Pier 39, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 117 Reviews

The Embarcadero at Beach Street (415) 705-5500

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  • Pier 39
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  • Pier 39
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  • Pier 39
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  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    See the Sea Lions

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Mar 26, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is a huge group of about 150 sea lions next to Pier 39. Sea Lions are a type of seal, recognized by their external ears, ability to walk on land, and their barking. The sea lions seem to be San Francisco's top attraction, as people are often lining the pier 5-10 deep to watch them play or watch them sleep on the floating docks (exciting!). I could not believe the crowds here on a sunny weekend afternoon.

    The California Sea Lion is distinguished from other sea lion species by the males' large forehead, hence the scientific name Zalophus californianus literally meaning "California Big Head". Or as Diablo magazine puts it, Zalophus is "Latin for those lazy mounds of blubber you see lolling around the Fisherman’s Wharf docks, crooning nonsense to the crowds."

    See the people?  There are way more behind me! Many sleep while a few fight Fighting sea lions

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  • Muya's Profile Photo

    Barking in the sun !

    by Muya Written Mar 1, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It used to be a busy area where goods were unloaded. You’ll find now mainly restaurants and shops around a central promenade with a merry-go-round.
    And of course the huge colony of sea lions, the main popular attraction. I loved to watch them argue for a place in the sun, and hear them bark…but I never imagined they had so many things to tell…what a noise !!!

    Sea lions at Pier 39

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 2, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39 is one of San Francisco's most popular tourist destinations. It's an excellent place to find out about what this great city has to offer, and to sign up for tours. It's also very good for a lunch, some shopping, and just to relax after a day's walking.

    Pier 39 Some of the shops and restaurants The boardwalk Tour boats at Pier 39 Sea lions at Pier 39

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  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo

    The Sea Lions

    by XenoHumph Updated Dec 20, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Do I repeat myself here?? Go see the sea lions! They are an absolut blast, extremely funny, and you can see them up close. They are a little noisy and smelly, but that's part of the whole experience. The city of San Francisco left a dozen of floating wood platforms for California sea lions to rest on. Everybody is happy, the sea lions because they have a place to stay, the boaters of the surrounding Marina as the sea lions do not invade their docks!
    Do not miss my sea lion travelogue!
    If you want to know more about pinnipeds, such as the difference between a sea lion and a seal, go to http://www.pinnipeds.org/species/species.htm.
    And if you cannot make it to San Francisco anytime soon, but cannot wait to see them, go to a webcam of the sea lions (I discovered that on VT Member Sims1 San Francisco page)!

    Besides the sea lions, Pier 39 is a mega tourist trap, full of souvenir shops and too expensive restaurants (you pay for the view)!

    Sea lions at Pier 39, San Francisco, California
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  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 20, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The most touristy place in the city, Pier 39 is home to the sea lions, but also dozens of souvenir shops, ice cream shops, and restaurants. I wasn't a big fan of this area and probably will not return.

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  • cheap_tourist's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by cheap_tourist Updated Sep 16, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When at Fisherman's Wharf, be sure to check out Pier 39. It's one of those places that people love or have because it is so touristy. Basically, it is a pier that has been converted into a mall. There are many shops and restaurants there. I particularly like the souvenir shop at the entrance which has lots of items at a reasonable price. Pier 39's other attractions include the Aquarium of the Bay, the Venetian Carousel, and Turbo Ride (a simulation theatre). It is also known for the sea lions that seasonally make K dock their home. When I was there in July 2005, the sea lions were elsewhere. When I visited in June and September of 2006, however, they were there in numbers.

    Acrobat Perfoming at Lunchtime Sea Lions at Pier 39
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  • tere1's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by tere1 Written Aug 2, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An atraction in San francisco is Pier 39. It's situated next to Fisherman's Wharf and the reason it is so well known is for its sea lions that abound there and its wonderful views of the Bay, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Here you will also find many seafood restaurants.

    In winter the sea lions can reach the number of 900, most of them being males. They are very funny, making their own noises and sounds and sunbathing calmly while people watch them.

    The sea lions Sea lions at Pier 39 Pier 39
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  • KevinMichael's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by KevinMichael Written Jul 30, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the most famous pier to visit in San Francisco. It is bustling with activity, street performers, food stands, an aquarium, arcades, interesting shops and a good place for souvenir shopping, and many excellent restaurants.

    It's a good place to get a delicious hot dog or some of San Francisco's fine seafood or clam chowder.

    One of today's most popular attractions are the sea lions who have also made San Francisco Pier 39 their home. 20 years ago, there were just a handful today they number in the hundreds.

    Pier 39 is simply a fun place to go and enjoy the atmosphere. Make sure to take a wind breaker as it gets chilly at night and the wind can be a little strong.

    Pier 39 my students & brother Danny San Francisco's sea lions hanging out at Pier 39 SF's sea lions hanging out at Pier 39  (2) SF's sea lions hanging out at Pier 39  (3)
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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Pier 39, the view

    by Martin_S. Written Jul 10, 2006

    The view from Pier 39 takes in the upper levels of San Francisco, the bay (including Alcatraz) and even the Golden Gate Bridge. Take a walk on the outer pier and you will see all this. It is amazing to see how close Alcatraz is and understand that the very, very, cold water between Pier 39 and Alcatraz presented an unconquerable barrier for prisoners trying to escape. The local "residents" of Pier 39 are a large family or pod of seals who have taken over this quiet protected harbor (and yes I spell it harbor and not harbour like in England ;o))) There is no way to get very close to them, but you can both hear AND smell them very well. I liked the small lighthouse perched on the entrance here.

    Zohara, Tal and Martin at Pier 39 Pier 39 residents Pier 39 lighthouse Alcatraz as seen from Pier 39
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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Pier 39, entrance to Fisherman's Wharf

    by Martin_S. Written Jul 10, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39, adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf, has something for everyone, shops, amusment park, restaurants, photo shops, ice-cream, even a fresh fruit stand...We checked out the prices of some of the items, T-Shirts for example were quite expensive as were souveniers, even the postcards, so we just enjoyed wandering and viewing the bay from the pier.

    Pier 39, from entrance bridge Julie and Tal at Pier 39 Pier 39, shops and amusement park Pier 39, fresh California fruit Tal, Zohara and Julie at Pier 39
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  • alfredop's Profile Photo

    Shopping and eating...

    by alfredop Written May 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best attraction at Fisherman's Wharf is definetely Pier 39. Everybody who visits wants to come to this San Francisco landmark.

    Every good thing supposedly attainable here is much better and cheaper elsewhere.... If you want seafood, this is the place, you'll have lots of options where the main specialty would be clam chowder. Parking, as in all San Francisco sucks . A huge structure is available at very creative prices. Many ferries do leave from here, which is a worthwhile reason to stop briefly.

    Bring your kid's and they'll love the 2 story-carrousel.

    Pier 39 Carrousel Carrousel Pier 39 access Performers

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  • joyryd's Profile Photo

    Pier 39 Sea Lions

    by joyryd Written Apr 24, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is quite a spectacle to see. These sea lions just gather on these floating docks- sometimes a few and sometimes hundreds! They lie there and sun themselves and make their territorial grunting sounds. It is actually quite fascinating and really mesmerizing to watch.

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  • duanestorey's Profile Photo

    Fisherman's Wharf

    by duanestorey Written Mar 20, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When you hear people talk about hanging out at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, most of the time they are implying the area around Pier 39. Pier 39 is in fact a real Pier, but it has been transformed into a little community of restaurants and shops. In terms of seafood, I think you're still better off walking down the water a bit and finding a little family restaurant on the beach serving crab, but Pier 39 is a neat experience if you're looking to explore Fisherman's Wharf in a hurry.

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by aukahkay Written Mar 17, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39, located near Fisherman's Wharf, is San Francisco's favourite attraction. A festival marketplace with more than 110 stores and 13 bay view restaurants, it offers a variety of fun-filled attractions for all ages including, splashy sea lions, street performers and live daily entertainment.

    Pier 39 Merry Go Round at Pier 39 Pier 39
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  • Menopause the Musical - A Great Women's Day Out

    by EllenGriffith Written Mar 13, 2006

    Inspired by "a hot flash and a bottle of wine", the show is a fun-filled performance of laughter and song created as a celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived "The Change."

    Performance Schedule: Wednesday 2 PM and 8 PM, Thursday 8 PM, Friday 8 PM, Saturday 4 PM and 8 PM and Sunday 1 PM and 4 PM. Dark Monday and Tuesday.

    PIER 39 - San Francisco - Menopause the Musical!
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