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Pier 39

Pier 39 is a popular tourist attraction and shopping center located in the Fisherman’s Wharf district of San Francisco, California. Known for its unique shops, diverse dining, street performances, and beautiful views of the bay, Pier 39 is a destination that offers entertainment for visitors of all ages.


Pier 39 was developed by entrepreneur Warren Simmons and opened in October 1978. The pier was designed to be a festival marketplace, similar to Boston’s Faneuil Hall or Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It quickly became one of the most visited attractions in San Francisco, drawing locals and tourists alike with its mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment.


  • Pier 39 is home to a famous colony of California sea lions that began hauling out on the pier’s docks in the late 1980s. Their presence has become one of the site’s main attractions.
  • The pier offers views of Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco Bay.
  • It features a five-acre waterfront complex with more than 60 specialty shops and 14 full-service restaurants.
  • Pier 39 is also home to the Aquarium of the Bay, a 300-foot-long clear acrylic tunnel that showcases the marine life of San Francisco Bay.


Pier 39 is located at Beach Street and The Embarcadero in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood in San Francisco. It’s situated near other popular tourist sites such as the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.


For more information about Pier 39, including upcoming events, store listings, and dining options, you can visit the official website at

Opening Hours

Pier 39 is open every day, with the general hours being 10:00 am to 10:00 pm for retail stores, and restaurant hours extending later into the evening. However, it is recommended to check the specific hours of operation for individual businesses and attractions directly on the Pier 39 website or by contacting them.

Things to Do

  • Aquarium of the Bay: Explore the rich marine life of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding waters.
  • Sea Lion Center: Learn about the colony of sea lions that reside on the K-dock.
  • 2-Tiered Carousel: Take a ride on the handcrafted Italian carousel with San Francisco-themed paintings.
  • Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze: Experience a psychedelic journey through a maze of mirrors.
  • 7D Experience: Enjoy an interactive 3D shooting game combined with a motion theater.
  • Street Performers: Watch live entertainment from local and traveling street performers throughout the day.
  • Dining: Savor a multitude of dining options, including fresh seafood, Italian cuisine, and sweet treats.
  • Shopping: Browse through a variety of shops offering San Francisco souvenirs, artisanal goods, and unique gifts.

Tips For Visiting

  • Arrive by Public Transit: Parking can be expensive and difficult to find, so consider arriving via public transportation or a ride-sharing service.
  • Visit During Off-Peak Hours: To avoid the crowds, consider visiting on weekday mornings or evenings.
  • Layer Up: The weather on the San Francisco Bay can be unpredictable, so dress in layers to remain comfortable.
  • Check Event Schedules: Look at the Pier’s calendar for special events that might be happening during your visit.
  • Bundle Attractions: Look for passes that bundle multiple attractions to save on admission prices.


Pier 39 is a destination that captures the lively atmosphere of San Francisco’s waterfront. With its wide range of activities, dining, and shopping, coupled with the charm of the sea lions and the scenic backdrop of the bay, it is a microcosm of the city’s eclectic spirit. Whether you are a first-time visitor to San Francisco or a longtime local, Pier 39 offers a delightful experience that reflects the heart of the city.

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