One of the busiest and well known tourist attractions in the western United States, Fisherman's Wharf is best known for being the location of Pier 39, the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, the Musée Mécanique, the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, the Aquarium of the Bay, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
Seafood restaurants are aplenty in the area. Some include the floating Forbes Island restaurant at Pier 39 to stands that serve fresh seafood, most notably Dungeness crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl. Some of the restaurants, including Fishermen's Grotto, Pompei's Grotto and Alioto's, go back for three generations of the same family ownership. Other restaurants include chains like Joe's Crab Shack and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Other attractions in Fisherman's Wharf area are the Hyde Street Pier which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the USS Pampanito, a decommissioned World War II era submarine, and the Balclutha, a 19th century cargo ship. Nearby Pier 45 has a chapel in memory of the "Lost Fishermen" of San Francisco and Northern California.
There is a sea lion colony next to Pier 39. They "took-up" residence right after the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989. The sea lions lay on wooden docks that were originally meant for docking boats.
Fisherman's Wharf plays host to many San Francisco events, including a world-class fireworks display for Fourth of July, and some of the best views of the Fleet Week air shows.
One of the city's most popular figures is a harmless but controversial resident of Fisherman's Wharf called the World Famous Bushman, a local street performer who sits behind some branches and startles people who walk by. He has been a permanent entertainer in the Fishermen's Wharf area for the past 30 years and has gained a fair amount of notoriety among the locals and tourists that have been warned about him.