The most popular tourist destination in the city, Fisherman's Wharf is still a working fishing pier, bringing in thousands of tons of fresh fish and crabs annually. Freshly cracked crab and crusty sourdough bread are not the only delicacies to tempt the visitor here.
Over eleven million people a year come for the shops, bay cruises, attractions and historic view restaurants. Eight-seven percent of visitors to the city include Fisherman's Wharf on their itineraryand with good reason.
The wharf abounds with shops and restaurants; waterfront marketplaces include The Anchorage The Cannery, Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. Still a working wharf, 'Fish Alley' sells thousands of tons of sole, shrimp, salmon, sea bass, squid and other deep-sea delicacies. During crab season (mid-November through June) devotees line up for the best of the catch. A fleet of historic ships berth at Hyde Street Pier, near the Maritime National Historical Park and Museum.
Fisherman's Wharf reached its peak in the late 1800s, selling more fish than all the other West Coast ports combined. But signs of overfishing surfaced as early as 1900, and the situation was made worse by pollution and river damming. The fishing business declined precipitously, and only now are concentrated efforts to clean up the Bay and boost the fish population beginning to show results. (Construction has been completed on an $18 million state-of-the-art fish processing plant at Pier 45, which opened August 25, 1995 and is being hailed as the cutting edge in technology and efficiency.)
From Fishermen's Wharf start the ferries to Alcatraz.