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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


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Pier 39

See all 1,416 properties near Pier 39
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf

Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf

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

    Located in North Beach, this hotel is 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.

    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 Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf CA $282
      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 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 Jefferson St & Powell St Stop is 3 minutes.

        Hilton San Francisco Financial District CA $123
        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 Alcatraz Island 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.

          Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf
          Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

          Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf

          425 North Point, San Francisco, CA
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in North Beach, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of USS Pampanito, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Aquatic Park are also within 15 minutes. Beach St & Mason St Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Jefferson St & Powell St Stop is 4 minutes.

            Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel
            Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel

            Argonaut Hotel - a Noble House Hotel

            495 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly San Francisco hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Hyde Street Pier and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Pier 39 are also within 15 minutes. Hyde St & Beach St Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Hyde St & North Point St Stop is 3 minutes.

              Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco CA $197
              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 Aquatic Park are also within 15 minutes. Jones St and Beach St Stop and Beach St & Mason St Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

                Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square
                Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square

                Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square

                345 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown San Francisco, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Union Square, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and SHN Curran Theatre. Moscone Convention Center and Westfield San Francisco Centre are also within 15 minutes. Powell St & Sutter St Stop and Powell St & Post St Stop are within a 5-minute walk.