Pier 39, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 117 Reviews

The Embarcadero at Beach Street (415) 705-5500

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  • DarleneCMF's Profile Photo

    EXPLORE PIER 39

    by DarleneCMF Updated Feb 28, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39 is the busiest and most popular pier along San Francisco bay. It has a lot of souvenir and food shops and restaurants. And you would find interesting presentations/shows at the center stage (saw an entertaining magic/variety show once).

    There's a lot of photo spots scattered around the area where you could just stand and be guaranteed of a nice San Francisco picture.:) It's also where the Aquarium of the Bay is, and there are nice lookout spots for watching the sea lions that have made Pier 39 their permanent residence.

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  • 100ACRE's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by 100ACRE Updated Feb 18, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Instant atmosphere, this place overwhelms the senses. There is so much to do, see, eat, and smell.

    Do: Watch free street performers, ride on a carousel
    See: Where the Sea Lions hangout
    Eat: Burgers, Pizza, Chinese, Seafood, Pasta, Ice Cream, endless fast-food, for a sit down restaurant I like the casual "Eagle Cafe"
    Smell: Go to the end of the Pier, and look out over the Bay, you'll feel like you are on a Cruise Ship and that you can practically touch Alcatraz Island. The view from the end of Pier 39 is one my favorite places to experience the Bay without taking a Bay Cruise.
    Picture: Don't forget your camera

    Also: Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise can be boarded nearby. Dress warm for the Pier, especially after 3pm when the wind starts to pickup. It's never a warm night out on The Embarcadero, prepare for cold & fog. The people in these pictures hit the Pier on a rare warm day. Dress in layers.

    Aerial View For The Little Ones So Little Time, So Much Chocolate Shop 'Til You Drop

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  • Jeneverhart's Profile Photo

    Great places to eat!

    by Jeneverhart Written Dec 12, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are almost too many places to choose from when it comes to finding a place to eat.
    Try Bubba Gumps!! A little costly but man, the food is worth it. You get a good amount of high quality food for your money.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Aquarium
    • Food and Dining

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  • AVG2319's Profile Photo

    Shopping & Sea Lions

    by AVG2319 Updated Nov 25, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    PIER 39 is San Francisco's #1 Attraction-so expect lots of people. Two levels of shopping and bay view restaurants. You can ride the Carousel and of course go and see the Sea Lions on the pier. They are smelly and most of them were being pretty lazy when we were there, but a few were entertaining to watch!

    Pier 39 San Francisco Sea lions at Pier 39
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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Pier 39 for Shopping and Eating

    by spgood301 Updated Aug 30, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you're looking to buy knick-knacks from SF, look no further than Pier 39. It's right near Fishermans Wharf on the Embarcadero, and has shops for almost every taste: souveniers, sports clothing (an NFL shop), even a small Irish store. There's seafood restaurants aplenty (beware-they can be a bit expensive), access to the Aquarium...and don't forget the sea lions-they're barking for attention!

    Ferries to Alacatraz and other places are just up the block at Pier 41.

    Like Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 is quite touristy and can be crowded on the weekend. If that's your kind of thing, you'll love it. If not, you'll probably not want to spend much time there.

    Sea Lions at Pier 39
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  • geeyook's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by geeyook Written Aug 20, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This San Francisco tourist trap has over 110 shops, 13 bay view restaurants, a merry go round, a game arcade, an aquarium, numerous other attractions and entertainment. Street artrist perform daily on the Center Stage area. Pier 39 is also well known as a place to view the sea lions who made this their home.

    Pier 39

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by goingsolo Written Jul 5, 2005

    Pier 39 is the most touristy part of Fisherman's Wharf. Here you will find hundreds of shops, hundreds of restaurants and millions of tourists. Its a good place to browse around for those much purchase items such as a t shirt reading "I am an escaped mental patient from Alcatraz" which you should never wear, ever and other very important items to bring back to friends and family that they will never wear or use.

    All kidding aside, one good reason to visit Pier 39, other than to test whether you have a phobia of crowds, is to find cheap eats. There are a couple of walk up seafood places where the food is fresh and good and will not deplete precious monetary resources. I'll give more specifics in the restaurant section of this page.

    San Francisco
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  • venteeocho's Profile Photo

    Great place for everyone

    by venteeocho Written May 30, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is something for everyone at PIER 39, San Francisco's #1 Attraction, a festival marketplace with more than 110 stores, 13 bay view restaurants, and variety of fun-filled attractions for all ages including, splashy sea lions, street performers and live daily entertainment.

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  • raevnzno's Profile Photo

    A different perspective of the Bay

    by raevnzno Written May 17, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Aquarium of the Bay is located on Pier 39. A great way to spend and hour or so.
    Walk with the sharks, always better than sleeping with the fishes......via the 300 ft tunnels. There are also touch pools for the kids to explore.

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    • Aquarium

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  • smschley's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by smschley Written Mar 10, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What is amazing to me is the popularity of Pier 39. It's the third most visited attraction in the US and the number-one tourist spot in San Francisco, welcoming 11 million visitors per year.

    PIER 39 is a multilevel waterfront complex a few blocks east of Fisherman's Wharf. Constructed on an abandoned cargo pier, it’s a neo-recreation of a turn-of-the-20th-century street scene, but don't expect a slice of old-time maritime life. It has more than 100 stores, 11 bay-view restaurants, a two-tiered Venetian carousel, a Hard Rock Cafe, and arcade and aquarium entertainment for the kids.

    It also has several attractions that are unique to its Fisherman's Wharf location. The famous sea lion colony that has taken up residence on the abandoned docks next door are themselves worth a special trip. Hear them honk, snort and slap their enormous bodies around; watch them cavort with their buddies.

    You can see the sea lions for free (pier entrance doesn't cost a penny), but it's advisable to bring along plenty of cash for the other attractions as everything's slated toward helping you part with your travel dollars. To residents, that pretty much wraps up PIER 39 -- an expensive spot where out-of-towners go to waste money on worthless souvenirs and greasy fast food. It's the place that locals love to hate. If you want to get to know the real San Francisco, skip the cheesy T-shirt shops and limit your time here to one afternoon.

    That said, I always bring new visitors here as it does have a few perks: absolutely beautiful natural surroundings of bay views, fresh sea air, and hundreds of sunbathing sea lions lounging along its neighboring dock. My wife never seems to tire of the place and first timers always seem enjoy it.

    And everything's slated toward helping you part with your travel dollars. It's the place that locals love to hate. That said, it does have a few perks: absolutely beautiful natural surroundings of bay views, fresh sea air, and hundreds of sunbathing sea lions lounging along its neighboring dock.

    Taking Friends to Pier 39

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  • SmileyLeSa's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by SmileyLeSa Updated Mar 9, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39 offers plenty of speciality shops and restaurants for the tourist. It is located 2 blocks away from Fisherman's Wharf.

    Sail boats, cruise ships and cargo ships pass by on San Francisco Bay here. On a nice day you can get some great pictures of the passing ships. Pictures of Alcatraz can also be taken from Pier 39.

    While on Pier 39, make sure you stroll by the Sea Lions. They are entertaining at best.

    Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Webcam

    by sim1 Updated Mar 8, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness



    Do you wonder also if they are there now? That is why I added this webcam. I hope they are there! It is so much fun to watch. Only a pitty you can't hear the noise they make "oink, oink, oink", hahaha, just amazing how much noise they can produce together :-))
    The webcam is from :
    http://www.mapwest.com/

    I can't integrate the webcam anymore in VT, so this is a picture from the 25th of September 2002. But take a look at the webcam to have a current look at the seals :
    http://www.pier39restaurants.com/Jpg/ispy.jpg

    oink oink oink....

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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by sim1 Updated Mar 8, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness



    When you like animals, this is a place you should go to. It's unbelievable that all those seals go sunbathing in the harbour of San Francisco. It's fun watching them for a while: see them fight over the best spot, just play around or lying lazy in the sun. And the noise they make is incredible.

    Pier 39

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  • SnoopySue's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by SnoopySue Written Feb 25, 2005

    This pier offers tho levels of speciality shops and destination dining including Pier Restaurants and Hard Rock Cafe, Aquarium of the Bay and Turbo Ride (simulation theatre). The entire place is designed for tourists but it is irresistible even if you know that. We went to one of the pier restaurants with a great view of the bay. But, we had to pay the price for that. Not only that food was nothing special but the service was the worst I have ever seen. I don't remember the name of the restaurant but I know it was on upper level. So, if you want to enjoy in view - think twice! There are so many better places to eat and drink in SF.

    Pier 39

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  • mikeukw's Profile Photo

    Sea Lions at Pier 39 - Amazing!

    by mikeukw Updated Nov 6, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39 was great, lots of different shops and great restaurants.

    However the sea Lions were the best thing about Pier 39. We could have sat for hours just watching them, in fact I think we did. There were so many just piled on top of each other, as you can see from the picture.

    Watching the Sea Lions was amazing, definately a must see activity and it's free!

    Sea Lions at Pier 39

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