"(almost) Free thing #23: SF Maritime National Park" San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Tip by goodfish

  Square-rigged Balclutha, 1886
by goodfish
  • Square-rigged Balclutha, 1886 - San Francisco
      Square-rigged Balclutha, 1886
    by goodfish
  • Steam tug Hercules, 1907 - San Francisco
      Steam tug Hercules, 1907
    by goodfish
  • Chinese junk - San Francisco
      Chinese junk
    by goodfish
  • This one was rowed across the Pacific, 2009 - San Francisco
      This one was rowed across the Pacific, 2009
    by goodfish

This is a fun opportunity to explore some of the ships that piloted San Francisco's waters over a century ago plus some other interesting craft. Kids will have a ball looking around decks and crawling through the cabins, and the park service offers free tours, lectures and children's programs. You can even download a self-guided brochure before your visit or log into one via your cell phone while you're there. Ongoing special events range from chanty sings and costumed history days to concerts and ranger-led waterfront walks. After exploring the boats, walk out on the long, curved municipal pier for a nice panorama of the city and Alcatraz.

Tickets are $5 per person (good for 7 days) and kids under 16 are free - a great deal for families. You only need tickets to board the ships so you can browse the visitor center or walk out on the docks to get a look at the vessels for nuttin'.

See the park website for hours, tours, directions and other good stuff to know. The pier is just a short walk west of Fisherman's Wharf.

Address: 499 Jefferson St. (Visitor Center)
Directions: Ships are docked at the Hyde Street pier, just across from the visitor center.
Phone: 415-447-5000
Website: http://www.nps.gov/safr/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 16, 2010
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