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Maritime Park and Historic Ships at Hyde Street Pier

Maritime Park and Historic Ships at Hyde Street Pier

A bit of nautical history in the heart of the city - National Maritime Park and Historic Ships located at the Hyde Street Pier

San Francisco, a city celebrated for its iconic landmarks and vibrant cultural tapestry, is also home to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Nestled in the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, this park is a treasure trove of maritime history, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the Pacific Coast’s seafaring past. With its collection of historic vessels, a visitor center, maritime museum, research center, and the picturesque Aquatic Park Historic District, the park provides a comprehensive maritime experience.


National Maritime Museum at Hyde Street Pier
National Maritime Museum at Hyde Street Pier


The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was established to preserve the maritime history of the Pacific Coast. Located at the edge of San Francisco Bay, the park encompasses a fleet of historic ships moored at Hyde Street Pier, the Maritime Museum housed in the distinctive Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building, and the Maritime Research Center. These components collectively tell the story of the men and women who braved the seas, the evolution of maritime technology, and the role San Francisco played in maritime history.


Today, the park serves as a living museum where the maritime history of the Pacific Coast is preserved and presented through its historic vessels, exhibits, and educational programs. Visitors can explore the ships, participate in ranger-led tours, and attend various maritime-themed events throughout the year.

San Francisco Maritime Museum is located in the  Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building
Photo by: Chris Wood [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]
San Francisco Maritime Museum is located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building
Photo by: Chris Wood [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]


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.

Not to be Missed

  • Historic Vessels at Hyde Street Pier: The park boasts an impressive fleet, including the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, the 1895 schooner C.A. Thayer, and the 1890 steam ferryboat Eureka, among others. Each ship has its unique story and significance in maritime history.
  • Maritime Museum: Located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building, this museum features Streamline Moderne architecture and showcases art from the 1930s, including murals by Sargent Johnson and Hilaire Hiler.

Location, Address, Website, and Hours

  • Location: Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco, CA
  • Address: 499 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
  • Website: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
  • Hours: The park and vessels at Hyde Street Pier are open to visitors year-round. Specific hours and availability of tours may vary, so visitors are encouraged to check the website or call ahead.


Why You Should Visit

The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the rich maritime history of the Pacific Coast. It’s a place where history comes alive, offering educational and recreational activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a maritime aficionado, or simply looking for a unique San Francisco experience, the park provides an engaging and enlightening visit.

Fun Facts

  • Did you know? The Balclutha made 17 voyages around Cape Horn, braving some of the world’s most treacherous waters.
  • Did you know? The Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building, now the Maritime Museum, is a prime example of Streamline Moderne architecture, reflecting the maritime theme in its design and art deco features.
Aerial view of Fort Mason, the Marina District, and the Presidio from the East, 1979-1980.
Aerial view of Fort Mason, the Marina District, and the Presidio from the East, 1979-1980.

Exploring the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is like embarking on a voyage through time. It’s a place where the maritime past is preserved, not just in the stories of the ships and the people who sailed them, but in the very fabric of the park itself. From the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier to the art deco elegance of the Maritime Museum, the park offers a fascinating journey through the maritime history of San Francisco and the Pacific Coast.


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!
 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!
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.
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.
:  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.
– Mural-filled alley with perfect backdrops for Instagram and Tik Tok. Free and Family friendly. Located at 757 Beach Street near Hyde St.

The Maritime Park and Hyde Street Pier are featured on these tours :

City Tour
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Lucky Tuk Tuk City Tour

Explore beautiful San Francisco in your own private, electric Tuk Tuk! Perfect for families and groups. A personal guide for your party commandeers this modern-day rickshaw at a pace that’s right for you!
Evening Tour
Night View of Bay Bridge and Coit Tower from San Francisco

Night Private Charter San Francisco Lights Tour

Explore San Francisco at night in a cozy, electric Tuk Tuk! Get up close to the glittering lights and go where buses don’t dare in this modern-day rickshaw. Live commentary included!

Jump Aboard these Other Fun Tours and Rentals to Explore San Francisco

Buckle in and explore the city with an entertaining driving tour of or a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge to walk among the .
San Francisco Jeep Tours will drive you and up to 6 guests in a convertible Jeep. You’ll see all the iconic sites and attractions on exclusive routes with a fun and experienced tour guide.

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