A Tour of Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco

Hello friends! As you have probably gathered by now, we spent a few days in San Francisco a couple weeks ago, and it was our first non-Disneyland vacation with Squirt in tow. Matt and I are frequent visitors to the Bay area and we have spent a lot of time in SF, which means it is actually rare for us to hang out at the popular tourist destinations. But due to the awesome location of our hotel and the fact that Squirt is a big fan of seeing all kinds of new things, we spent a fair amount of our trip hanging out at Fisherman’s Wharf. I would say the wharf is one of the most, if not the most, popular attractions for tourists in San Francisco, and there are lots of reasons why. If you are planning on visiting SF, especially with little ones, it is a great place to check out.




Most of the action at Fisherman’s Wharf takes place at Pier 39 (though there are lots of other shops and restaurants along the way, including the Boudin Bakery, which has the best bread ever…and can also be found at California Adventure). Pier 39 is what most people think of when they think of Fisherman’s Wharf and it is where we spent the majority of our time.

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The famous San Francisco sea lions live at Pier 39, though this was the time of year when most of them have migrated off to mate. According to the signs posted, the sea lions are usually gone from June until August, but if you can catch them when they are at home, it is a pretty cool sight. Normally all of these platforms are covered with sea lions.

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Pier 39, and really all along Fisherman’s Wharf, offers a great view of both Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. It was super foggy when we were there (which is standard) so I didn’t get a great shot of the bridge, but this is the view of Alcatraz from the end of the pier.

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This beautiful carousel sits in the middle of Pier 39. Squirt had actually never been on a carousel before (I’m not a fan, stupid motion sickness) so he and Matt took a ride on a sea lion and had a blast. Tip: Each token for the carousel costs $5, or you can get three tokens for $10. We only needed two, but I got three anyway and kept one for a souvenir.

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We spent a lot of time exploring the Aquarium of the Bay, which is located at the front of Pier 39 and we had so much fun it will be getting its own post. Squirt loved it so much we are going to take him to our local aquarium soon.

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There are a couple of good restaurants located at Pier 39 and lots of fun little shops to wander around in. I would recommend eating off the pier at some of the smaller stands Fisherman’s Wharf has to offer. We love Fisherman’s Grotto, which has a few walk up stands where you can purchase some amazingly delicious and super fresh seafood for much cheaper than at a lot of the full service restaurants.

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We had so much fun at Fisherman’s Wharf that we spent the morning there, walked back to our hotel for nap time, and then spent the afternoon at the wharf as well. Despite it being such a crowded tourist spot, we had a lot of fun and Squirt really love walking around and exploring. We will definitely visit Fisherman’s Wharf again and I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to San Francisco, especially those with kiddies!

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