Fisherman's Wharf, really a section of the waterfront running from Ghirardelli Square to Pier 35 and not just one pier, is one of San Francisco's oldest attractions. This is definitely a very tourist-friendly version of the old maritime life of the city's anglers, but enjoyable nonetheless. Numerous restaurants serve Dungeness crab and chowder ladled into bowls carved from loaves of sourdough bread. At one end of this section of town, Pier 39 has a carousel and stores selling countless San Francisco hoodies and T-shirts. Pier 39 is also home to a population of sea lions who first took over one dock of the marina in 1990. After the pier's owners consulted with marine biologists about how to get the sea lions to leave, everyone decided the best solution was to let the beasts enjoy their new residence. What was once viewed as a nuisance has since become one of Pier 39's main draws.
Well worth the crowds you have to brave to get there.