A Morning at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 in San Francisco, USA

San Francisco is full of iconic landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies. But for me, I always remembered a teacher of mine showing us photographs of the sea lions sprawled over wooden planks floating in the sea. Nothing beats a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.

Fisherman's Wharf USA Bucketlist
Crab StationIn Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike with some amazing seafood restaurants and lots of attractions and activities dotted around the place. Pier 39 can be found on the Wharf and is home to some great things to see and do. This is where you will find the Sea lions and a center that supports and cares for them.

Fisherman's Wharf USA Bucketlist
The Sea Lions of Pier 39

There are so many shops in and around the Pier that you can spend hours browsing. There is even a Christmas shop full of San Fran inspired Christmas decorations! We also headed into a chilli shop that offered hundreds of spicy delights – Calum enjoyed the samples but enjoyed watching my head exploded with one gruesome finger dip of a sauce

Don’t forget to check out the musical staircase! A grand piano along a staircase.

We jumped on a Blue and Gold Fleet Cruise from the Pier, taking a tour along the river and getting an up-close view of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also visit the Aquarium on the Pier but we were short on time so missed that one.

We did get ourselves some clam chowder – a must whilst in San Francisco! Served in a big ball of sourdough bread; t’was awesome! As expected there are a load of seafood places around the Pier to visit as well as a few bars for the adults.

Fishermen’s Grotto
Fishermen's Grotto

Around the Fisherman’s Wharf area, you will also find a Ripley’s Museum, Madame Tussauds and San Francisco Dungeon (a version of the horrific London Dungeons). These are all great for family days out but we wanted to explore as much of the city as possible so decided against these during our visit.

Pier 39
Pier 39

We were staying near Union Square and used our Hop-on Hop-Off bus ticket to get down to the Pier before explore the rest of the city afterwards. This area is a must and a nice neighbourhood to stay in – we may book a few nights in a hotel in this area of the city for our next visit.

One thing we loved about San Francisco was how there were so many romantic things to do!

We recommend using Big Bus Tours when visiting San Francisco, you can Hop-on and Hop-off unlimited times and visit all of the popular destinations, including Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. 

Book a bus tour to see everything San Francisco has to offer with Big Bus Tours

Romantic Budget Hotels Click The Image Below to Pin
Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39
Romantic Budget Hotels Click The Image Above to Pin

We value and appreciate all our readers and supporters. If you wish to support CTG then please use our Amazon affiliate for your next purchase, it doesn’t cost you anything extra but we make a small commission, allowing us to continue building this website and sharing our love of travel with you. 

Recommended Posts


  1. I’ve been to San Francisco several times and never used the Big Bus Tours. I will definitely consider it next time I go.

  2. Ah this brought back some happy memories of my visit to San Francisco. I loved seeing the sea lions I must admit! Great tip to use the hop on hop off buses to explore. It is a big city to get around on foot!

  3. I have to say that I found the Wharf to be a bit too kitschy and touristy for my taste, but visiting the area is still worthwhile. Especially since visiting sea lions and eating clam chowder are always musts for me when visiting San Francisco! Getting an up-close view of the Golden Gate bridge is an experience I should definitely consider for my next visit too.

  4. Oh this brought me back so many nice memories from my trip to San Francisco. My favourite US city during my 2 months road trip.

  5. That photo in the middle with the carousel is beautiful! I’m from San Francisco and haven’t done a few of the things you mention so this was a fun read. Thanks for sharing!

  6. The fisherman’s wharf looks like some place I would frequent if ever I’m a local in that area. There’s a lot of things going on.

  7. You just brought back painful memories of the fact that I skipped clam chowder the last time I was in SF because I was vegan Love those sea lions! I would love to spend the day basking in the sun just like them.

  8. I went to the Ripley’s museum on a fantabulous family road trip when I was a child. Good to know it is still around!

  9. Looks a like a nice place to visit 🙂 Every time I read posts about SF it makes me want to go there asap

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.