Aquarium of the Bay

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Sharks circle overhead, manta rays sweep by and seaweed sways all around at the Aquarium of the Bay, where you wander through glass tubes surrounded by sea life from San Francisco Bay. It's not for the claustrophobic, perhaps, but the thrilling fish-eye view, leaves kids and parents enthralled. Kids also love the critters and touch pools upstairs and the new virtual reality theater, which brings guests on a simulated 100ft free dive with dolphins and whales.

The aquarium occasionally closes for special events; check the website before you go.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers attractions

1. Pier 39


The focal point of Fisherman's Wharf isn't the waning fishing fleet but the carousel, carnival-like attractions, shops and restaurants of Pier 39 – and,…

2. San Francisco Carousel

0.14 MILES

Your chariot awaits to whisk you and the kids past the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and other SF landmarks hand-painted on this Italian carousel twinkling…

3. Sea Lions at Pier 39

0.15 MILES

Sea lions took over San Francisco’s most coveted waterfront real estate in 1989 and have been making a public display of themselves ever since. Some…

4. Francisco Street Steps

0.26 MILES

Take the high road from Fisherman's Wharf to North Beach via the urban trailhead between 150 and 155 Francisco St. Cross the courtyard, ascend to Grant…

5. Musée Mécanique

0.33 MILES

A flashback to penny arcades, the Musée Mécanique houses a mind-blowing collection of vintage mechanical amusements. Sinister, freckle-faced Laughing Sal…

6. Fisherman's Wharf

0.36 MILES

Fisherman's Wharf – the Embarcadero and Jefferson St waterfront running from Pier 29 to Van Ness Ave – includes Pier 39, the Musée Mécanique, the Maritime…

7. USS Pampanito

0.37 MILES

Explore a restored WWII submarine that survived six tours of duty while you listen to submariners' tales of stealth mode and sudden attacks in a riveting…

8. SS Jeremiah O'Brien

0.46 MILES

It's hard to believe that this 10,000-ton beauty was turned out by San Francisco’s shipbuilders in under eight weeks, and harder still to imagine how she…