Aquatic Park Cove, Black Point Overnight Anchoring, Sailing Vessels Only (Auxiliary Engine OK)

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Aquatic Park Cove is a vibrantly urban harbor that mimics a natural anchorage and is located on the Pacific shores of one of America's great West Coast cities. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's Aquatic Park Cove is the small craft gateway to San Francisco. Vessels entering Aquatic Park Cove are instructed to contact the Park's permit officer on VHF marine radio channel 83A (157.175Mhz) using the call sign "Aquatic Park NPS" followed by transmission of the vessel's name. Reservations serve as a permit for visiting sailing vessels to stay overnight in the cove. Sailing vessels with auxiliary engines are authorized to use engines to maneuver at very low speed within the cove in order to safely enter, anchor, and depart the cove. Use of small outboard engine on dinghies is authorized for safe transit to and from vessel to shore only. Vessel and dinghy operators using auxuliary engines are to be aware of swimmers and wildlife at all times. Vessels or watercraft without sailing rigs whose primary design falls into the class of motorboat, speedboat, & powerboat (including jet skis), are strictly prohibited from entering or anchoring in Aquatic Park Cove.

Overnight Use: A reservation serves as your permit to bring a sailing vessel (auxiliary engine OK) and anchor overnight in the cove. There are no dinghy docks or boathouse facilities. Access to the shore is island-style beach landing. Visitors are asked not to secure dinghies to historic lamp posts but to use wooden pilings adjacent to the Dolphin Club for this purpose (see map). Once ashore, visitors can enjoy a well-maintained soft sand beach near a relaxing grassy park perfect for picnics and panoramic views of San Francisco Bay immediately south of iconic Alcatraz Island & Angel Island. Restrooms and open outdoor showers are available on park property during the park's regular business hours. Day Use: Day use of the Cove by visiting vessels does not require a reservation, except during high use days and special events within the Cove, or during major events occurring along the San Francisco Waterfront. Days when a day-use permit will be required will be posted on the park's website . This reservation serves as an anchor permit application. Upon entering Aquatic Park Cove, the National Park Service requests the vessel operator hail Aquatic Park Cove NPS on marine channel 83A to confirm APA number and any special instructions. Vessel operators whose permits are confirmed agree to abide by rules and regulations set forth in the 2017 San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Superintendent's Compendium and Park Directives 2017, Facilities & Ships Management Division, page 2 of 8 .

Notifications and Alerts

Need to Know

Natural Features

Sheltered by the gentle arc of Municipal Pier to the west and Hyde Street Pier to the east, Aquatic Park Cove is an enticing vista of enclosed water space dominated by the Streamline Modern Aquatic Park Bathhouse with the slopes of Russian and Telegraph hills beyond.

Nearby Attractions

Alcatraz, Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, Asian Art Museum, Theater District, SF MOMA, Cable Car, Street Trollies, shopping, high quality local cuisine, and abundant city public transportation. The Cove is within walking and biking distance to Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, whale watching. State ferry services to other Bayshore cities.


The Cove offers aquatic opportunities to many park users such as kayakers, paddle boarders, rowers, as well as open water swimming in a semi-protected environment.

Contact Information


San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Fort Mason Center, Building E, 2nd Floor San Francisco CA 94123

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 415-561-7026

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located within the city limits of San Francisco, in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, on the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. Aquatic Cove overnight stays are off shore, accessible only by non-motorized watercraft.

Available Campsites

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