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Pier 39
Holiday Travel Guide

Pier 39 showing street scenes, signage and a city

Sea lions are the star attraction at one of the liveliest piers on San Francisco’s historic waterfront.

First-timers taking a stroll along Pier 39 might be surprised by the strange sounds creeping up from its adjacent floating docks. But follow the fruity barks and deep groans to the source and you’ll immediately see what makes this pier a much-loved destination for visitors and locals alike.

Pier 39 has been home to a noisy colony of sea lions since the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, when the animals simply took up residence for no apparent reason. Experts have suggested that the plentiful supply of food in the bay combined with the absence of natural predators makes it a welcoming habitat for the sea lions. During the summer months, they make the journey south to breed, but in the winter they return in vast numbers to reclaim their familiar quarters, with an astonishing 1,701 animals recorded in November 2009.

If you can tear yourself away from these fascinating and friendly creatures for long enough to explore the rest of the pier, there are plenty of other attractions on offer. The Aquarium of the Bay lets you get a closer look at the underwater world on your doorstep, with native marine species such as sharks and rays swimming right above your head. Take in some of the sideshows or watch the street performers, then indulge in a spot of serious shopping along the two-level arcades that line the historic pier.

When energy levels start to flag, grab a window seat at one of the waterside restaurants and relax over a plate of freshly landed seafood, or sample delicious local wines on a 90-minute tasting cruise around the bay aboard the “Neptune”.

Pier 39 is at the northern end of the Embarcadero next to Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch the tram from the city centre or walk along the Embarcadero to enjoy the holiday atmosphere.

Top things to do in Pier 39

Top Trending Hotels Near Pier 39

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €125 per night from 29 Jun to 29 Jun
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 ...
3.8/5Good! (2,748 reviews)
"There was no ice in the ice machine on the 10th floor. No espresso, cappuccino or other fancy coffees available at the coffee/snack bar. The staff was very friendly and accommodating though!"

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2021

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €144 per night from 28 Jun to 28 Jun
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 ...
4.1/5Very Good! (2,585 reviews)
"Perfect location for Pier 39. Nice place, cool outside sitting area with fire pits and even had one near the pool area. Rooms were spacious for SF. Bathroom is small, but not a big deal. Gym is nice and pool area is nice as well. Despite the $50 parking fee and resort fees, overall pricing isn’t ..."

Reviewed on 23 Jun 2021

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
4 out of 5
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
Free cancellation
The price is €148 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Moscone Convention Center, Ferry Building and Oracle Park. Chase Center and Pier 39 are ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,225 reviews)
"We were apprehensive about traveling post-Covid but the facility was exceptionally clean and well maintained. Close to shopping and restaurants. Easily accessible for Lyft/Uber and public transportation. The ladies is the lobby restaurant were friendly and very efficient. It was perfect for a light ..."

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2021

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Pier 39

Pier 39

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Top Hotel Deals

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €125 per night from 29 Jun to 29 Jun
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €144 per night from 28 Jun to 28 Jun
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
4 out of 5
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is €148 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
4 out of 5
250 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is €184 per night from 6 Jul to 6 Jul
Hotel Zephyr San Francisco
Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco
Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco
4 out of 5
555 N Point St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €155 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
4 out of 5
1300 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA
The price is €175 per night from 5 Jul to 5 Jul
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
Holiday Inn Express and Suites Fisherman's Wharf, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express and Suites Fisherman's Wharf, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 N Point St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €163 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
Holiday Inn Express and Suites Fisherman's Wharf, an IHG Hotel
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
425 North Point, San Francisco, CA
The price is €175 per night from 27 Jun to 27 Jun
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf
Wharf Inn
Wharf Inn
2.5 out of 5
2601 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The price is €183 per night from 5 Jul to 5 Jul
Wharf Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.