Pier 39 flags blowing in the wind.

Fisherman's Wharf

Pier 39

Pier 39, a renovated cargo pier at the tip of Fisherman’s Wharf, is a must-see tourist attraction, especially for your first visit to San Francisco. Because of its popularity, it’s ranked as one of the top tourist attractions in the United States and has been open to the public since 1978.

Easily accessed by the F-line, San Francisco’s street-level answer to the cable car, Pier 39 has become the perfect family destination over the years. Everything from carousels to the famous Pier 39 sea lions have created an image uniquely San Franciscan at the waterfront attraction. Even the seagulls, which seem to be the size of dogs at times, are an amazing sight for your first-time San Francisco visit.

The tourist-factor at Pier 39 is 10 out of 10, though. In other words, be prepared for crowds.

Pier 39 not only offers amusements but also restaurants. Travelers can fill their stomachs at the normal tourist eateries, such as Hard Rock Café or Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, or they can taste some clam chowder, a delicious cream-based soup with corn, potato and clam, at a small pier branch of a popular San Francisco restaurant, Boudins.

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Whether you’re dining, watching the sea lions chase fishermen, or enjoying the street performers as they entertain tourists from around the world, Pier 39 is one of San Francisco’s more popular attractions. Why not stop by for a visit?

Pier 39 Crab

How Do I Find Pier 39?

  • Pier 39 is one of the more popular attractions in America. To reach the landmark, just keep walking north. Eventually, you’ll find the famous pier or walk directly into the San Francisco Bay. In other words, just follow the crowds.
  • You can use public transportation routes 9x, 10, 19, 20, 30, 39, 47 and bus 49; the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines; or the easiest (and most crowded in the morning), the F-line. If you’re in a rush, just grab an uber.
  • To reach Pier 39 from Union Square you can ride most of the above bus lines — the fastest being bus 30 (around 20 mins). Or you can ride the F-Line (40 mins) and face crowds. And FYI — waiting for a cable car IS NOT worth your time. Instead, ride a cable car during a less-crowded time of day.

Sea Lion floating

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

Pier 39 is best for family entertainment and the sea lions. Once you see the attraction, though, we recommend you leave and never return — San Francisco has many more spots to explore. Basically, most people think Pier 39 is hokey. At times, we tend to agree.

Location of Pier 39