The well-known Pier 39 in San Francisco with sea lions. Animals are heated on wooden platforms; Shutterstock ID 47875621; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

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Pier 39

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

The focal point of Fisherman's Wharf isn't the waning fishing fleet but the carousel, carnival-like attractions, shops and restaurants of Pier 39 – and, of course, the famous sea lions. Developed in the 1970s to revitalize tourism, the pier draws thousands of tourists daily, but it's really just a big outdoor shopping mall. On the plus side, its visitors center rents strollers, stores luggage and has free phone-charging stations.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers attractions

1. San Francisco Carousel

0.03 MILES

Your chariot awaits to whisk you and the kids past the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and other SF landmarks hand-painted on this Italian carousel twinkling…

2. Sea Lions at Pier 39

0.06 MILES

Sea lions took over San Francisco’s most coveted waterfront real estate in 1989 and have been making a public display of themselves ever since. Some…

3. Aquarium of the Bay


Sharks circle overhead, manta rays sweep by and seaweed sways all around at the Aquarium of the Bay, where you wander through glass tubes surrounded by…

4. Musée Mécanique

0.29 MILES

A flashback to penny arcades, the Musée Mécanique houses a mind-blowing collection of vintage mechanical amusements. Sinister, freckle-faced Laughing Sal…

5. USS Pampanito

0.31 MILES

Explore a restored WWII submarine that survived six tours of duty while you listen to submariners' tales of stealth mode and sudden attacks in a riveting…

6. Fisherman's Wharf

0.34 MILES

Fisherman's Wharf – the Embarcadero and Jefferson St waterfront running from Pier 29 to Van Ness Ave – includes Pier 39, the Musée Mécanique, the Maritime…

7. Francisco Street Steps

0.37 MILES

Take the high road from Fisherman's Wharf to North Beach via the urban trailhead between 150 and 155 Francisco St. Cross the courtyard, ascend to Grant…

8. SS Jeremiah O'Brien

0.39 MILES

It's hard to believe that this 10,000-ton beauty was turned out by San Francisco’s shipbuilders in under eight weeks, and harder still to imagine how she…