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PIER 39: Tourist activities for vacationers at the Wharf

Posted on: July 23rd, 2012 by Amy Martin No Comments

PIER 39 located at Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most popular destinations for first-time tourists in San Francisco. With plenty of options for dining, shopping, sightseeing and activities that are both adult and kid-friendly, there is something here to entertain everyone.
Grab a hot coffee and a donut from Biscoff Coffee Corner where every coffee is served with a complimentary Biscoff cookie and stroll down the walk to spy on the California sea lions camped out at the pier’s West Marina.

Biscoff Coffee Corner

Biscoff Coffee Corner

You’ll notice that the Blue & Gold Fleet cruise ship is parked near the entrance as it departs from PIER 39 several times each day. On my visit, I hopped on an early evening cruise for the Bay Adventure, sailing under the famous Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz and Angel Island. The Bay Adventure Cruise is narrated and offers interesting tidbits about the city and history of the monumental bridge.

The Blue & Gold Fleet Cruise

The Blue & Gold Fleet Cruise

Blue & Gold Fleet Cruise ship departs near the sea lions

Blue & Gold Fleet Cruise ship departs near the sea lions

Though it was a foggy day, we were still able to get a peek at the Golden Gate Bridge while sailing underneath!

Though it was a foggy day, we were still able to get a peek at the Golden Gate Bridge while sailing underneath!

View of Alcatraz from our cruise

View of Alcatraz from our cruise

If you’re seeking a little adventure, ride the RocketBoat – a high-speed cruise on San Francisco Bay filled with exhilarating twists and turns.

Families with children will find several kid-friendly activities including the Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze, a handcrafted San Francisco Carousel, a bungee trampoline, and the Aquarium of the Bay. The Aquarium of the Bay was one of my favorite attractions at PIER 39. We spotted a Dori impersonator at one of the first exhibits before heading to see the popular jellyfish (my favorite).

See? It’s Dori!

See? It’s Dori!

Jellyfish at the Aquarium of the Bay

Jellyfish at the Aquarium of the Bay

Downstairs, you’ll walk through 300 feet of clear tunnels filled with sharks, bat rays, sting rays and other ocean creations.

The Aquarium’s sea creatures

The Aquarium’s sea creatures

The Aquarium’s sea creatures

The Aquarium’s sea creatures

Before exiting, you’ll have the chance to pet a leopard shark too… if you’re brave enough.

PIER 39 shops and restaurants are grouped into what I thought looked like a little city of its own. There are several shops here for finding a souvenir to take back home to your loved ones or a little memento for yourself. When you’re thirsty, adults can enjoy their Beer 39 Beer Tasting Room or the Wines of California Wine Bar. The pier has plenty of options for dinner like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., The Crab House, Forbes Island Restaurant, and the Wharf’s 100% sustainable seafood restaurant, Fog Harbor Fish House. Read my experience at Fog Harbor here.

Since there are endless activities at PIER 39, plan to make a day of it… or two!

Learn more about the Pier by visiting their website at pier39.com.

About the Author - Amy Martin

Author of Her Plate, Amy's love of food, cooking and all things culinary keeps her endlessly plotting what her next meal will be. Her pastimes include creating in (i.e. demolishing) her own kitchen and baking far more sweets than her tiny family could ever eat.

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