Heralded as the city’s number one attraction, Pier 39 is an amalgam of tourist attractions ranging from a top flight Aquarium, assorted shops and restaurants, and the ferry terminal to outlying areas like Marin County and Alcatraz. But mostly what it’s famous for is its loud pod of sea lions that call the floating docks off the pier home. Tourists clamor for the best shots and though touristy, it’s hard not to get sucked right in.
Though it is a tourist trap, we could not resist to have a peek on our 2008 return trip. I had a better zoom so figured on getting better shots of the sea lions besides, the walk to the Wharf area from downtown is a beautiful one.
Quoted as Americas second biggest attraction after Disneyland, Pier 39 does tacky tourist haunt well. With Seaworld on the right, you head up the pier with souviener shop, followed by restaurant, followed by 3-D cinema playing Spongebob Squarepants – you get the picture.
Awaiting you at the end of the pier are the most famous residents of San Francisco – a whole lot a seals. Barking, fighting and smelling rather rotten, they bask in the sun on large wooden areas. Worth a look, follow the Salty sea lion signs to find them if you get lost!
Loads of fun! If we had time we could've sat and watched their antics for hours, climbing across each other, fighting, and just lolling about. Everyone there found it most enjoyable, and you will, too.
One of the popular attractions in the Fisherman's Wharf area is Pier 39. The pier is home to numerous shops, restaurants, street entertainers and amusements, and as you may expect some of it is a little tacky.
A couple of shops that did catch my eye were a magnet shop - sounds boring, but it was filled with more magnets than you have ever seen in one place in your life! There was also the delicious looking and smelling Fudge House.
The main attraction of Pier 39 for me was that it is home to a group of Sea Lions. This noisy, slippery group can be seen just off the wharf, lazing about, soaking up the sun and 'passing wind' which creates a stinky fug that wafts across the viewing public.
The sea lions began hanging out at the pier back in 1989, and these days almost 600 of them converge on the area in winter, less in summer. I really enjoyed watching them and would rate a visit to these amusing creatures as a must-see.
Many of the millions of visitors to SF come to Pier 39. Why? Well, because everyone knows about it and probably thinks they should go there. Make no mistake, this is a tourist trap that wants to take your money. On a recent visit to the City we had teenagers with us and felt it our duty to let them see it. They had fun looking around, seeing the sea lions and shopping for T-shirts and some souvenirs.
My wife and I let them loose and took refuge in the "Wines of California" wine bar, where we enjoyed a pleasant glass of regional wine at a quiet table overlooking the sailboats and out to the Bay Bridge. Not a bad use of time, and I'd recommend it.
Then we went upstairs to the National Park Store, where we didn't feel at all bad about buying a few items for gifts, with the money going to the park system rather than a corporation. They had a good selection of books, posters, etc.
Then, while the girls made another trip into a tourist shop, I wandered around the California Welcome Center, which I thought did a pretty good job of offering up maps and brochures about places all over California. This is a worthwhile stop to get information without any sales pressure.
A respite along the tourist trail.
Music lovers, if strolling along the Embankment sounds more like a tourist trap to you, then stopping by Pier 39 for some live music performance can be a nice getaway.
DAYS: Almost every day.
HOURS: at 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm, 6.15pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm, 9.35pm, 10.40pm.
MUSIC: Bolivian, saxophone, Spanish guitar, jazz, world music, singing, etc.
LOCATION: Entrance Plaza.
Check the website`s calendar for more details.
NOTE: There are also Street Performances like magician, juggler, geek tricks, etc. For details, check this calendar.
LOCATION: Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water Center Stage.
Pier 39 is one of the most popular tourist attraction in S.F. for a reason...it has it all! The location is perfect...right on the waterfront with a view of Alcatraz on one side and the city of S.F. on the other. The Pier is jam packed with shops offering everything from cheap t-shirts to high end glass blown products! The best part of the Pier is all the wonderful smells, particularly the smell of seafood that seems to come from every direction. And of course after a good meal nothing beats watching the seals fight each other for positioning for the best spots on the wooden barges that they call home!
A lot of people will warn you about Pier 39, also known as Fishermans Warf. Ok it is a tourist machine where you can get a lot of cheesy souvernirs, but it if you go past all that, to the end og the pier you will get to meet the sea lions that have infested the marina. You will also get a good view of Alcatraz, Golden Gate and San Francisco bay. So go to Pier 39, you can see 3 of San Francisco most famous attractions from the same place, and you can pick up a souvernir and some fantastic pancaces all at one place ;)
Pier 39 is a popular tourist destination. Shops, restaurants, street performances, an arcade, virtually reality rides, and the Aquarium by the Bay rest upon the old Pier.
Many shops line the old pier. Many are oriented towards tourists and sell gifts and souvenirs. Art galleries are also found on the pier. A variety of places to eat are situated on Pier 39. Many cater to tourists and can be a bit over priced. Yet Pier 39 can be a fun place to wonder through and explore its various offerings.
In addition to the above attractions, the pier offers splendid views of the Bay. It is well served by the historic F-Line Streetcars.
Pier 39 located in the Fisherman's Wharf district of San Francisco is the family friendly destination for tousits. It hosts dozens of restaurants and cafes from your high end seafood fare right down to the always popular hot dog stands. There's something for everyone. To visit go to www.pier39.com
Live music from pop, to jazz to country entertain visitors on the main plaza on a daily basis along with magicians, jugglers and fire eaters in the backstage by the merry-go-round which is a big hit for children. The shops are numerous and sell souvenirs as well as clothing and specialty items year round. There is also a small arcade for young and old alike which houses skee ball and video games.
The ever popular sea lions take up residence along the wooden piers right by Pier 39 and are now celebrating their 10th Anniversay this year. These wooden piers which once docked many a vessel have now been vacated to accomodate the sea lions. They are a huge attraction for tourists and locals alike.
Pier 39 is a people watching mecca as well as a shutterbugs dream spot. Contrary to popular belief it is not any more expensive to shop or eat than anywhere else in the city. You can easily spend an entire day there and spend maybe $7.00 to $8.00 if all you do is grab a hot dog and coke and don't spend your time shopping. It's fun for the whole family.
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