Top 5 Things to Consider Before Visiting Pier 39

Pier 39 is one of the most popular destinations in San Francisco. It’s full of activities, stores, and attractions that will make your visit a memorable experience.


Pier 39 is a popular tourist spot that can get very crowded during the day. When the crowd is smaller, visiting on a weekday is best. This will allow you to take in the fresh bay air and view all the attractions without worrying about getting sick from too many people.

You can also enjoy a meal or snack at one of the restaurants in the area. Several restaurants offer delicious seafood options and dine with a spectacular bay view.

If you want to learn more about the sea lions at Pier 39, you can check out the small Sea Lion Center near the docks. These playful animals were a surprise addition after the Loma Prieta earthquake, and they now spend their days lolling around on the wooden k-docks. Watching them jostle for position and bellow at each other as they jockey for space can be entertaining. Snap a picture with the sea lions. They camp out on the K-Dock and are a favorite sighting.


Whether you are coming to Pier 39 on a sunny or rainy day, dress in layers. The wind is a major factor in this part of San Francisco and can make it very cold. You also want to wear comfortable shoes as you walk around the pier. The pier’s slats are rough and can hurt your feet if you don’t have good tread. For this reason, you should avoid wearing high heels if possible.

One of the most popular things to do at Pier 39 is see the sea lions. These curious creatures were introduced to the pier after the Loma Prieta earthquake and are now one of its main attractions. Watching them jostle for a spot on the docks and bark at each other is fun. It is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner, especially when traveling with kids. The restaurants are family-friendly and have a lot to offer for all tastes. They have a lot of seating, and you can take your food to go, so you can continue exploring the rest of the pier while you wait for your meal.

Time of Day

While a visit to Pier 39 will be enjoyable at any time of the day, some of the activities and restaurants are better at different times. For example, the musical stairs are more fun when you run up them quickly to create a cacophony of music and sound. You can find them in Building O on Level 1.

The best time of the day to see the sea lions is at the end of the pier, where they loll on floating wooden docks built specifically for them after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The sea lions choose to hang out here because it’s a good place to sleep, and they have a safe food supply and no predators (other than humans).

If you want to learn more about sea lions, there’s also a new small Sea Lion Center on Pier 39. It’s a little to look at, but it’s a nice addition to the pier.

Plenty of restaurants and eateries are on the pier if you’re hungry. Some of the restaurants offer one-hour validation for parking if you dine there.


Pier 39 is a popular place to visit, but you’ll want to be safe and monitor your belongings. Make sure to lock your car and put valuables away if you need to leave it for a few minutes to get food or ride the merry-go-round. Beware of thieves and pickpockets, especially in crowded places.

Whether you’re a local San Franciscan or a tourist flying worldwide, practicing safety in any crowd is always a good idea. Pier 39 is a busy area with plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions, so it can be easy to lose track of your group or get caught up in the excitement.

Staying close together is best if you’re visiting a friend or family member. This will prevent them from getting lost or hurt if they get separated from you. Also, check the weather and traffic reports before you head out.

If you’re traveling with children, dress them in comfortable, sturdy shoes and bring sunscreen. Also, remember that the sidewalks of Pier 39 are made from wooden slats that can be slippery on rainy days. If you have kids in strollers, be aware of your surroundings and watch out for other pedestrians. If you need a break from walking, try one of the many restaurants. 

Sunset Views

Pier 39 offers breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. It is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers something for every visitor. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a beautiful San Francisco sunset from this iconic location. 

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