Fisherman’s Wharf, really a section of the waterfront running from Ghirardelli Square to Pier 35 and not just one pier, is one of San Francisco‘s oldest attractions. This is definitely a very tourist-friendly version of the old maritime life of the city’s anglers, but enjoyable nonetheless. Numerous restaurants serve Dungeness crab and chowder ladled into bowls carved from loaves of sourdough bread. At one end of this section of town, Pier 39 has a carousel and stores selling countless San Francisco hoodies and T-shirts. Pier 39 is also home to a population of sea lions who first took over one dock of the marina in 1990. After the pier’s owners consulted with marine biologists about how to get the sea lions to leave, everyone decided the best solution was to let the beasts enjoy their new residence. What was once viewed as a nuisance has since become one of Pier 39’s main draws.
Have you been here? Tell us about it below!
The sea lions are great to look at but beware of the smell. If you have a weak stomach you might want to stay away.
If you MUST do Fisherman’s Wharf–do it in the wee hours of the morning to avoid the masses of tourists. You never know what you might find. This pile of sea lions was fast asleep at 6am, and I swear I heard a few of them snore, too.
Tulips on Pier 39 in San Francisco. April 2011.
Do As the Tourists Do-- On Land and Sea
As a San Francisco resident, I avoid Fisherman’s Wharf like the plague. But when my friends come into town, I love showing them the sea lions who are always there taking naps in the sun or the fog. Well worth the crowds you have to brave to get there.
Hit this location early on a Sunday morning, so we thankfully missed the serious tourist crowds. It was actually very peaceful and beautiful in the marina, but normally Fisherman’s Wharf is known for it’s insane tourist crowds, t-shirt shops and bars. It’s a neat area and it is something I would recommend to see while in San Francisco, however I prefered the quite calm of an early Sunday to the craze of a Saturday night.
View Of Alcatraz From Pier 39
Went on a short run over to the Pier, and had to stop and catch this great image of a boat cruising in front of the island and former penitentiary.
My host French family visiting from Paris. I lived with Rita, Jean Paul & Lisa (pictured with my son) in Paris while teaching conversational English. Rita & Jean Paul are both directors at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Learning conversational English is crucial for Jean Paul & Rita who collaborate with artist from all over the world whose do not speak French. They came all the way over to California to see the state and visit my boys and me.