History afloat: The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

by Heather Dugan on March 23, 2010

The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

In San Francisco, the National Park Service operates the Golden Gate National Recreation area and Alcatraz Island, two of the City’s most popular tourists attractions. But many travelers are unaware of yet another National Historical Park tucked neatly away near Fisherman’s Wharf: the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Located at Hyde Street Pier, the park features six National Historic Landmark vessels. Ships include an 1886 square-rigger, an 1891 scow schooner, and a steamboat ferry, the Eureka.  The Visitor Center, a restored brick cannery warehouse, is worth a wander and includes interactive displays and maritime stories. It’s best to call ahead, however, and find out about ranger-led tours and demonstration times. Also, children under the age of sixteen are admitted onto the ships for free when they’re accompanied by a paying adult. For a hotel nearby, there’s no better place than the nautically-themed Argonaut Hotel.

- Heather Dugan of Footsteps

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