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San Francisco is known as the City by the Bay, and offers spectacular views of the water from many tourist attractions. One destination we wanted to cross off our list was the famed Pier 39.



I’d heard of Pier 39 being labeled a tourist trap, but I honestly had a great time here with my family. One side offered stunning views of boats moored in the marina, where diners could sip wine from atop Wines of California Wine Bar.

There are tons of shops too, crammed in between restaurants. I took Pumpkin by the hand and we traversed the large retail space, entering shops and people-watching. There were all kinds of wacky, unique, and quirky items for sale.


One shop, Chocolate Heaven sold only chocolate; another, Puppets on the Pier, just puppets and marionettes. Treasure Ireland sold Irish collectibles and memorabilia from the Emerald Isle. Magnets, statues, hot sauce, a left-handed goods store—you name it, it’s probably at Pier 39!

To some, it may be a bit tacky, but I enjoyed seeing so many different kinds of items for sale. Pumpkin really got a kick out of the motorized dancing marionette in the window of Puppets on the Pier. (I was even so mesmerized by it, I forgot to take a photo.)


Lefty’s had every conceivable item that could be redesigned for southpaws. Lining the walls were framed photos of all the great leaders of the world, who were, coincidentally, left-handed. Caesar, Gandhi, and of course, Ned Flanders (who incidentally owned his own left-handed shop for a time.)


We topped our visit with a quick trip to Crêpe Café, where delicious crêpes are made to order. We stood at the front window in amazement as these sweet creations were made expertly by hand right before our eyes, and filled with sliced bananas, strawberries, Nutella, and other fillings, and then topped with frothy whipped cream and sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. Yum!


We made the mistake of ordering just one for the four of us; it disappeared in less time it took to stand in line for it, and unfortunately left us hungry for more. Oops.

We didn’t have enough time to stop by the Aquarium, but hope to on another visit.

If you ever get the chance, take a trip to Pier 39. Just walking around and taking in the colors and sounds, not to mention the gorgeous views of the bay, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and of course sea lions, will be more than enough to fill the day, if not the weekend!



  1. Pingback: exploring the sea at the aquarium of the bay | The Haute Mommy Handbook

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  3. The Food Explorers Journals says

    Thank you for this post and your help Jen. It was a life saver for us when we visited SFO. And the first shop we visited was Crêpe Café. It was a delicious experience. SFO just topped my list of places to visit again and I loved pier 39.

  4. We were just there! Isn’t it fun watching the sea lions? There’s so much to see in San Fran. Glad to hear you had a good time there as well!

  5. Thanks a lot for the like on my blog, I’m new to this so really appreciate all the support. There will be a few more posts about Amsterdam coming up in the next week with more info about where to go and what to.

    This is a great post, I’ve never been to the US but this is making me want to hop on a plane right away. Keep up the good work.

  6. One of my favorites in San Francisco. I also adore Muir woods. Haven’t been there in several years, this makes me want to go back.


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