Meet the sea lions at Pier 39Landmark

Discover sea lions and shopping at Pier 39 – the focal point of busy Fisherman’s Wharf. Although there’s plenty of opportunities to indulge in some retail therapy, you’ll find Pier 39 is much more than just a shopping mall. Ride the carousel, have a chuckle at the clowns and street entertainers, or treat yourself to some steaming hot clam chowder.

Love seafood? Sample some of the city’s freshest fish dishes in a choice of more than a dozen waterfront restaurants on the pier.

Meet Pier 39’s most famous residents

The pier was redeveloped as a shopping center in the late 1970's but, as it turned out, a group of cheeky sea lions had plans to upstage the man-made attractions.

They colonized the pier in late 1989 and have been here ever since – frolicking and playfully shoving each other off the docks. Hop off our San Francisco Bus Tour at the pier and take some snaps of these adorable squatters.

Other interesting facts about Pier 39

  • Pier 39 was originally a cargo dock that opened in 1905, but was remodeled as a waterfront shopping attraction in 1978
  • A set of symphonic stairs at Pier 39 lets you make your own music as you walk up and down
  • When Pier 39 opened it originally had a diving pool. This was replaced by the carousel in 1983
  • California law requires boats to give way to marine animals – so owners have had to relinquish valuable mooring slots to more than 1,300 sea lions
  • The best time of the year to see the sea lions is between January and July. Just follow the signs and you’ll find them