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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.


Guide to Exploring around Pier 39


Top Pier 39 Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Pier 39

See all 1,560 Properties near Pier 39
Hilton San Francisco Financial District $110
Hilton San Francisco Financial District

Hilton San Francisco Financial District

750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ferry Building, Lombard Street, and Pier 39. Oracle Park and Palace of Fine Arts are also within 3 mi (5 km). California St & Kearny St Stop is only a 5-minute walk and California St & Grant Ave Stop is 5 minutes.

    Holiday Inn Golden Gateway $129
    Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

    Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

    1500 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Van Ness Avenue and The Regency Ballroom. San Francisco City Hall and Orpheum Theater are also within 1 mi (2 km). California St & Van Ness Ave Stop is only a 2-minute walk and California St & Polk St Stop is 2 minutes.

      Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco $189
      Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

      Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

      555 N Point St, San Francisco, CA
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and Lombard Street. Pier 39 and Van Ness Avenue are also within 15 minutes. Jones St and Beach St Stop and Beach St & Mason St Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

        Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf $109
        Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf

        Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf

        2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Alcatraz Island are also within 3 mi (5 km). Beach St & Mason St Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Jefferson St & Powell St Stop is 3 minutes.

          Wharf Inn $110
          Wharf Inn

          Wharf Inn

          2601 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 15 minutes. Beach St & Mason St Stop and Jefferson St & Powell St Stop are within a 2-minute walk.

            Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
            Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

            Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

            250 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in North Beach, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of USS Pampanito and Pier 39. Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street are also within 15 minutes. Beach St & Mason St Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Beach St & Stockton St Stop is 2 minutes.

              Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf $159
              Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf

              Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf

              1300 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly San Francisco hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Maritime Museum, and Lombard Street. Aquarium of the Bay and Pier 39 are also within 15 minutes. Jones St and Beach St Stop and Hyde St & Beach St Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

                San Remo Hotel $135
                San Remo Hotel

                San Remo Hotel

                2237 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Pier 39 and Coit Tower. Palace of Fine Arts and Alcatraz Island are also within 3 mi (5 km). Taylor St & Francisco St Stop and Columbus Ave & Lombard St Stop are within a 5-minute walk.