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4 star rating: Recommended 52 Reviews

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  • Address: Beach Street and The Embarcadero, San Francisco 94119, USA
  • Hours: Open daily
  • Admission: Free
One of the most visited sights in San Francisco, the multilevel Pier 39 complex is home to shops, restaurants, street performers, and a video arcade. Its waterfront setting on the San Francisco Bay means visitors can take in panoramic bay views, breathe fresh sea air, and watch sunbathing California sea lions.
 
The Basics
Besides dining and shopping, another popular Pier 39 attraction is the Aquarium of the Bay, where you can watch sharks circle overhead and manta rays skate by. The glassed-in San Francisco Carousel is a hit with kids, as are the Musical Stairs and Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze. Pier 39 is also a popular jumping-off point for boat tours to Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, Sausalito, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Bay cruises focus on one of these attractions or all of them, some going as far out as the Farallon Islands in search of whales. 
 
City tours of San Francisco typically include a stop to Pier 39’s historic waterfront. A hop-on hop-off tour via double-decker bus allows you to disembark and explore the area’s arcades, restaurants, and shops at your leisure. 
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Cruises to Alcatraz Island leave from Pier 39 and tend to sell out far in advance. Be sure to buy tickets ahead of time.
  • The California Welcome Center offers luggage storage during the day for a fee.
  • Pets are allowed at Pier 39 outdoors in the common areas.
  • Ramps and elevators are located throughout Pier 39, and wheelchairs are available for rent at the California Welcome Center. 
 
How to Get There
Pier 39 is located at the edge of the Fisherman’s Wharf district, near the beginning of the Embarcadero. The pier is also close to North Beach, Chinatown, Ghirardelli Square, and Fort Mason. The area is easily accessible via the historic F-Market streetcars, buses, and cable cars. Parking in the area is possible, but be prepared to pay.
 
When to Get There
Although San Francisco’s weather is cold and foggy in the summer, that’s when Pier 39 is the busiest. Prepare for large crowds and sold-out activities during this time. Bring layers to fend off the chill, or visit in the fall for the best weather. The pier’s hours of operation change seasonally.

California Sea Lions
Pier 39’s most famous—and famously loud—visitors are California sea lions. Mostly between January and July, as many as 900 sea lions park themselves on the floating docks off of the pier. Since the early 1990s, every year these marine mammals put on a show of barking, lounging, and climbing over one another. Learn more about the playful pinnipeds at the Sea Lion Center.

Tours & Tickets

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America's Cup Sailing Adventure on San Francisco Bay: Day Sail, San Francisco, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

America's Cup Sailing Adventure on San Francisco Bay: Day Sail

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 10 Reviews

Welcome aboard for a thrilling 2.5 hour sailing adventure aboard USA 76, an International America’s Cup Class racing yacht that challenged in 2003 for ...  Read more

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San Francisco Night Tour by Bus, San Francisco, Sailing Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

San Francisco Night Tour by Bus

2.5 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 3 Reviews

Sit back and enjoy the sights of San Francisco during this 1.5-hour bus tour through the city. Take in the spectacular views from a double decker bus at night ...  Read more

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Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay Adventure Sightseeing Cruise, San Francisco, Bus & Minivan Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay Adventure Sightseeing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 90 Reviews

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Location: San Francisco, California
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San Francisco Golden Gate Whale-Watching Tour, San Francisco, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

San Francisco Golden Gate Whale-Watching Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 87 Reviews

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Location: San Francisco, California
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Skip the Line: San Francisco Bay Cruise Adventure, San Francisco, Dolphin & Whale Watching
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Skip the Line: San Francisco Bay Cruise Adventure

You haven’t fully experienced San Francisco until you’ve taken a bay cruise. This popular 1-hour excursion heads underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, around ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
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From USD $33.00
Small-Group Full-Day Tour of San Francisco with Alcatraz, San Francisco, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Small-Group Full-Day Tour of San Francisco with Alcatraz

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This full-day, small-group San Francisco city tour explores all the top attractions of the city, including Alcatraz Island prison. Explore Chinatown, the ...  Read more

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From USD $129.00
San Francisco Bay Sightseeing Boat Tour, San Francisco, Cultural Tours
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San Francisco Bay Sightseeing Boat Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 15 Reviews

Travel along the San Francisco Bay faster, farther and closer to the sights then any tour boat on the bay, and in a more private and personal setting. ...  Read more

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Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Minivan Tour, San Francisco, Day Cruises
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Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Minivan Tour

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The Original City Loop Electric Bicycle Tour, San Francisco, Bus & Minivan Tours
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The Original City Loop Electric Bicycle Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Explore areas off limits to tour buses on this truly authentic electric bicycle experience. Our guided bike ride takes you through the best neighborhoods.  ...  Read more

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PIER 39 Attraction Pass, San Francisco, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

PIER 39 Attraction Pass

4 star rating: Recommended 27 Reviews

Your all-in-one PIER 39 Attraction Pass includes admission to Aquarium of the Bay, Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze, 7D Experience, a one-hour San Francisco Bay ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

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