Located in the iconic Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, there's something for everyone at the Maritime National Historic Park and Museum. Visitors flock here to see the fleet of historic vessels, peruse the exhibits, and take in the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the San Francisco Bay. There's even an opportunity to sail on National Landmark scow schooner, helping haul lines and raise sails or simply relaxing and enjoying the ride.
The Maritime Museum is housed in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse, which used to serve as a public bathhouse in the early 1900s. This unique building is considered Streamline Moderne, a late Art Deco style. Inside, you'll find the Steam Room and its exhibits that teach about the evolution of maritime technology from wind to steam power. The second floor is home to several photomurals showing how the waterfront used to look centuries ago. On the third floor, a look at radio technology for ships rules the roost.
Outside, six historic ships await. The fleet is found at Hyde Park pier, each vessel having been meticulously restored. All built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, each has a distinct look and served a specific purpose. Here you'll find several types of schooners and tugboats, a ferryboat and a sailing ship.
The Visitors Center is housed in a warehouse that's been on the waterfront since 1909. This four-story brick building has been listed on the National register of Historic Places since 1975. There are a variety of exhibits here including a look at a shipwrecked boot and the lens from a lighthouse.
The Maritime Research Center delves more deeply into the maritime history of San Francisco.The collections here include maps and charts, manuscripts, engineering drawings, photos, art, movies, and more. Started in 1939, it is the largest museum and research collection in the National park Service.
Cover photo credit: Jasperdo via Flickr.