Offering spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and Alcatraz across the San Francisco Bay Area, Pier 39 always ranks highly among the most popular places to visit in the Bay Area.
But with COVID-19 restricting many recreational and social activities, does the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf attraction still have what it takes to draw a crowd? You bet it does.
The following Pier 39 experiences are available for you to enjoy right now, whether you are a long-time San Francisco Bay Area resident or a sightseeing tourist.
Hop aboard the Bay Voyager or the Blue & Gold Fleet
If you are going to spend some time this close to San Francisco Bay, you should definitely include a cruise in your itinerary. As of writing, two cruise services are open for you to choose from, each offering a distinct experience of taking to the bay:
- Bay Voyager
Available for small groups of up to 12 members, Bay Voyager offers the ideal arrangement for a San Francisco Bay cruise in the time when social distancing is the norm. Aboard a 28-foot Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB), you can get the most out of your experience charting the waters of the San Francisco Bay—bringing you so close to the water, that you can feel the water splashing in your face every now and then.
This boat tour takes you around sightseeing favorites, such as Yerba Buena Island, historic World War II vessels, Aquatic Park, Civil War-era landmark Fort Baker, and more.
- Blue & Gold Fleet
If you prefer a dryer way to experience the Bay, the ferries of the Blue & Gold Fleet will be more your speed. The ferry service has options for a San Francisco Bay Cruise, as well as “Escape from the Rock”—a 90-minute journey that circles the iconic Alcatraz Island.
Blue & Gold Fleet cruises are enjoyable not only for the sights but also for the insightful commentary made possible by the company’s multi-language audio tour equipment. If you want to get to know San Francisco Bay better, these boat tours are the best way to do it.
Sample some quality California wine coupled with breathtaking views of the Bay
Experience California Wine Country like never before. Hop aboard Wine Therapy, the only floating wine-tasting room in the Bay Area.
For two hours either during the daytime or at sunset, this 1958 cabin-top cruiser will treat you to a selection of award-winning wine varietals produced by Northern California vineyards as you coast across the San Francisco Bay. You can also reserve Wine Therapy for a private cruise that can accommodate up to 15 guests.
Pedal around the city with Blazing Saddles Bike Tours
Another fantastic way to sightsee around San Francisco is by bicycle. Environmentally friendly, an effective but not demanding form of exercise, and socially distanced by design, a casual and informative bike tour is a worthwhile recreational activity in the new normal.
Rent a bike or join a tour, courtesy of Blazing Saddles San Francisco. Their routes take you over the Golden Gate Bridge all the way to Sausalito and Tiburon in the North Bay. You do not even have to worry about being too tired to pedal back because you can catch a ferry back to Pier 39 with Blazing Saddles tours.
Watch Pier 39’s resident sea lions just lounging around the marina
Pier 39 is home to a thriving community of local “sea-lebrities”—a colony of fascinating and adorable sea lions that have been permanent residents of the West Marina since 1990.
You can count on seeing a number of Pier 39 sea lions all throughout the year. But if you want to be wowed by their sheer number, plan your visit during the winter months. Up to 900 of these majestic creatures come home to roost at the pier’s K-Dock.
Embrace the Pier’s vibrant spirit with its iconic public art installations
Head to the Bay End of the Pier to find the charming “Open Heart” sculpture, one of many “Hearts in San Francisco” that the San Francisco General Hospital installed around the city in 2014. Open Heart is a symbol of the city’s “openness,” as well as “the idea of falling in love and leaving your heart in San Francisco,” according to artist Patrick Dintino, who hand-painted the sculpture.
Another Pier 39 experience you should not dare miss is walking up and down (and back again) the Musical Stairs. Created by artist Remo Saraceni, this interactive art piece is sure to put a smile on your face.
If this list made you more curious about the other top attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area, Team Hatvany is the company to count on. Not only does this firm have top-producing luxury real estate specialists, it also boasts a roster of knowledgeable and passionate local area experts. Get in touch today by calling 415.710.6462 or emailing team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com.