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Pier 39

This waterfront attraction offers thrilling rides, innovative street performers and colorful souvenir shops, but it’s the sea lions that win the day. 

Belching, barking and back scratching are hardly the stuff that tourist dreams are made of, unless you’re talking about the colonies of sea lions that bask in the sun and play on their floating docks at Pier 39. 

The sea lions have called the pier home since 1989, shortly after the San Francisco Loma Prieta earthquake. Marine biologists believe the animals reside here because there is plenty of food in the bay and their natural predators (white sharks and orcas) don’t hunt here. Their numbers fluctuate during the year, and they’re typically absent in the summer months when they venture south to breed and give birth. But you may be lucky enough to see hundreds of these playful critters; in November 2009 a record 1,701 were counted! 

There’s a wide variety of sea life on display at the nearby Aquarium of the Bay. Walk through two clear tunnels and see marine species native to San Francisco, including rays, sharks and octopi, swimming right above you.

Pier 39 is a two-level complex of shopping, sideshows, entertainment, dining, rides and attractions that can keep you busy for an afternoon or an entire day. If you need some down-time, step aboard the "Neptune" for a 90-minute wine tasting cruise on the bay. Or, just settle back on a bench and check out the terrific views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the city skyline.

Pier 39 is immediately adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf at the northern end of the Embarcadero. It is accessible on foot and is also serviced by cable cars which run up and down the Embarcadero and also to downtown.

Popular Activities at Pier 39

You won't believe how much there is to do at Pier 39. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Examine our San Francisco things to do page to learn about more activities while you're here.


Guide to Exploring Pier 39


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 907 Properties near Pier 39
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf ¥18,928
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

425 North Point, San Francisco, CA
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 6,893 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf is 2 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and the Alcatraz Island ferry.

    Hotel Zephyr ¥13,712
    Hotel Zephyr

    Hotel Zephyr

    250 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 3,943 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in North Beach, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum and Pier 39. San Francisco Bay and Ghirardelli Square are also within 15 minutes. Ferry Building Station is 29 minutes by foot.

      Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman's Wharf ¥17,996
      Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman's Wharf

      Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman's Wharf

      2620 Jones Street, San Francisco, CA
         
        4.2
        of 5, from 5,467 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Fishermans Wharf Cable Car Turnaround, Hyde Street Pier, and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Pier 39 are also within 15 minutes.

        Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel ¥20,055
        Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel

        Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel

        2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
           
          3.9
          of 5, from 4,648 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          This smoke-free San Francisco Sheraton is within 2 blocks of the cable car turnaround and Pier 39, 5 blocks from Ghirardelli Square, and within 1 mile of Lombard Street and Chinatown.

          Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco ¥16,688
          Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

          Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

          555 N Point St, San Francisco, CA
             
            4.1
            of 5, from 2,506 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Guests can hop a cable car right outside this hotel; stroll 2 blocks for fun on Fisherman's Wharf; explore the delights of Ghirardelli Square, 3 blocks away; and walk 5 blocks to the Alcatraz ferry.

            San Remo Hotel ¥10,533
            San Remo Hotel

            San Remo Hotel

            2237 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA
               
              4.2
              of 5, from 1,955 reviews
              2.0 out of 5.0

              Located in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, San Remo Hotel is just 5 blocks from the steaming sourdough chowder bowls of Fisherman’s Wharf. Lombard Street and the ferry to Alcatraz Island are both within a half-mile, and guests need only walk 1 block to hop a cable car to Union Square.

              Hyatt Regency San Francisco ¥17,047
              Hyatt Regency San Francisco

              Hyatt Regency San Francisco

              5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA
                 
                4.3
                of 5, from 4,138 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                The 17-story Hyatt Regency is located on the Embarcadero waterfront, across from the Ferry Building Marketplace, close to the Embarcadero Center, Union Square, and Moscone Convention Center.

                Hotel Spero ¥14,010
                Hotel Spero

                Hotel Spero

                405 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA
                   
                  4.4
                  of 5, from 868 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Downtown San Francisco, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Powell and Market Cable Car Turnaround, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Cable Car Museum and San Francisco City Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km). Powell St. Station is 7 minutes by foot and Civic Center Station is 11 minutes.