• A section of the bowsprint and figurehead on the bow of BALCLUTHA.

    San Francisco Maritime

    National Historical Park California

The Visitor Center

High-tech exhibitry tells the story of San Francisco's colorful and diverse maritime heritage in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's Visitor Center.

A First Order Fresnel lighthouse lens, a magnificent brass structure encasing hundreds of precisely polished prisms, guides visitors through the door.

Once inside, they can get a heading from uniformed Park Rangers staffing an information desk, or simply sail through the fun and interactive panels and displays.

Housed in the Park's 1908 historic brick cannery warehouse, visitor center exhibits tell the stories of voyage, discovery and cultural diversity. Since 1849, the world has rushed through the Golden Gate, and each wave of population or industry has left its own fascinating imprint on America's West Coast (and the City by the Bay). How would you like to explore the salty old waterfront of the town sailors used to call "Frisco?" Visit "The Waterfront" exhibit. (Opened Feb. 2012)

The visitor center is located at 499 Jefferson Street at the corner of Hyde Street. It is open seven days a week from 9:30am to 5:00pm. For park information please call, 415-447-5000, during business hours.

Did You Know?

The exterior of the historic brick buiding that houses the park visitor center.

The brick building that houses the Visitor Center was built in 1908. It was originally constructed as a warehouse for the California Fruit Canners Association. The building was was given Landmark Status in 1975.