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Pier 39 Tips (118)

I Loved The Sea Lions

sea lions or seals .. either way they are super cutie and fun to watch. There are so many of them .. i like to focus on a few at a time and watch them interact .. bump eachother in the water ect. I watched for about an hour each day ... far longer than my husband would have liked. the smell is strong and offensive.

chattygirl7491's Profile Photo
Oct 21, 2016

The sea lions at Pier 39

Since 1990 the sea lions have been spotted out on PIER 39's West Marina. Every winter the population of these sea lions can increase by over 900 with most of them being males. They migrate south during the summer months for breeding season but you can still see a small group at the pier during any given month.

Gypsystravels's Profile Photo
Aug 26, 2015

Pier 39

Pier 39 is a popular tourist shopping center and attraction built on a San Francisco pier with shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39's marina. The marina is home to the floating Forbes Island restaurant. A two-story carousel is one of the pier's more dominant features, although it is not directly visible from the street and sits towards the end of the pier. The family-oriented entertainment and presence of marine mammals make this a popular tourist location for families with kids.

From the pier we could see Angel Island, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay Bridge. The Blue & Gold Fleet's bay cruises leave from Pier 39. Pier 39 was first developed by entrepreneur Warren Simmons and opened October 4, 1978.

apbeaches's Profile Photo
Aug 26, 2015

"Awesome place"

Awesome place to visit with your family. Pier 39 is full of many shops & restaurants. The view is great. Also, you are at the marina area so lots of opportunities to take boat tours, go to Alcatraz. Lots of street vendors & entertainers all over the place. We were down there on the 8th of July & even though there was lots of people, it was still fun - lots of activities & lots of great choices for food.

Robertwilliams's Profile Photo
Jul 21, 2015
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My husband decide to go visit Pier 39. The Pier 39 was a great place to visit in San Francisco, It's a little bit too tourist place but you must take a look of it. Inside Pier is full of every kind of shops and restaurants. Fun place - plenty of food outlets and tacky shops. There was an awesome atmosphere. If you want a real seafood or claim chowder this is the place to go as they are in abundance and are served in the bread bowls. YUM! You will also see all the seals on the floating piers lazing in the sun. We loved San Francisco and you will too!

Gloriajames's Profile Photo
Jun 19, 2015

Watching the Sea Lions

The best part of Pier 39 is watching the sea lions lounging on the floating docks that have been set aside for them. Normally, despite ample dock space, the barking seals will prefer to crowd themselves, complaining loudly for every newcomer that crawls across the bodies. Originally, the harbor officials and restauranteurs thought the sea lions a nuisance, but the popularity of this urban experience was so great it's become institutionalized. Boats aren't allowed to take away seal dock space.

atufft's Profile Photo
Jan 18, 2015

The Lottery

Thousands of people in Portugal discuss the best way to promote tourism in our country. Well, sometimes it just a question of luck, as in San Francisco. The sea lions decided to invade pier 39, and locals only needed to accept them to have another unused attraction.

So, while the discussion continues, the lottery (or a candle in Fatima for the religious people) may help, but for the moment, only one message: If a lot of animals invade any Portuguese space, before acting, think at San Francisco's example: Extermination is not always the answer.

solopes's Profile Photo
Oct 29, 2014

Sea Lions

Pier 39 (at least to me) is cheesy, BUT, the one thing I absolutely loved and laughed my arse off was the sea lions. I could sit there and watch them for at least an hour, arfing at each other, basking in the sun, they are hilarious.

nyceagle1633's Profile Photo
Nov 07, 2011

Top 5 San Francisco Writers

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"Bagdad by the Bay"
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"San Francisco - My Favorie City - By Default"
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"San Francisco - "It's a free-for-all up there!""
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"SFO ... a declassé love letter to the CITY"
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"San Francisco: Why this heart never leaves"
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Welcome to the Tourist Trap

Pier 39 is what i like to call: a waste of money. Pier 39 is full of expensive fun/food. Places here are expensive. There's really nothing great say about Pier 39. It's really busy all the time, things are EXPENSIVE, WAY to many People. If you like arcades, i would recommend on going to the Metreon instead. More games, better games, better token exchange rate.

bakingguitar's Profile Photo
Mar 28, 2011

The Big Tourist Trap

Ah...Pier 39...the place created for the tourists. Shopping, dining, fun for the kids and all jammed together on Pier 39. If you are looking for crowds, this is the place to be. With places like the Hard Rock Cafe...of course the masses will come to visit. Throw in some sealions and ice cream and it's a family fun fest.

Pier 39, is a place to go when you have never seen it before or just happen to be walking by in the area. I have found it a bit to congested for my liking and the food and shops overpriced for what they are selling.

cjg1's Profile Photo
Jan 28, 2011

Check out what's left of the Sea Lions

The Sea Lions of Pier 39 are a big tourist draw. Once the sea lions numbered in the hundreds but recently their numbers have dwindled down significantly and no one knows why.

During our last trip to SF, we walked around Pier 39 and checked out the animals. There were a handful clustered together as well as a loner sitting by himself.

cjg1's Profile Photo
Jan 27, 2011

Great For Picture Taking

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.

azz8206's Profile Photo
Jan 10, 2011

Things To Do Near Pier 39

Things to Do

Aquarium of the Bay

EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED AND ANGRY!!! I am a 16 year old girl who went to this aquarium expecting it to be really fun. Despite it being incredibly dull, the staff were not doing their jobs! When my...
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Things to Do

Angel Island State Park

Established in 1975, Angel Island Association is a nonprofit organization working to facilitate the preservation, restoration and interpretation of historical and natural resources on the island,...
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Things to Do

Telegraph Hill

Most people know Telegraph Hill only as the location of Coit Tower. What they don't realize is that this is one of San Francisco's oldest neighborhoods with rare, mid 19th-century homes that survived...
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Things to Do

Red and White Fleet

Some people may think that Fisherman's Wharf is a tourist trap....but what the hay, I was a tourist and I love touristy places. I'll admit to having visted the Wharf on three separate occassions and I...
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Things to Do

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf gets a lot of criticism for being too touristy, but there are actually many, many things to do around this area and I would imagine there would easily be something suitable to...
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Things to Do

Coit Tower

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Getting to Pier 39


The Embarcadero at Beach Street


  • Sunday 10:00 to 21:00
  • Monday 10:00 to 21:00
  • Tuesday 10:00 to 21:00
  • Wednesday 10:00 to 21:00
  • Thursday 10:00 to 21:00
  • Friday 10:00 to 21:00
  • Saturday 10:00 to 21:00