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San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Ships at Hyde Street Pier
499 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
+1 415-447-5000
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Top Rated
$70*
and up
San Francisco Waterfront Segway Tour
Ranked #60 of 317 Attractions in San Francisco
Type: Ships, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Established in 1988, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park encompasses 34 acres, and has the most National Historic Landmarks of any unit in the National Park Service. In addition to the fleet of historic ships at Hyde Street Pier, the Park includes the Aquatic Park Historic District (Maritime Museum, beach, lawn area, and bleachers), a Visitor Center and the Research Center (in Fort Mason Center).
Edina, Minnesota
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Fascinating History”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

We enjoyed walking around and on one of the tall ships. There wasn't an audio guide but the written placards were well done and there was a video that helped understand the context and how the ships were packed to manage their ocean voyages. There were several other ships that you could walk on as well. I think this would be a great place to visit with kids in the 8-12 age range.

Visited November 2013
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67 reviews from our community

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Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Fun touring the old boats”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

We happened upon this museum by accident and ended up spending a few hours touring the old ships located at the pier. Everyone we spoke to provided great information, the restorations are amazing and it's very fun to see some of the work still in progress.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Cool boats”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

I liked visiting the boats and learning about the Balclutha. It's a fascinating story, you can learn a lot on California 's history at the same time. The ferry is cool too. It would be great with kids!

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Manchester, England
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“History you can touch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

Having had a long, lazy lunch, we were already too late for the Maritime Museum so we headed along Hyde Street Pier toward the five imposing vessels that are permanently moored there. You can read about the historic fleet on several websites, but suffice it to say that we were only able to go aboard two on our visit. The charge for this was $5 per person.

At first sight, that does not sound like great value - but after having spent a very enjoyable hour looking round the Balclutha and the Eureka, I don't regret spending one cent of that money.

The Balclutha: again, lots of information on this ship is available online, but my personal memory is the joy on children's faces as they hoisted flags and coiled ropes and marched around obeying the orders of the 'captain'. I remember my own joy, standing on deck, listening to the strengthening wind in the rigging and the gentle creak of the hull as the ship began to rock on the swelling tide. The sounds and the smells of the ship are intoxicating. Two superb videos are available to view down below and they offer a fascinating insight into the long and varied history of the Balclutha. As a floating museum, this feels safe but not sanitised and it's easy to imagine yourself as a crew member a century ago, putting out to sea.

The Eureka: this is a steam ship and has a wholly different charm, being built and serving in a different age and for a different purpose. A one-time train ferry, it then carried vehicles across the stretch of water now spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge. Some antique vehicles are on board to recreate the atmosphere of the time. The Eureka is very well maintained and really feels like it could go back into service tomorrow if it had to. I just wish we'd had more time to look around...

Hyde Street Pier appeared to close around 5 pm on the day we were there. I'm not sure if that happens every day, or if the ships are viewable in rotation and, looking back, I don't know how obvious it was that we would have to "abandon ship" at 5 pm. In fairness, the ticket to view the ships is valid for 7 days so you at least have the chance to go back and take another look.

I'd go back in a heartbeat. Hyde Street Pier and the ships will stay in my memory for a long time.

Visited September 2013
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Liverpool
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Very Interesting”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

There are only about five or six ships but each one is interesting and the cost of going on them for two was no more than $10. The clipper ship that was in Mutiny on the Bounty is docked here, a paddle boat ferry and some others. Worth spending an hour or so at.

Visited August 2013
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