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The southern end of State St gives way to Stearns Wharf, a rough wooden pier lined with souvenir shops, snack stands and seafood shacks. Built in 1872, it’s the oldest continuously operating wooden wharf in California, although the actual structure has been rebuilt more than once. During the 1940s it was co-owned by tough-guy actor Jimmy Cagney and his brothers. If you have kids, take them inside the Sea Center.
The first 90 minutes parking on the wharf are free. But trust us, you’d rather walk than drive over the wharf’s bumpy wooden slats. The wharf entrance is a stop on MTD's downtown and waterfront shuttles.