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San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

499 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Marina)
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Ranked #40 of 374 attractions in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums, National Parks, Educational Sites
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Description: Visitors can take a workshop on boatbuilding, board a vessel docked at the Hyde Street Pier or tour the fine collections of maritime lore.
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171 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
California, USA
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

Secured tickets for the 4 hour tour of San Francisco Bay aboard the 19th century scow schooner "Alma" and was so pleased with the trip! Rangers and volunteers aboard the craft were friendly and quite knowledgeable. Scow schooners played an important part in the Bay's shipping industry in days gone by but remain "unsung heroes" in sea lore. Currently, the... More

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Vancouver, Washington
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

I will admit that I am very fond of ships. That said, this is a great outing. You can walk along the dock for free, and it is only $5 to tour 4 ships. The Balclutha is the large sailing ship and includes several videos of the history of the ship, or you can just walk around. Children enjoyed ringing... More

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North Carolina
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
26 attraction reviews
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

We only toured one ship, the BALCLUTHA, which is a square rigged merchant ship. We got there and a tour was just starting. The ranger was very knowledgable and told us all the history of the ship and also extensively commented on other historical and societal events from the time period. We were able to explore the entire ship to... More

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Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
8 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

As is always our experience with Historical and National Parks in the US, the volunteers are wonderful, the displays informative, always something interesting for kids. A must do when traveling with children in San Francisco. The entrance ticket is valid for a week so when your little ones want to go back "watching ships" it's a very good deal!

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
215 reviews 215 reviews
123 attraction reviews
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014

Several ships of very different types are docked along the same wharf making it easy to move from one to the next, and even get peeks at the sea lions swimming nearby. Most important of the ships is the Balclutha which hauled cargoes across the Pacific and the Atlantic and has a fascinating history. There are park rangers eager to... More

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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

Nice place to visit for all ages. For a small fee you can board several types of boats. Or explore from on shore. History comes alive here. Easy access.

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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

Being able to get on board and explore real ships and subs is really an experience. Our family of three (our son is 4) all enjoyed our time here. There was lots of climbing and going down stairs, and crawling through the 'entrances' in the subs. Definitely not for those who have a fear of enclosed spaces! (referring to the... More

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Top Contributor
193 reviews 193 reviews
108 attraction reviews
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

Five restored/preserved ships at the pier that demonstrate the different vessels and different times for maritime travel in the eastern pacific. Had a great time - well worth the several hours we spent here

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Yorktown, Virginia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
16 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

We've visited many a maritime museum, so we probably are not your average reviewers--probably a little pickier than a more casual visitor. Pay the $5 to visit the ships. They are the highlight, and if you look at them from the pier, you miss the best part of the park. In particular, we recommend spending the time to enjoy the... More

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Delhi, California, United States
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
15 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

Hyde street pier and the history ships are a wonderful, historic, educational activity for kids and adults alike. The Balclutha, Eureka, and Hercules are open for self guided tours, while the Thayer is still going through the restoration process. We also took a walk to the museum, which is free, and onward to Fort Mason. Bring good walking shoes, but... More

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