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Fisherman’s Wharf for the Holidays

Merrytime at the Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf celebrates with lighted fishing boats in the harbor, Boat parade and the Crab wheel sign light for the holidays

Fisherman’s Wharf for the Holidays: Merrytime at the Wharf

As the holiday season descends upon San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf transforms into a festive wonderland, embodying the spirit of MerryTime. With the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf crab wheel adorned in twinkling holiday lights, this beloved location invites visitors to celebrate the season in style. This year’s highlights include the dazzling Lighted Boat Parade on December 15 and the unveiling of a spectacularly decorated tree at PIER 39

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in San Francisco
Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in San Francisco



Tracing its origins back to the early 1800s, Fisherman’s Wharf began as a humble fishing community. First-generation Italian immigrants established a thriving fishing industry, laying the foundation for what would become San Francisco’s number one tourist destination. These pioneers not only fished but also created delicious seafood recipes, leading to the establishment of Italian-owned seafood restaurants along the waterfront. Today, the descendants of these original fishermen continue to serve up culinary delights, maintaining their family legacies.

Holiday Lighted Fishermans Whar Sign
Holiday Lighted Fishermans Whar Sign


Drawing millions annually, Fisherman’s Wharf remains a vibrant hub of activity. From the iconic crab sign to the fresh seafood sold by street vendors, the area is a feast for the senses. The fishing boats docked here are manned by the descendants of those early Italian immigrants, ensuring the continuation of a rich cultural and culinary tradition. As night falls, Fisherman’s Wharf comes alive with live music, karaoke, and sunset cruises.

Not to be Missed

  • Annual Lighted Boat Parade: A spectacular nautical display illuminating the holiday season.
  • Decorated Tree at PIER 39 and festive decorations at Ghirardelli Square: Marvel at the holiday beauty of these iconic locations.

Location, Address, Website, and Hours

Why You Should Visit

Fisherman’s Wharf during the holidays offers a unique blend of historical charm and festive cheer. Whether it’s indulging in fresh Dungeness crab, exploring the area’s rich history, or enjoying the holiday decorations and events, there’s something for everyone.

Did You Know?

  • Fun Fact: The Fisherman’s Wharf crab wheel is one of the most photographed symbols in San Francisco, especially dazzling during the holiday season.
  • Did You Know?: The Lighted Boat Parade is a tradition that has been lighting up the Bay Area for years, bringing together boats of all shapes and sizes in a festive display.

Other Holiday Tour Destinations in San Francisco

PIER 39 Holiday Tree with Nightly Tree Lighting Shows Experience the holiday magic at PIER 39 in San Francisco, where a towering Christmas tree lights up the waterfront, offering a festive backdrop to a season full of joy, shopping, dining, and the famous sea lions

Fisherman’s Wharf for the Holidays -Fisherman’s Wharf celebrates with lighted fishing boats in the harbor, a Boat parade, and the Crab wheel sign light for the holidays

Experience the holiday magic at the Fairmont San Francisco with its life-sized Gingerbread House, crafted from thousands of gingerbread bricks and adorned with candy. A festive tradition that delights visitors of all ages.

Union Square Christmas Tree, Ice Skating Rink, and more – Take in one of the largest holiday displays in San Francisco including the 83-foot tree at the center of Union Square

Cable Cars are decorated for the Holiday Season: 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!

Experience the magic of the holiday season at San Francisco’s City Hall and Civic Center. 50′ Tall Holiday Tree with City Hall light up in holiday colors as the perfect backdrop.

Holiday Magic at Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco’s historic landmark, where festive lights, holiday movies, and the aroma of chocolate create a perfect holiday escape

Umbrella Alley All Holiday Lights and Sights Tours start at Umbrella Alley in Fisheman’s Wharf. Mural-filled alley with perfect backdrops for Instagram and Tik Tok. Located at 757 Beach Street near Hyde St.

Fisherman's Wharf for the Holidays is featured on these Holiday tours :

Lucky Tuk Tuk holiday lights sites tour San Francisco

Holiday Lights & Sites Lucky Tuk Tuk Tour in San Francisco

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