Visitor center: The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park visitor center, tucked away inside the Argonaut Hotel at Jefferson and Hyde streets, is a treasure trove for anyone interested in San Francisco's maritime history. Among the displays are a tule reed canoe similar to those used by the native Yelamu people and a Fresnel lens once used at the lighthouse on one of the Farallon Islands, 30 miles outside the Golden Gate. You can take a simulated walk along the waterfront through the ages, and a computer kiosk provides a virtual tour of the inaccessible places in the park, including inside the antique boats moored at the Hyde Street Pier across the street.
Ferry Building to Aquatic Park
Trailhead: Southeastern end: The Ferry Building is on the Embarcadero at the foot of Market St. Northeastern end: Aquatic Park is between Hyde St. and Van Ness Ave. and Beach and Jefferson Sts.
Length: Over 4 total miles
Typical Width: 4 ft. & above
Typical Grade: LevelRamped walkways make the climb through Aquatic Park moderate, but the Larkin Street entrance to Ghirardelli Square is on a very steep hill.
DescriptionStart your trip at the Ferry Building (described in the Embarcadero South[LINK] hike), where you can stock up on provisions at one of the many shops and restaurants—or, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, at the farmers market. Then head north to the office of the Port of San Francisco in Pier 1, where you will find a display...
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The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking: Yes
Accessible Restroom: Yes
Along the route, accessible public restrooms are inside the Port office at Pier 1, in the arcade at Pier 3, at Alcatraz Landing between Piers 31 and 33, at Pier 39, in the octagon building inside the parking lot on Taylor St., and at Ghirardelli Square. The restrooms at the Maritime Museum at Aquatic Park are fairly accessible except the main entry is narrow and the toilets are low. There are also several accessible unisex toilets in green and gold kiosks along the route, but they're often occupied or dirty.
Other Things of Interest
If you don't feel like wheeling all the way from the Ferry Building, you can take a historic streetcar along Muni's F line to Fisherman's Wharf, with accessible stops along the way, though in summer the F line can be very crowded. You can also rent an electric GoCar with hand-operated controls near Fisherman's Wharf to tour the waterfront.
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|Nearest City:||San Francisco|
|Hours:||San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park visitor center and Hyde Street Pier: Daily, 9:30 am-5:30 pm (June, July, August) and 9:30 am-5 pm (September-May); last entry to Hyde Street Pier is half an hour before closing. Both facilities are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Maritime Museum: Daily, 10 am-4 pm.|
|Fees:||Entry to the historic vessels on Hyde Street Pier|
|Public Transportation:||San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, BART|
Reviewed by Eileen Ecklund, March 18, 2013
| This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.
Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy