San Francisco

Treasure Hunt at the Wharf aims to attract locals to tourist central

Earlier this week, The Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District (FWCBD) debuted a Treasure Hunt at the Wharf as part of an initiative to bring more local residents to the neighborhood. 

As we reported in April, FWCBD released a 70-page retail strategy report that outlined a vision for luring more San Franciscans to the city's top tourist destination. The plan outlined various entertainment options and business, appearance, safety and marketing strategies. 

The hunt — a bar crawl mixed with stops at some of the area's top attractions — started off at San Francisco Brewing Co. at Ghirardelli Square. Roughly twenty Fisherman's Wharf bars and attractions are participating in the ongoing event. (Check out a full list of participating bars and attractions here.)

A bartender at Luau Lounge. 

"We're happy to be a part of the Treasure Hunt," said San Francisco Brewing Co. owner Josh Leavy via email. "It's a fun way for people to check out our new brewery and other businesses in the area."

“Most people don’t realize that Fisherman’s Wharf has over fifteen bars within a fifteen-minute walk of each other,” said Troy Campbell, executive director of the FWCBD in a statement. “These bars, combined with our unique evening attractions and late-night eats, like In-N-Out Burger and Krispy Kreme, offer a nighttime experience that you can’t find anywhere else in San Francisco.”

Treasure hunters can pick up a free map at any of the participating businesses and make their way through the Wharf to collect stamps at each of the highlighted stops. According to FWCBD, participants can complete the task in a single day or over the course of multiple trips. 

After participants have collected eight or more stamps on the map, they'll receive "the treasure," a golden metal pub glass.

"We’ve had a handful of people stop in to get stamps so far and it seems like they’re really enjoying it, so we’re excited to see it pick up even more steam!" said Leavy. 

Area businesses are already experiencing an increase in traffic as well, said a spokesperson for FWCBD, especially at Fiddlers Green and Luau Lounge, where participants can redeem stamps collected for the golden cup.  

Group selfie at Madame Tussauds. 

"We love our locals," said Dalia Goldgor, general manager of Madame Tussauds and San Francisco Dungeon, via email. "Our experiences are specific to San Francisco's history, people and places. Everything that locals love about living in SF is right here."

Goldgor said that there are discounts on admission for locals as well. "This is a great way to showcase all there is to do at the Fisherman’s Wharf."

FWCBD plans to distribute 40,000 additional maps at more than 250 locations around the city by year's end.

"Bar crawls and playing 'tourist for a day' in your own city is growing in popularity," Jamie Rushing of Luau Lounge told us via email. "The Treasure Hunt at the Wharf experience is the perfect concept as pirate and island themes are especially in style." 

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