Pier 39 – What You Need To Know BEFORE You Visit

(Last Updated On: May 10, 2023)

Pier 39 is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike in San Francisco, California. Known for its variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, it offers something for everyone to enjoy. Located on the waterfront, it boasts stunning views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

About Pier 39

Pier 39 is a two-level shopping, dining and entertainment complex located on the waterfront in San Francisco, California. It was first opened to the public in 1978 and has since become a popular tourist destination. The pier offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, including street performers, an arcade, and an aquarium. Visitors can also see sea lions lounging on nearby floats and take a boat tour of the Bay.

Pier 39 History

Pier 39 was first built in 1892 as a freight and passenger pier. It was used primarily for shipping goods and passengers in and out of San Francisco. However, by the 1970s the pier had fallen into disrepair and was in danger of being demolished. In 1978, the pier was transformed into a tourist destination and opened to the public. Since then, it has undergone several renovations and expansions to become the popular destination it is today.

Pier 39 also played a significant role in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The pier was badly damaged and had to be closed for repairs. Despite the damage, it was able to reopen just over a year later, in 1990.

Pier 39 Key Information

  • Location: The Embarcadero and Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133
  • Opening hours: Most of the shops and attractions open at 10:00 am and close at 9:00 pm
  • Parking: There are several parking garages nearby, but they can fill up quickly during peak season
  • Public Transportation: The pier is easily accessible by Muni, BART and Ferry
  • Attractions: Aquarium of the Bay, sea lions, street performers, arcade, boat tours, and several shops and restaurants.


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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