Pier 39, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 118 Reviews

The Embarcadero at Beach Street (415) 705-5500

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  • fat sea lions
    fat sea lions
    by machomikemd
  • Sea lions lazing around on a sunny afternoon
    Sea lions lazing around on a sunny...
    by azz8206
  • The cityscape of San Francisco seen from Pier 39
    The cityscape of San Francisco seen from...
    by azz8206
  • Saks_b's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by Saks_b Updated Jan 8, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With more than 110 stores, 11 full-service restaurants with bay views and numerous fun-filled attractions, Pier 39 is one of the most visited attractions in America. From there, you can watch sail boats, cruise ships and cargo ships pass by on San Francisco Bay and sea lions on the deck. The Sea Lions appeared about 10 years ago. Although more sea lions appear in winter, they can be seen year round, cavorting happily all around the water. Their loud barking, silliness and resulting crowd is always amusing, and free.

    We took a short cruise to the bay. It was a cheap and effective way to spend a lazy afternoon. There are numerous types of cruise available. We took a red and white boat cruise. It is a one-hour tour and takes you around Alcatraz, under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the city skyline. Also visited the new Aquarium

    Other Attractions at Pier 39 include a Cinemax Theatre, a state-of-the-art arcade, street performers and interesting shops and boutiques.

    Food:
    Some of the city’s finest restaurants are also located here including Neptune’s Palace and Dante’s Seafood Grill. There are many small food stands, ice creameries, and other delicacies to enjoy.

    Despite its obvious commercial look and feel, Pier 39 is fun in a way that has to be experienced. It’s worth a visit.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium

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  • azz8206's Profile Photo

    Great For Picture Taking

    by azz8206 Updated Jan 10, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea lions lazing around on a sunny afternoon
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    Pier 39 is a great place to load up your camera with some very nice pictures. You get some great views over the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Coit Tower and the San Francisco skyline, not to mention the sea lions.
    You can buy a sourdough bowl of delicious clam chowder or enjoy an ice cream while sitting on the pier and listening to the sea lions bark.
    Take the Powell-Mason cable car to the end of the line at Taylor St. then walk three blocks down and to your right. It's about a ten minute walk to the pier.

    Related to:
    • Gay and Lesbian
    • Photography
    • Architecture

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  • tim07's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by tim07 Updated Feb 28, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Refurbished in 1978 to resemble a wooden fishing village, this 1905 pier has over 100 shops & restaurants spread over two levels.

    As well as its most famous attraction, the sea lions, it also has an aquarium & amusement arcades. Another highlight is the San Francisco Carousel, this hand painted carousel has 32 animals to ride.

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  • shdw100's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by shdw100 Written Aug 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea lions sunbathing

    This is probably my favorite place in S.F. I loved the smells of the fresh seafood cooking, the people performing on the streets, the shops, the atmosphere, it was awesome! This is the place, in my opinion, to soak up some good atmosphere about what S.F. is about when it comes to living by the ocean!

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  • amandajayne81's Profile Photo

    Super Sea Lions

    by amandajayne81 Written Oct 25, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I loved these guys

    I had heard that there were sea lions that liked to hang around Pier 39 and I was expecting to spot a few here and there. Initially I did but then I kept walking and spotted LOTS more. They are noisy and smelly but definitely worth watching for a while, There is a shopping, games, Aquarium complex right next to the se lions, My favourite shop was 'Lefties of San Francisco.' My favourite magnet from there was 'Everyone is born right handed only the greatest overcome it!'

    Pier 39 is the place that most of the day tours leave from. Free to look around and definitely worth the time.

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  • shivan's Profile Photo

    The Pier 39

    by shivan Written Sep 18, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39 at night

    The Pier 39. Another place not to be missed during your visit to this fabulous town.
    Piers that become markets. How many times I encountered this, especially in England and here in the United States. Nothing original, then, but still pleasant to visit and maybe have a quality dinner as we did that night. Can't remember what we have eaten, but I enjoyed it, still remembering the filthy Korean in Monterey.

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  • GinGinCoo's Profile Photo

    Sea Lions at Pier 39

    by GinGinCoo Written Mar 1, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea Lions at Pier 39

    Walking around Pier 39 we heard this really strange noice, like barking but not coming from dogs! We walked a little bit more to check it out and Lo and Behold! SEALIONS!!! Seems like they were hundreds of them!

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Pier 39 and Sea Lions

    by sue_stone Written Feb 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea Lions
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    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Free Wild Sea Lion Viewing Daily

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Mar 1, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea Lions Acting Naturally

    We watched the sea lions on their rafts at the end of Pier 39 for an hour and were fascinated with their antics. This was February and I am uncertain as to whether or not they hang out here year round. If not, there are plenty of other things to see at Pier 39.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Beaches

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  • Easty's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by Easty Updated Jun 11, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39

    Pier 39 is part of the greater Fisherman's Wharf area. It has an aquarium (See Below), arcades, street shows, merry-go-round, restaurants overlooking the bay, and many shops. It is built for the tourists.

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  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    Visit Pier 39

    by SteveOSF Updated Feb 22, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The City from Pier 39

    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.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

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  • PetraG's Profile Photo

    Under Water World

    by PetraG Written May 13, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aquarium

    Really great aquarium!
    Here you can admire the local sea-animals.
    You can walk through an underwater-tunnel and see sharks, bat rays and other fish swimming over your head. Great!
    Very nice is the touch-pool area, where you can touch baby sharks, bat rays,... They feel soooo cute!!!!

    Related to:
    • Aquarium

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  • alfredop's Profile Photo

    Shopping and eating...

    by alfredop Written May 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pier 39
    4 more images

    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.

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  • Tami_G's Profile Photo

    Sea lions @ Pier 39

    by Tami_G Written Jul 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea lions

    At Fisherman's Wharf. This Pier is full of sea lions. It's really amazing to see such a big number of these animals together and practically IN the city. They are big, they fight to see who stays on top of the platforms, they make loud noises and they're smelly. But I loved seeing them :-)

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  • 100ACRE's Profile Photo

    Pier 39

    by 100ACRE Updated Feb 18, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aerial View
    3 more images

    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.

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