Pier 39, San Francisco

Pier 39, San Francisco (must see)

Pier 39, the focal point of Fisherman's Wharf, may not have the same fishing fleet that it once had (back at the turn of the 20th century), but it compensates it with carnival-like amusements and a two-story carousel (which is not quite visible from the street but sits closer towards the pier's end). Revitalized in the 1970s to resemble a quaint wooden fishing village, this pier draws thousands of tourists every day.

It is really more like a big outdoor shopping mall packed to the rim with stores, restaurants, and various attractions, like a video arcade, street shows, the Aquarium of the Bay, and virtual 3D rides. On the plus side, the visitor center offers luggage storage and free phone-charging stations.

Famous for seafood, Pier 39 is home to 14 full-service restaurants boasting some of the freshest and most delicious offerings. At Fog Harbor Fish House, you can get more than just classic waterfront favorites, such as oysters and cioppino fish stew; all seafood on the menu is locally-sourced and sustainable. Also, check out the floating Forbes Island restaurant for some freshly-caught fruits of the sea.

The top reason to visit the pier is to see the sea lions, San Francisco's favorite mascot. These marine mammals made themselves comfortable on this coveted waterfront real estate in 1989 and have been tanning on its wooden boat slips ever since. A little bit stinky, perhaps, they look quite happy and add a great deal of popularity to the place.

From this pier, you can also see Angel Island, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate, and the Bay bridges. Tickets for boat and ferry rides to different locations in the area are also sold here.

Tip:
Regardless of the season, it can get windy at times, so bringing along a jacket is always recommended.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Francisco. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Pier 39 on Map

Sight Name: Pier 39
Sight Location: San Francisco, USA (See walking tours in San Francisco)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Francisco, California

Create Your Own Walk in San Francisco

Create Your Own Walk in San Francisco

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Francisco is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour

Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour

If it's a hot, sunny day or the one filled with San Francisco's iconic fog, a walk through Fisherman's Wharf can feel quite special all the same. Sure, you'll be surrounded by tourists, but the smells of good food and the sights of a legendary seaport (the one where a few lovingly preserved, historic vessels are still docked and open to visitors) will make you happy.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

The San Francisco Chinatown is home to one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia. It is also renowned as a major tourist attraction in the city, drawing annually more visitors than the Golden Gate Bridge. Since its establishment, in 1848, this enclave has been instrumental in the preservation of the history, culture, language, religion, and identity of the ethnic Chinese in the United...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Famous Architecture Walking Tour

Famous Architecture Walking Tour

San Francisco is one of the world's top travel destinations, famous for its spectacular tourist attractions like Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. But besides that, it also boasts a huge variety of world-known architecture fit to delight the eye of any beholder. Let's give ourselves an aesthetic treat, too, and check out some of the city's most...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
North Beach Walking Tour

North Beach Walking Tour

North Beach is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Francisco, known as San Francisco's Little Italy. Bursting with history, culture, and diverse attractions, this fun area features a great mix of architecture, museums, restaurants, and old shops.

Perhaps the most iconic landmark here is the Transamerica Pyramid, a distinctive skyscraper that has become a symbol of the city's...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
San Francisco Introduction Walking Tour

San Francisco Introduction Walking Tour

A commercial and cultural hub of northern California, San Francisco is a popular tourist destination known for its steep rolling hills and eclectic mix of world-famous landmarks. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the teeth-rattling cable cars carrying riders up and down Nob Hill, Alcatraz Island, and the oldest Chinatown in North America are just some of the city's prominent attractions, each...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Castro District Walking Tour

Castro District Walking Tour

It's a well-known fact that San Francisco is the place where the gay and lesbian culture flourished in its modernity in the mid-20th century. The Castro District, where the rainbow flag is flying high, houses several iconic locations that have played pivotal roles in LGBTQ+ history and continue to be celebrated today.

One such is the Castro Theater. This renowned landmark, which has been...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles

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