Pier 39, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 118 Reviews

The Embarcadero at Beach Street (415) 705-5500

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • fat sea lions
    fat sea lions
    by machomikemd
  • The cityscape of San Francisco seen from Pier 39
    The cityscape of San Francisco seen from...
    by azz8206
  • The Coit Tower and Transamerica Building
    The Coit Tower and Transamerica Building
    by azz8206
  • 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

    Was this review helpful?

  • AVG2319's Profile Photo

    Shopping & Sea Lions

    by AVG2319 Updated Nov 25, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39 San Francisco
    1 more image

    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!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    The Aquarium of the Bay

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 26, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay
    4 more images

    This is a fine aquarium. Well, it's not equal to Sea World in San Diego, but well worth a visit. Located right near Fisherman's Wharf, it's convenient if you're touring the area. You can take in this and other nearby museums in a day.

    The Aquarium has an impressive display of sea life from around the west coast. It also has an underwater tunnel, where one can observe the fish swimming overhead. In addition, it has a "touch tank", which allow close encounters with sea creatures.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Pier 39 for Shopping and Eating

    by spgood301 Updated Aug 30, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea Lions at Pier 39

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • yellowbell's Profile Photo

    San Francisco Bay Cruise and Aquarium by the Bay

    by yellowbell Updated Aug 26, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Golden Gate Bridge

    For $23, you get a combined bay cruise and tour of the Aquarium by the Bay courtesy of Gold and Blue Fleet. The Aquarium is small compared to Melbourne Aquarium and Sentosa Aquarium, Singapore.

    The Bay Cruise is worth it since you can have a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Stories of how the Golden Gate was constructed and about the prisoners of Alcatraz can be heard during the tour.

    Make sure to dress warmly as it gets chilly during the cruise especially at dusk.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • geeyook's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by geeyook Written Aug 20, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by goingsolo Written Jul 5, 2005
    San Francisco

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • 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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • 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.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium

    Was this review helpful?

  • smschley's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by smschley Written Mar 10, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Taking Friends to Pier 39

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • SmileyLeSa's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by SmileyLeSa Updated Mar 9, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Webcam

    by sim1 Updated Mar 8, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    oink oink oink....



    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

    Was this review helpful?

  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by sim1 Updated Mar 8, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39



    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • SnoopySue's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by SnoopySue Written Feb 25, 2005
    Pier 39

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • mikeukw's Profile Photo

    Sea Lions at Pier 39 - Amazing!

    by mikeukw Updated Nov 6, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea Lions at Pier 39

    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!

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: San Francisco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

73 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Pier 39
3.5 out of 5 stars
7 Reviews
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
4 Reviews
0.3 miles away
Show Prices
Show Prices

View all San Francisco hotels