The Park includes a maritime museum and Visitor Center, which is housed in the park's 1909 waterfront warehouse. Inside you can find exhibits that tell the story of San Francisco's colorful and diverse maritime heritage. The Visitor Center also contains a theater, the Sailor's Den (a branch of the park's maritime library), and a ranger-staffed information desk. In the Park you will also find a fleet of historic vessels as well as a library and research facility.


Until recently, the maritime museum was located in the Streamline Moderne building, which acts as the centerpiece to the Aquatic Park Historic District at the foot of Polk Street. Ground broke on this building in 1936 by the WPA and it was originally used as a public bathhouse. the interior is decorated with beautiful murals, created mainly by artist Hilaire Hiler. The architects responsible for the building were William Mooser Jr. and William Mooser III. After a series of renovations the museum has now reopened. 

If you are in to the history of maritime vessels you can also find the historic fleet moored by the Hyde Street Pier. the fleet consists of:

  1. Balclutha, an 1886 built square rigged sailing ship.
  2. C.A. Thayer, an 1895 built schooner.
  3. Eureka, an 1890 built steam ferryboat.
  4. Alma, an 1891 built scow schooner.
  5. Hercules, a 1907 built steam tug.
  6. Eppleton Hall, a 1914 built paddlewheel tug.
You can also find the Maritime Research Center, the premier resource for San Francisco and Pacific Coast maritime history. Since it's inception in 1939, the items found here have become the largest maritime collection on the West Coast, and the largest museum and research collection in the National Park Service.

The collections include more than:

  • 35,000 published titles comprising over 74,000 items
  • 500,000 photographs
  • 7,000 archival and manuscript collections
  • 150,000 naval architecture and marine engineering drawings
  • 3,000 maps and charts
  • 150,000 feet of motion picture film and video
  • 6,000 historical archaeology artifacts
  • 2,500 pieces of folk and fine art
  • 40,000 history objects
  • 100 small craft
  • 50,000 pieces of ephemera
  • 600 oral histories and audio recordings

Where Your Imagination Can Travel to the 19th Century. National Park Service. Accessed April 02, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/safr/index.htm.

About Us. SF Maritime National Park Association. Accessed April 02, 2017. https://maritime.org/about.htm.