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?
Loading ports are small, watertight doors in a ship's hull that lead directly into the hold. Lumber could be more easily loaded into the hold through these ports rather than through the smaller hatches on the deck. These ports had to be caulked shut before the ship put to sea. More...