Top 10 Tips for visiting San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

  1. Things to do. The historic maritime park is open year-round, seven days a week. Hyde Street Pier is open Sunday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last entry is 3:30 p.m.). Among the many things to do at Hyde Street Pier (entrance fees apply) are to walk on the decks of the historic ships, take a cell phone tour, and watch boat builders use traditional maritime skills to build and repair boats in the park. Or, walk through beautiful Victorian Park to the Maritime Museum Building (free, open Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ) and see the vibrant, WPA-era bathhouse murals completed in 1939. In partnership with the park, San Francisco Maritime National Park Association hosts free, online monthly chantey sings and speaker series co-hosted with the San Francisco Maritime Research Center.
  2. Accessibility. Accessible areas are outlined in the accessibility guide. Ask for a free guide at the Hyde Street Pier fee booth and Maritime Museum Building. Service animals are welcome; however, pets are not allowed on Hyde Street Pier, Maritime Museum Building or on the Aquatic Park Cove beach. For more information about the accessible features of the park such as audio-described brochures or park brochures in Braille, visit the park’s Accessibility page.
  3. Family Friendly. Kids love the Junior Ranger activities and the Agents of Discovery cell phone tour (data charges may apply), and More Park Fun webpage.
  4. Outdoor Activities. Since the 1840s, health enthusiasts and swimmers have enjoyed swimming in Aquatic Park Cove though the water temperature throughout the year ranges between 53- and 57-degrees Fahrenheit. There’s more family friendly, outdoor activities to explore like dipping your toes in Aquatic Park Cove! Please note, the Visitor Center is temporarily closed.
  5. Food. We’re a fabulous park with beautiful 19th and 20th century sailing and steam ships and we’re located next to world famous Fisherman’s Wharf. Delicious and abundant food is available nearby. To preserve the beauty of the park and protect wildlife in the San Francisco Bay, there are many trash receptacles throughout the park. Please #RecreateResponsibly and teach children about #LeaveNoTrace principles in outdoor spaces.
  6. Restrooms. There are numerous shops along Fisherman’s Wharf to buy souvenirs, food and beverages, but public restrooms are limited. Restrooms are available at the Maritime Museum Building (no entrance fee, Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or inside the fee area of Hyde Street Pier. Other public restrooms are available at Ghirardelli Square.
  7. Public Transportation and Parking. Take a relaxing stroll along the promenade (free) for breath-taking views of San Francisco Bay, but watch out for fast-moving bicyclists, runners, skateboarders, and uneven pavement. Parking is very limited and in high demand for this very popular area of the city. Consider parking elsewhere in the city and riding the historic F Market and Wharves street cars, San Francisco Muni or Golden Gate Transit buses (exact fare required). Parking is not available for recreational vehicles or motorcoaches.
  8. Safety. Visitors enjoy exploring the historic ships on Hyde Street Pier, the 1930s era murals in the Maritime Museum Building, and the photogenic views from Aquatic Park. As the park is in an urban, tourist-filled area, it is important to take precautions to keep your belongings safe. When parking your vehicle, keep your personal items with you, including cell phone chargers that suggest valuables are locked inside. Storage lockers for luggage and other personal effects are not available. Visit the park’s Safety page for more tips and information.
  9. Masks. Experience the sights and sounds of Hyde Street Pier, a working dock where riggers and shipwrights use traditional maritime skills to preserve the National Historic Landmark ships. Friendly park rangers, park guides and volunteers rove the park to welcome you and answer questions. For yours and our protection, San Francisco Public Health Department encourages masks and social distancing inside buildings and in tight spaces.
  10. Permits. Owners may obtain a permit to anchor their non-motorized small vessels in Aquatic Park Cove but must keep out of the swimming lane and watch out for swimmers who may be anywhere in the cove. Given the beauty of the setting and historic nature of the park, many people request the use of the park and its facilities for large events or special events. Contact the Special Park Uses Office.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Last updated: May 25, 2022