Pier 39

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A true shopper’s paradise, San Francisco’s famed Pier 39 is a destination for both tourists and locals. Offering more than 45 acres of dining and shopping as well as a year-round schedule of entertainment and festivals, this is the ultimate must-see.


A former commercial pier located right on San Francisco Bay, Pier 39 has gained fame as a San Francisco destination ever since it was commercially developed by Warren Simmons in the 1970s. Its location a mere two blocks away from Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero make it easily accessible to many of the area’s tourists while its 90+ shops and over a dozen restaurants make it a gathering spot for locals as well.

The central bay location of Pier 39 between the Golden Gate and Bay bridges allow for amazing views which also include Alcatraz and Angel Islands. The Pier is also a stop on the famous ‘F’ Trolley also known as the Powell-Mason cable car. The 45 acre area that makes up Pier 39 also includes a 5-acre waterfront park, a marina that can accommodate up to 300 boats, carnival rides, and a large population of California Sea Lions popular among all who gather at the pier.

Main Attractions

There is a lot to do at Pier 39 and the options are always changing. With almost 100 retail spaces, many dedicated to souvenir shops, there is an endless supply of shopping opportunities. In addition, families enjoy coming to the pier for their carnival rides and games. There is also an aquarium (Aquarium of the Bay), theatre (Theater 39), and Venetian carousel. Bay cruises and trolley tours leave from Pier 39, including the ferry to Angel Island.

In addition to these permanent attractions, there are always street performers and artists camped at spots throughout the area. A rotational slate of festivals and performances on the Crystal Geyser Center Stage also provide entertainment free of charge. The most popular times to visit Pier 39 for festivals is in early February for Tulipmania and for the holiday tree lighting at the end of November.

Why It’s a Must-See

Nestled right in the heart of the San Francisco tourist district, Pier 39 offers a bunch of options for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Visitors to the area will find that a visit to this area is a great way to break up a day of sightseeing or spend a night ‘out’ in the city.