Looks at the Top Pier 39 Things to Do

June 01 00:30 2022 Looks at the Top Pier 39 Things to Do

San Francisco remains one of California’s most popular tourist destinations, and no one who visits the city can afford to miss Pier 39. Whether visitors are traveling alone, or with the whole family, the possibilities are endless at this iconic spot. Read on to find out about just a few of Pier 39’s must-see attractions. One can start at a place such as the Pier Market. It continues to be a can’t-miss attraction. 

Visit the Sea Lions

If there’s one thing that every visitor to Pier 39 cites as a must-see attraction, it’s the sea lions. These boisterous animals first began to arrive after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, and have called the K-Dock home ever since. Though they were initially a frustration to the tenants, they’re now more like beloved neighbors that charm locals and tourists alike.

Eat at a Historic Restaurant

Though the K-Dock sea lions are now one of the Pier’s most beloved attractions, development began all the way back in August 1977. At its opening in 1978, the pier was already home to 50 stores, 23 restaurants, street performers, and even a diving pool. Of those initial restaurants, only a handful are still active. Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf comeback underway after 87% drop in visitors during pandemic.

Browse the Local Shops

Pier 39 has grown from its humble beginnings and now boasts over 60 specialty shops that sell everything from left-handed merchandise to custom-blended spices. It’s possible to find more eye-catching and memorable gifts here than anywhere else in San Francisco. The California Welcome Center will even help enthusiastic shoppers with shipping all of those cherished memories home.

Make Some Music

Don’t get too worn out shopping before visiting the piano stairs. Located mid-pier, they allow visitors to create music as a form of interactive art. This unique musical staircase was designed by Remo Saraceni, and according to, that’s the same artist who created the floor piano for Tom Hank’s popular movie, Big. 

Have a 7D Experience

Anyone looking for a little extra excitement will love the 7D Experience. Featuring all the thrill of a roller coaster with the excitement of an interactive shooting gallery, this state-of-the-art digital theater features not just surround sound but also the newest in 3D effects and laser technology. Eliminate the robot cowboys, get some gold, and save the day, all without leaving the seat in this family-friendly attraction.

Fun for the Whole Family

Anyone who is new to San Francisco should plan to spend at least a full afternoon at Pier 39. There’s enough to do to keep the whole family occupied for hours, plus plenty of places to shop for unique souvenirs and enjoy the local cuisine. Just don’t forget to bring some layers and a comfortable pair of shoes, as the pier can get slippery on a rainy day and cools down substantially in the evenings, even on the hottest days of summer, and never leave that camera at home. There’s always something interesting going on.

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