Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39

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San Francisco, California

Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39 San Francisco Reviews

irenem irenem
153 reviews
Fisherman's Wharf Jan 25, 2017
A stroll along the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf just looking at all the boats moored in the marina or sailing back and forwards across the bay is very pleasant and worthwhile. There are lots of cruises on offer, too such as boat trips around the harbour and to the Golden Gate Bridge or around Alcatraz Island.

Fisherman's Wharf is very touristy. Pier 39 gets the most criticism of all for being a bit tacky, but it is also a highlight due to the colony of sea-lions that take up residence at the end of the pier. They are incredibly noisy and quarrelsome and great fun to watch. I am not sure if they are there all year round; there were certainly plenty of them around in February when we visited.

Dotted around the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf there are a few statues or symbols of the place such as the large Fisherman's Wharf statue, the sea-lion statue or the giant crab statue. These are good to photograph or pose with.
Hyde Street Pier
Views - Fisherman's Warf
Pier 39
Fisherman's Wharf
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mdfehmel mdfehmel
233 reviews
Center of it all in San Francisco Dec 21, 2016
My wife and I took a long weekend in San Francisco this past October. Although we stayed up in Union Square, we found that all of the happening places were down close to Fisherman's Wharf. If we go again, we will stay closer to that area. This area, on the northern shore of the San Fran peninsula, is cram packed with restaurants, bars and shops, has an art deco street car system, and each pier that juts out from it has a float or 2 filled with sea lions. A local highlight is Boudin's bakery that supplies almost ALL of the San Francisco restaurants with their world famous sour dough bread. This bread supposedly takes on it's unique sour taste from the heavy content of salt in the air, that makes it impossible to duplicate anywhere outside of the bay area. Boudin's offers tours, has a restaurant, and their gift shop will send baked goods to anywhere in the world. Walking distance from Ghirardelli Square and Lombard St., there is so much to do down here, that you could spend at least a couple days wandering around.
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jtzeng730 jtzeng730
6 reviews
Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 39 May 08, 2011
A famous tourist attraction, Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39 is filled with tons of useless overpriced souvenirs. It is definitely a place to visit with some things that shouldn't be missed, such as the seafood, which may be pricey, as well as the always beautiful Aquatic Park. I don't want to call this place a tourist trap, but it is uncommon to see a lot of locals here unless you're over by In-n-Out Burgers. Visitors should definitely check out Fisherman's Wharf once, but I wouldn't spend much money on the the merchandise.

Places to see;

-Aquatic Park

-Maritime Museum

-Pier 39

-Sea Lions Relaxing (within Pier 39)

-In-n-Out Burgers
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
thephotoguy thephoto…
3 reviews
Hanging out at the Pier. Apr 30, 2011
I used to study out in San Francisco so live there for several years, and Fishermans Wharf is one of the great places to hang out, eat, and just enjoy the calm laid back San Francisco life.

I used to live in the downtown area of San Francisco, which is very easy to either walk up and over the hill if you like a challenging walk, take one of the famous cable cars, or just hop on a bus.

Fishermans wharf has great views across the bay, so you can see the likes of Alcactraz, and Sausilto, Berkeley, etc. You can also jump on a ferry there to take a trip across the bay to check out these places.

One of my favourite places to check out in Fishermans wharf has to the the ice cream at Ghiradelli Square, along with hte In n Out burger store. It brings back many great memories to me. ;)
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
AggieRockStar AggieRoc…
41 reviews
Tourist Destination Jan 17, 2010
The sea, tourist trinkets, seafood, sea lions.

Pretty much what you expect, if you like shops it's great. I always love the sea. The sealions are extremely stinky and totally awesome anyways.

Coming from North Texas, the seafood was really good. If you are visiting, this is a must see on the list.

I was able to tour from top to bottom a World War II vessel on the choppy waters, which was very cool. If the ship or the sub are docked I would recommend seeing them.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
fredleal fredleal
35 reviews
Fun to walk around Oct 25, 2010
One of my favorite things to do in San Francisco is just walk up and down the boardwalk, through piers, tourists and shops, and enjoy the ocean view. It's a beautiful place with the sea lions and some parks, and the streets full of people are always fun for me.

I like going to the pier by streetcar, those are always fun. Fun thing to do if it's your first time in the city.

Not recommended: the stores, specially camera/electronics related.
mkarinaa mkarinaa
48 reviews
Fisherman's Wharf & Pier 3 May 28, 2010
Well the title is pretty self explanatory.

Its free and fun place to walk around and just browse at things.

Pier 39 is where you go on the tour of the Alcatraz.

Its something you should definitely do while in Frisco, but its nothing to extraordinary. The seafood is pretty generic, I was hoping to find something uncommon but didn't happen.

But the brighter side is that you get to look at overgrown fat seals, they're kinda funny. On a sunny day wear a sweater, it is very windy there.

One more thing, there is homeless guy, he's like a landmark there, he alawys hides behind mailboxes or bushes and scared people. So if he scared you, don't get mad, he's been doing this for years!
Africancrab Africanc…
777 reviews
One of San Francisco's top attractions May 24, 2009
In 2008, I decided to go on the famed tour of Alcatraz. Prior to that time, I had only heard of the many attractions that existed in San Francisco. Amonth the attractions I heard about, was the Fisherman’s Wharf. When I finally made it there, I was amazed at what I saw; the crowds, the activities, museums, art galleries, restaurants and shopping centers. There is an interesting history behind the name of the attraction; Fisherman’s Wharf.

During the Gold Rush, Italian fishermen settled in the area around the bay and fished for dungeness crabs. Because the activity around, the area around Pier 39 is now called the fisherman’s Wharf. The main fishing fleet of San Francisco call this home even to present day. The wharf was created by Henry Meiggs as "Meiggs Wharf" to serve the lumber trade. Meigg's wharf was always a spot for the fishing fleet, swimmers, and sunbathers.

Located at San francisco’s Maritime park, the Fisherman’s Wharf draws millions of visitors each year competing favorably with the Golden Gate Bridge in terms of visitors. There are various activities, shops, restaurants, art galleries to see while at the Wharf. Below are a few stops that I highly recommend.

1. Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum

2. Ripley’s Believe it or Not

3. Boudin Sourdough Bakery, for the best clam chouder soup

4. Buena vista Café, for the best Irish coffee

5. Take a trip to Alcatraz

6. Ghiradelli Square

7. Musee’ Mecanique

8. View sea lions

9. Take the Bay cruise, boat tours available at Pier 39

10. Watch street performers: you can see all sorts of performances. From music, art, mines to 10 minute portrait makers.

Price: It is a little on the expensive side for the budget traveler. San francisco in general is an up market destination with a high cost of living. If you are the typical tourist, this is truly what we call a tourist trap because of the many shops and reataurants that keep tourists spending, spending and spending again. I know so because I found myself drawn to the same vice I now write about. The many souvenir shops selling exactly the same things. I remember one of the shop keepers trying to rip off Joe on a camera battery, well one of the Lithium ones. He quoted him a price twice as much as what was marked on the battery box. Once we showed him the price, he decided he would sell it to us at the price on the box, he said it was marked down. It was embarrasing having to deal with that kind of lie. But then again, we were tourists, so I assume he had gotten away with pulling off the same scam with others before us. Shame.

That a side it is truly a tourist place, the traveler however would find this much too much to learn anything, probably a waste of time. Nonetheless it is worth seeing if only to say ‘I was there’ or ‘been there, done that’.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
S-Jay S-Jay
44 reviews
Tourist Heavn for Shopping & Sightseeing. Feb 16, 2009
I love the Sea. I love little trinket shops.

Pier 39 has it all!!

As you walk down Fisherman's Warf, there are several piers & little side streets. But as you reach Pier 39, you are greeted with bright bold beautiful colours, noise & chatter from all the tourists & loud calls from all the gulls.

As you enter Pier 39, to the left is a typical tourist trap shop, that has some good bargins & lots of informative street maps & booklets. To the right of that, is the Aquarium. I myself did not go into the aquarium, but several of my friends did & on asking how it was, recieved satisfactory comments from all, however they stated it was a tad pricey to get in, as there was no student discounts.

As you continue to walk down the Pier, you have various trinket shops & little home made stalls ect. All differ with prices & with what bargins you could get your hands on.

The Pier contains various restraunts/pubs & cafes, which include Bubba Gumps Restraunt and the Pier 39 cafe. They also have various food stalls that sell Corn Dogs (An aquired taste I must say), Hot dogs, candy floss & everything else you may like.

My most enjoyable moment of being on Pier 39, is hearing the Seals, and rushing along the board walks trying to find out their location, however with all the excitment I got lost & went round in loops. But, finally, I found my way, following the seal calls to view their beauty. The viewing docks, have seats for all, because like I did; you can spend hours watching them in the lovely sunshine. The pier also has an upstairs some what with cafes ect and along the boardwalks they have photo snap points, allowing you to capture the best of the seals, but also the beat views of San Fran that include the Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz.

I went back daily to the Pier in the Sun & Rain, each time you go, you find a new shop or see a new view. It was my most enjoyable place out of San Francisco & highly recommend it & cant waite to go again!

Enjoy x And dont forget your Camera!
Pier 39
Crabby - for the Aquarium.
Me & my enjoyment at the seals.
A view from Pier 39, of Alcatraz.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
azsalsa says:
Next time you come back to SFO, check out the Embarcadero area by the Ferry Building (right by the downtown area). It is not so touristy as Pier 39 and the shops in the Ferry Building are to die for!! cheese shops, fruit and veg shops, bread shops, caviar and chocolate shops, a wine store and a Japanese tearoom.....these are just a sampling of things to see. On Tues and Sat, there is the outdoor Farmer's Market on the pavement surrounding the Ferry Bldg with mostly organic offerings! My favorite place to go when on a layover in Frisco...... and don't forget about Chinatown just up the hill!!!
Posted on: Mar 17, 2009
Africancrab Africanc…
777 reviews
Nice Family Attraction May 24, 2009
If you have made it to the Fisherman's Wharf, you are most likely not going to miss Pier 39 because the huge flags announce that you've arrived. Next door is your ticket counter to Alcatraz and boat trips around the bay and under the Golden Gate bridge. Refurbished in 1978 to resemble a wooden fishing village, this 1905 pier has over 100 shops & restaurants spread over two levels. It has an amusement arcade and an aquarium. I enjoyed watching the colony of sea lions occupying a great portion of the docks. This is definitely a great family attraction.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
British4Eternity British4…
11 reviews
A True Gem within San Francisco Apr 21, 2008
This was simply one of the best locations within San Francisco. It is a bit of a tourist spot. In fact my mate remarked how it combines Orlando, San Francisco and New York. Pier 39 certainly has that Orlando, Disney World theme between the tourist restaurants and such. But it was quite enjoyable nonetheless! If you have the chance, walk the entire length from one pier to the next and then you end up in Fisherman's Wharf. It's so beautiful! True California! At one end there is Bay Bridge and as you get closer to Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate and even Alcatraz comes into view! Bring some friends and simply enjoy the beauty of the California air, sun and even palm trees!! They had Palm trees - I was simply amazed having never seen them before! (Yes I know its tragic). This location was my simply my favourite!
Bleeding PALM TREES!
Myself and Aylon overlooking Bay B…
wanderingme wanderin…
10 reviews
Jun 16, 2007
No matter what you are looking for, Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 have it! From exceptional bars and drinks to shopping galore. The best way to get there is to take the BART from the airport and get off at Pier 1. Then it is a walk over to Pier 39 and a then food, shopping and fun! Just remember that if you want to go shopping that the stores on the Pier close at 8pm. And don't forget to check out the Sea Lions and Alcatraz while you are there!
Eric Eric
408 reviews
Apr 05, 2006
I know fisherman's wharf is a huge San Francisco tourist attraction, but to be honest I've never had a great experience there. The whole place just feels too touristy, the shops are overpriced, and the clam chowder isn't even that spectacular. Also, it's sort of a hassle to get to, and there's nothing else to do around the immediate area. It was cool to visit once, but after living in the bay area for 5 years now, I have found few compelling reasons to return!
alvysinger says:
People use words like touristy to describe poular, activity-laden neighborhoods like Fisherman's Wharf. I get that but you have to admit that often times tourists just go where the most sights and attractions are. In the case of San Francisco, most "tourists" want to see the city's flavor and the reality is that a lot of it lies down in Fisherman's Wharf.
Posted on: Feb 29, 2008
dsr2007 says:
I went to Fisherman's Wharf with some pre-conceived ideas about it being too crowded or too touristy but actually had a blast. There were so many cool museums and attractions that I honestly didn't want to leave.
Posted on: Sep 14, 2007
pacovera says:
Iwas in fisherman's wharf in 1999 and I like very much.
Posted on: Apr 07, 2006

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