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"Tourist Trap Heaven" Fisherman's Wharf Tip by Agraichen

Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco: 76 reviews and 50 photos

SF's famed Fisherman's Wharf was something of a "tourist trap" 30 years ago when I arrived in SF. But back then, it was a bit more fun. There were "street artists" lining the streets every weekend and in the summer every day.

They would do their "***ck," pass the hat and wait for the next "crowd" to form. Some were quite legitimate and wanted to go on to bigger and better things. Others were just "this side of the law" but that's the way they liked it.

Then Pier 39 burned (for days) to the "ground" and was "reinvented" as a tourist haven. While it opened to have very nice jewelry shops, restaurants, and a few "tourist" gift shops, it has morphed into more of a "T-Shirt Factory" type atmosphere over the years.

Ok for a first time traveler, but not something to keep returning to for a native.

Unique Suggestions: the antics of the sea lions that have taken over the docks originally put in to house a very "fancy" marina for folk with boats on Pier 39.

Have dinner at Scoma's, a wharf institution or at Allioto's (but eat downstairs not in the "foo foo" dining room).

Fun Alternatives: The Cannery and Ghiradelli Square, while considered "part" of the wharf are a bit more compact and have a bit better shops to choose from.

Also, the Buena Vista Cafe is on the way to Ghiradelli, so you have to stop for an Irish Coffee.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 16, 2004
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