Daiquiri, it was the ideal drink after a long and hot day of sightseeing. Its made with real strawberries too, so have a couple {or three}. Fruit Group!

Even better, enjoy the experience via waterfront dining – watching that sun set off the coast is fabulous. You can actually see both the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge right from your table.

San Francisco Travel Families My Organized Chaos

Once again, I suggest getting a San Francisco CityPASS ticket booklet for each member of your family. Discounts on admissions and attractions with free coupons too. Make sure to check out my post on San Francisco family friendly attractions, for even more tips and information to make your trip to the bay area a memorable one!


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  1. WOW! What beautiful photo`s. Looks so serene and peaceful there. LOVE LOVE LOVE the alligator (or maybe its a croc lol) bread!!! Sooo cool

  2. I would LOVE to visit San Fran one day… and a Disney cruise?! Jealous!!

  3. I used to live 45 minutes north of San Fran, and Fisherman’s Wharf was always one of my favorite places to go!

  4. Wow, that must have been one heck of a vacation! The food alone would make this my dream trip! You take beautiful pics btw. 🙂

  5. I would love to go to San Fransisco! In 2007, I went on a holiday to LA with my mom and we had so much planned for that week! We hoped to get to San Fran but didn’t get the chance! Looks so awesome there!

  6. I’d love to bring my kids to San Franscisco, but my husband used to live there – 25 years ago – and has no desire to go back. Oh well, I’ll have to work on that. We’ve been on the Disney Wonder and the Disney Dream – love the Dream!

  7. Oh my this look so amazing I don’t ever really get to take the family to do anything I just know they would love something like this thanks so much for the post

  8. Everytime we go to San Francisco we have to get one of the animal shaped breads from the Boudin’s shop…my kids love them (and so do I).

    1. Windy yes! I wasn’t expecting that, though it is obvious that it would be, right?
      I didn’t take a light jacket the first day and regretted it a bit. But, compared to freezing Canada, I survived! lol

  9. The Boudin Family Bread makes a great alligator bread! And the Disney Trip sounded like a winner!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your pic with me!! I want to go on a Disney trip sooooo bad because I have a 2 year old granddaughter that would love to go. I need to start saving!!

  11. For the older kids try and make your trip coincide with comicon!!! I know it’s more driving to get to but it’s something else that you will never forget.

  12. It was so fun to experience your trip with you in this way. Thanks for all the great photos to go along with it too!
    Made me want to plan a trip with our kids, right away! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I haven’t been to SF in a long time – this looks like a great way to see it!

  14. That Boudin Bakery Bread Alligator or Crocodile photo is fantastic! Of course I enjoy funny images with teeth!! Thanks for sharing sweet San Fran pics!

  15. I have always wanted to plan a trip to the West Coast. Thank you for the informative post – I will definitely have to add San Francisco to the itinerary!

  16. you made me homesick with this travel review I was born and bred in SF thx for the nice reminders of that..

  17. Judging from the pictures alone, San Francisco looks like a great place. The bakery alone amazes me. I’d like to visit at one point and take in a Giants game.

  18. Those photos are amazing, especially the bread alligator & the delicious food…I would love to be there right NOW!! I live near the water, so I know how fantastic it can be to be so close to the ocean.

  19. This looks like it was an amazing trip! I will be sure to check out many of these same sites if I get a chance to visit there!

  20. Great photos, thanks for sharing! I’ve always wanted to go, love this piece, thank you!

  21. I remember going to the wharf as a kid. My family at at a restaurant and I saw Susan Summers. I wish to this day I would have had her sign something. I also remember the sourdough bread. It was so good.

  22. I’m jealous! Great pics of what looked to be so much fun! Absolutely loved the gator bread, too cute!

  23. Beautiful! My husband has been and is dying to go back, but I’m not to thrilled about trying to travel cross country with six kids in tow. Hopefully when they are older, we’ll get ourselves out that way!

  24. Looks like you guys had a blast. I have to admit, San Fran was never a big “must see” in my books but Fisherman’s Warf has totally turned that around. I’m adding it to my bucket list. Thanks for the great photos!

  25. San Francisco is a place I’ve been wanting to visit. Loved your pictures, some made me hungry .. lol

  26. Wow, that looked like an awesome trip. I love cruises and we’ve done 3 so far, but I’d love to do a Disney Cruise one day!

  27. I definitely want to visit San Francisco.
    Thanks so much for these posts. It’s like having my homework done for me!

  28. What an amazing place! San Francisco is definitely on my list of places to visit. The food alone would make it worth the trip.

  29. Wow, love your photos, we missed so much the last time we went. (I had a business conference) When you are trying to squeeze everything in, 3 days is never enough time to see all there is to see in San Francisco. I loved the seals on the wharf. I took so many pictures of the seals. My Sunday School class asked if that’s all we saw – LOL.
    Thanks for sharing and giving me more places to add to my must see list.

  30. I have always wanted to go to San Francisco! I’m not sure how soon I’ll actually make it happen, but IT WILL HAPPEN! Someday. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the courage to take a cruise though! Boat tour, yes. Full on cruise, not so sure.

  31. San Francisco looks amazing!!! Thanks for blogging about the places to go, now I know what to explore when I get there! 😉

  32. I love San Francisco. Make sure you check on the internet which days Alcatraz is open. It isn’t open every day. Buy tickets on line if you can. Bring a heavy spring coat. You would think it is warm but I was freezing.

  33. Great pictures. We traveled to San Francisco a few years ago and enjoyed riding the cable cars. I love the weather.

  34. We also took the California Coastal on the Disney Wonder in Late September 2012. What a wonderful cruise it was. I agree San Francisco was one of my favorite stops, loved the sunbathing seals.

  35. Wow, this looks like a great place to visit!!! I really want to try out a Disney Cruise too so maybe I should check out the one going down the west coast so I can combine both!

  36. I took my teenage son to san fran last fall and it was amazing, a real bonding experience

  37. Pingback: “Its one of those places that you can take pride in supporting and enjoying. But the food? Devine!” | Fog Harbor

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