Family Fun at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf

My family just returned from a fun filled 5 days in San Francisco, California.

We had visited San Francisco numerous times when our kids were small but had never visited with older kids. This trip was a new experience for us.

For this trip, we stayed in Fisherman’s Wharf. The main reason was because I wanted a hotel with a pool for the kids and I wanted to be within walking distance of many attractions found at Fisherman’s Wharf.

What to do with kids in the Fisherman’s Wharf area:

  • The Aquarium at the Bay: This Aquarium has a wide array of fish and animals found in the San Francisco Bay. We especially loved the Sharks of Alcatraz exhibit. The Aquarium isn’t too large so it won’t eat up your entire day. TIP: Get ready to touch some sea creatures at the touchpools.

Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

  • Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! If your kids are fans of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! books then you must visit this museum. You’ll find some incredible displays at this museum as well as lots of quirky facts and more. Ripley’s also has a Mirror Maze and a Laser Tag experience.
  • Blue & Gold Fleet: Take a comfortable boat ride around Alcatraz island and under the Golden Gate Bridge. My family loved this boat cruise so much. We learned so much about San Francisco from this tour and had the opportunity to take amazing photos of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San FranciscoGolden Gate Bridge San Francisco

  • Madame Tussaud’s San Francisco: My kids adored this museum! I was impressed at the variety of celebrities and athletes on display. I especially liked that you could go right up to the wax figures for up close photos.

Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San FranciscoFamily Fun Fisherman's Wharf San FranciscoFamily Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

  • Big Bus San Francisco: My family enjoyed our hop-on-hop-off bus tour of San Francisco on the Big Bus. Our tour was very informative and took us all the way to Golden Gate Park, over the Golden Gate Bridge and to Chinatown. TIP: Bring a jacket if you plan on sitting on the top deck of the bus, it gets very cold when driving over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

  • Exploratorium: Only a few blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf is the hands-on museum of science, art and human perception. My kids loved touching and trying as many stations as they could during our visit. I really appreciated the family friendly environment and the educational value of the Exploratorium. I would absolutely visit the Exploratorium again when we go back to San Francisco. TIP: Prepare yourself for drinking out of the toilet!

Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

  • Cable Car: The Mason and Powell Cable Cars end on Powell and Market in Fisherman’s Wharf. This was perfect for us since our son is crazy about trains, trolleys and cable cars! We enjoyed a few memorable rides on the cable car. TIP: Try going on a cable car ride during the day AND during the night!

Family Fun Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

Where to eat in Fisherman’s Wharf

There are so many restaurants in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Since we were busy visiting many museums and more we always stopped for quick bites.

You’ll find San Francisco’s only In N Out on Jefferson St. There is also a Chipotle and a large Boudin Bakery on the same street.

Ways to Save on San Francisco Attractions

There are two great ways to save on San Francisco attractions. You can pick up a Go Card for your trip or purchase the San Francisco CityPASS. Both passes are available for adults and children.

The Go Card includes entry to more than 25 San Francisco attractions.

The San Francisco CityPASS includes entry to four main attractions and unlimited rides on the Muni System and Cable Cars. 

Both savings passes are available for purchase online or at any of the attractions listed on the pass.

My family really enjoyed our 5 days in San Francisco. It was a wonderful place to visit with two young kids. I feel that we all learned so much from the museums and tours that we took while in this beautiful city by the bay.

To learn more about San Francisco tourism check out:

I’d love to know, have you visited San Francisco before? What did you enjoy most about this city?

Disclosure: San Francisco Travel provided perks to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are always my own and I truly feel that San Francisco is a great place to visit with a young family.

12 Comments

  1. the bridge, your kids with the Beatles! Great photos! Of all of California, I think SF is where I’d like to visit most!

  2. I really enjoyed the Fisherman’s Wharf area when I was in San Francisco and loved the bridge.

  3. San-Francisco looks like a beautiful place but when I see pictures there are 2 things especially that I always love about this area and that’s the trolley cars because of their history and the houses that are called Painted Ladies because they are old Victorians and Edwardians that are painted bright colours and I think they’re beautiful.

  4. What a fabulous place to visit.It looks like the kids really enjoyed this vacation.Thanks for the great feature.I may have to visit my cousin soon, who
    lives there.

  5. Looking at your pictures I’d say you had a wonderful time, and the kids looked like they enjoyed themselves as well, the double decker bus would been cool to ride!!

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