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Fisherman's Wharf tops the list of most tourists "must see" list when visiting San Francisco. There are a slew of restaurants and fish stands serving San Francisco's famous Dungeness Crab, Shrimp Coctail, and Clam Chowder---best served thick and hearty in a sourdough bowl.
Behind Fisherman's Wharf, on the waterside at Pier 45, is the Musée Mechanique. A museum kids will actually love, this is really an arcade filled wtih over 200 ancient and modern coin operated arcade games, many of which used to be and San Francisco's former Ocean Beach amusement park Playland (Closed in 1972).
A short walk north is Hyde Street Pier, which is oft overlooked but fun for all ages. Here San Francisco's rich maritime history comes alive and there are several large historic ships to climb aboard including the impressive Balclutha, an 1886 square-rigged sailing vessel. Or book a sail on the flat-bottomed schooner, Alma, once one of 250 schooners that delivered goods all over the bay.
The Hyde Street Cable Car turnaround is also located right above the Hyde Street Pier and takes riders on a scenic trail through San Francisco's hills and neighborhoods, offering some amazing views along the way. It stops downtown on Powell Street.
Fisherman's Wharf is one of San Francisco's most touristy areas, but it's definitely worth it to make a trip down to the waterfront. The wharf is home to San Francisco's fishermen — many are third and fourth generation natives — and plenty of seafood can be found around the docks. The streets are littered with old-school restaurants like Alioto's, which has been around since 1925, and Scoma's, which was founded over 40 years ago.
If you're looking for Dungeness crab, you can find it aplenty at Fisherman's Wharf. San Francisco's famous white clam chowder is also prevalent. Boudin Bakery, which specializes in classic sourdough and is credited with mass marketing the bread bowl (for clam chowder), is located on Fisherman's Wharf. Pick up a loaf or two of bread and watch as the bakers prepare their signature sourdough.
The Buena Vista Cafe is another must visit in Fisherman's Wharf. The Irish coffee, a quintessential San Francisco warm cocktail that combines whiskey with coffee and slightly sweetened cream, was first created at the Buena Vista. Their version of the Irish coffee is so good, I dare you to have just one!