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“An interesting way to spend a couple of hours”

San Francisco Maritime Museum/Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building
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Ranked #152 of 550 things to do in San Francisco
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Find everything seaworthy - ship models, ship relics, scrimshaw, whaling gear and figureheads - in this free maritime museum.
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
610 reviews
204 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 286 helpful votes
“An interesting way to spend a couple of hours”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

It is certainly worth paying the nominal fee to go onboard the various ships. The Balclutha is particularly interesting. They do a wonderful job with videos and displays providing the detailed history of the ship. The other ships are also quite fun to tour. overall, you get a great glimpse into what seagoing was like in the past. Don't miss the free museum across the street in the visitor center. It has a great history of the waterfront.

Visited November 2012
Thank FuzzyBeaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

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Seoul, South Korea
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Nice ships and museum...”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

I really enjoy visiting the ships. The Eureka Ferryboat is interesting and they should program night visits, it would be scary – like night tour in Alcatraz. The other ship you can go on is Balclutha: very interesting one. I really enjoy the opportunit to visit an old ship so well preserved. Better than that it would be to sail it…
We met a group of children, probable from a local school, been conducted by a guy dressed like a sailor. Unfortunately in my country we don’t give much value on such experiences.
Obs: to go next to the ships is free, but if you want to go on it, you must pay USD 5.00 per person.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Igor_Brazil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
5,700 reviews
3,700 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12,213 helpful votes
“Combined with Hyde Pier, a genuinely great addition to the Fisherman's Wharf area”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

Interestingly, some of the best attractions along Fisherman's Wharf are free to enjoy, like the historic Hyde Pier and the San Francisco Maritime National

Historical Park Visitor Center, which is just across the street. We quite like this small, well-presented centre of San Francisco's maritime history. Some nice models of old sailing vessels are on display and now there is a new section open called 'Walk Along The Waterfront' which offers some recreated scenes from San Francisco's maritime past. This greatly helps history come to life and makes the Visitor Centre much more child and family friendly. In this regard, there is also a room dedicated to children found next to the large ship wreck display.

Further, there is always a ranger around to ask questions and the staff can give you some information about the historical vessels available for visit (US$5) right across the street at Hyde Pier. In the end, it’s a pleasant way to spend 20-30 minutes before walking across the street to visit Hyde Pier.

The museum is located on the corner of Hyde and Jefferson Streets, next to the Argonaut Hotel and the very good Blue Mermaid Restaurant (a rare good stop for chowder in the Wharf area). Also, just around the corner is where the famous SF Cable Car Wharf turn-around station is found.

Overall, combined with a visit to the historical Hyde Park just across the street, the Maritime National Historical Park Visitor Center is one of our favorite attractions along the Wharf. Those with an interest in maritime, historical or budget friendly attractions will probably enjoy this area of SF.

Visited September 2012
8 Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weeki Wachee, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“One of the most interesting places we went to in SF”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

This free museum was so well designed and informative it was a delight to discover. Across the street you then could walk out on the dock and see all the different types of ships that were part of SF history.

Visited May 2012
Thank jrcde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Windsor
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2012 via mobile

Wonderful displays and staff. This is a great place to learn about the past in an attractive setting.

1 Thank julyvaca33804
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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