Pier 39

Famous for its sunbathing sea lions, shopping, and seafood, Pier 39 houses a delightful collection of specialty shops and tourist attractions that will delight the entire family. Eat at the Hard Rock Café, ride the vintage hand painted carousel, or watch a live magic show with the kids. Don’t forget to visit the Welcome Center for your free coupon booklet!

Pier 39 History

Pier 39 construction began in 1977. The Pier opened in 1978 and ten years later was named the third-most visited attraction in the country. Pier 39 remains a top tourist attraction to this day, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors from the U.S. and across the globe.


Located at Stockton and Embarcadero, Pier 39 is perfectly situated on the waterfront near the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf. Pier 39 offers two stories of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Pier 39 is family-friendly, with multiple attractions and shops that will appeal to all members of the family. The Pier features over 110 specialty shops and numerous dining options.

Attractions at the Pier

Sea Lions: Dozens of barking sea lions bask in the sun on wooden floats at the end of Pier 39. These sea lions have called Pier 39 home since 1990 and are a prominent tourist attraction.

Sea Lions at Pier 39
Sea Lions at Pier 39
Sea Lions at Pier 39

Carousel: The carousel is a two-story delight that features mythical sea monsters, horses, pandas, and other creatures as mounts. Handcrafted and painted in Italy, this marvelous piece of functional art depicts artwork of famous city landmarks and vistas. The carousel is located halfway down the Pier, allowing for plenty of stops along the way.

Alpine Spring Water Stage: Watch street performers and magicians. Performers select children from the audience to help in the production, allowing for an interactive and exciting experience for the entire family.

Food: Numerous restaurants call the Pier home, including the Hard Rock Café, Bubba Gump, and Hana Zen. Dessert shops include the Crepe Café, Maui Wowi Hawaiian Smoothies, and more.

Shopping: Many options ranging from clothing stores and a poster shop to a collectible memorabilia shop. You can also find high-end jewelry, shells, novelty items, specialty gifts, and more for sale at various shops at the Pier.

Aquarium of the Bay: the aquarium overlooks the bay and offers glimpses of over 20,000 local sea creatures. Visitors can interact with animals like the Giant Blue-Tongued Skink, or the Dwarf Hedgehog, during visiting hours. You can also pet a bat ray and other sea creatures.

Rocketboat: The Rocketboat is a speedboat ride that makes sharp turns and accelerations on the bay, giving riders the feeling of being on a tame water roller coaster. The view of the city from the bay is spectacular, especially on a clear day. This attraction is seasonal and runs from May-October, so be sure to check ahead of time for departure dates.

Parking at Pier 39 Garage

The parking garage is conveniently located across the street from the Pier and is open 24-hours a day. Visitors who dine a participating full-service Pier 39 restaurants receive one hour of free validated parking, so be sure to ask your server to validate your ticket.

Ferry Arch at Pier 41 

Ferry Arch with Liberty Ship Jeremiah O Brien in the distance
Ferry Arch with Liberty Ship Jeremiah O Brien in the distance
Ferry Arch with Liberty Ship Jeremiah O Brien in the distance

From Pier 41 you can see Angel Island, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and Pier 39.

Nearby Points of Interest

Cable Cars: open to the public since 1873, this fascinating mode of transportation conveys visitors from Market Street to Beach Street, where Fisherman’s Wharf is less than a ten minute walk away. Be sure to watch operators move the cable car on a turntable to point it in the right direction for the return trip to Market Street!

Alcatraz Island: this island prison is now a famous tourist attraction, but in its heyday, it housed the era’s most infamous prisoners. Inmates could hear laughter carried across the water from the city, and many attempted the one-mile swim to land. Visit today for a tour!

Coit Tower: don’t miss the panorama from the 210-foot high tower, which offers views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, the Bay Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline.

North Beach / Little Italy:  Little Italy offers a variety of bars, comedy clubs, and authentic Italian restaurants. Try some focaccia bread, or take a walk in the relaxing green space of Washington Square.

PIER 39 and Historic Ferry Arch at Pier 41 is featured on:

  • Private Charter
    Lucky Tuk Tuk at Night Private Charter - San Francisco Lights Tour

    Available Late Afternoons and Evenings

    5 PM or 6 PM

    How long?
    Approx. 2 hours
    Late Afternoons and Evenings
    Do we fit?
    Seats 6 (Ages 5+)
    How much?
    From $380.00

    Explore San Francisco at night in a cozy, electric Tuk Tuk! Get up close to the glittering lights and go where buses don’t dare in this modern-day rickshaw. Live commentary included!