The Most Popular Pier in San Francisco: Ranking the Top Choice

Choose the pier you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 07:26
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! We're excited to present our latest ranking: "What is the most popular pier in San Francisco?" As a city known for its picturesque waterfront, San Francisco boasts an array of iconic piers that have been attracting locals and tourists alike for years. Now, it's your turn to weigh in! Dive into our interactive poll and cast your vote for the pier that captured your heart, be it the bustling Fisherman's Wharf, the historic Ferry Building, or a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Don't see your favorite spot listed? No worries! You can suggest your missing option, and let the world know about the enchanting allure of your preferred pier. Join the conversation, and let's uncover the ultimate San Francisco pier together!

What Is the Most Popular Pier in San Francisco?

  1. 1
    Pier 39
    jjron · GFDL 1.2
    This is the most popular pier in San Francisco with its iconic sea lions, numerous shops, restaurants, and attractions. It also offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
    Pier 39 is a popular tourist destination located in San Francisco, California. It is a lively pier that offers a range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options for visitors of all ages. The pier is known for its vibrant atmosphere, stunning waterfront views of the cityscape and the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as its resident sea lions that can often be seen lounging on the docks.
    • Location: Beach Street & The Embarcadero, San Francisco, California
    • Size: 45 Acres
    • Number of Stores: Over 110
    • Restaurants: More than 15
    • Attractions: Bay cruises, 7D Experience, Aquarium of the Bay, Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze, etc.
    Pier 39 in other rankings
  2. 2
    Fisherman's Wharf
    jjron · GFDL 1.2
    This historic pier is known for its seafood restaurants and fish markets, as well as its street performers and souvenir shops. It is also the departure point for many bay cruises and tours.
    Fisherman's Wharf is a vibrant waterfront neighborhood located in San Francisco, California. It is one of the most popular and iconic piers in the city, renowned for its bustling atmosphere, delicious seafood, and numerous tourist attractions. The wharf offers stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and visitors.
    • Location: Northern waterfront of San Francisco, California
    • Area: Approximately 45 acres (18 hectares)
    • Historical Significance: Fisherman's Wharf has a rich maritime history and was once the hub of San Francisco's fishing industry.
    • Tourist Attractions: Popular attractions in the area include Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and the Aquarium of the Bay.
    • Shopping: Fisherman's Wharf offers a wide range of shops selling souvenirs, clothing, and local crafts.
  3. 3
    Ferry Building
    JaGa · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Ferry Building

    A. Page Brown
    This pier is a popular destination for foodies, with its gourmet marketplace and restaurants featuring local and sustainable ingredients. It is also a transportation hub for ferries and buses.
    The Ferry Building is a historic landmark and iconic pier located on the Embarcadero waterfront in San Francisco. It is known for its stunning architectural design and its significance as a transportation hub and marketplace.
    • Location: Embarcadero waterfront, San Francisco, California
    • Architect: A. Page Brown
    • Year of Construction: 1898
    • Style: Beaux-Arts
    • Size: 245,000 square feet
  4. 4
    Pier 45
    Syced · CC0

    Pier 45

    San Francisco Port Commission
    This pier is home to the USS Pampanito submarine museum and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, featuring historic ships and exhibits. It also offers great views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Pier 45 is one of the most popular piers located in San Francisco, California. It is a historic landmark that offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
    • Location: San Francisco, California
    • Historic Status: Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
    • Year Built: 1926
    • Purpose: Originally built as a freight terminal and warehouse
    • Current Use: Home to various attractions, restaurants, and museums
  5. 5

    Pier 33

    Port of San Francisco
    This pier is the departure point for Alcatraz Island tours, one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco. It also offers dining options and bay views.
    Pier 33 is a famous tourist destination and transportation hub located in San Francisco, California. It is situated along the Embarcadero waterfront and is known for its scenic views of the San Francisco Bay and iconic landmarks like Alcatraz Island. Pier 33 is primarily used as the departure point for ferry services to Alcatraz Island, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. It also serves as a boarding point for various boat tours and cruises.
    • Location: San Francisco, California
    • Waterfront: Embarcadero
    • Primary function: Transportation hub and tourist destination
    • Ferry services: To Alcatraz Island
    • Scenic views: San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz Island
  6. 6
    Pier 1
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain

    Pier 1

    Port of San Francisco
    This pier is the oldest on the San Francisco waterfront and has been transformed into a mixed-use development with offices, restaurants, and shops. It also offers views of the Bay Bridge and the Ferry Building.
    Pier 1 is a historic and iconic pier located along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. Situated at the northeastern end of the city, it offers stunning views of San Francisco Bay, the Bay Bridge, and the city skyline. Built in 1914, Pier 1 served as a bustling hub of maritime activity, handling cargo ships, passenger ferries, and even serving as a military base during wartime. Today, it has been transformed into a vibrant public space that combines entertainment, dining, shopping, and leisure activities.
    • Location: Along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California
    • Year of Construction: 1914
    • Purpose: Maritime activities, cargo handling, passenger ferries
    • Historical Significance: Served as a military base during wartime
    • Views: San Francisco Bay, Bay Bridge, city skyline
  7. 7

    Pier 7

    Port of San Francisco
    This pier is a popular fishing spot and offers great views of the bay and the city skyline. It is also a popular spot for photographers.
    Pier 7 is a beloved landmark located in San Francisco, California. It is a long wooden pier that extends into the San Francisco Bay, offering stunning views of the city skyline, the Bay Bridge, and the iconic Alcatraz Island. The pier is a popular spot for strolling, fishing, and enjoying panoramic vistas of the city and the bay. It is known for its unique octagonal shape, which adds to its charm and attracts both locals and tourists alike.
    • Location: San Francisco, California
    • Type: Wooden pier
    • Views: City skyline, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz Island
    • Activities: Strolling, fishing, sightseeing
    • Shape: Octagonal
  8. 8

    Pier 24

    Pier 24 Photography
    This pier is home to the Pier 24 Photography museum, which features a collection of contemporary photography in a unique warehouse space. It is only open to the public by appointment.
    Pier 24 is a renowned photography museum located in San Francisco. It is known for its vast collection of contemporary and historic photography, showcasing some of the most significant works in the medium. The museum offers visitors a unique and immersive experience in a large warehouse setting.
    • Location: San Francisco, California
    • Size: 28,500 square feet
    • Exhibition Space: 18,000 square feet
    • Number of Galleries: 9
    • Collection Size: over 4,000 photographs
  9. 9
    India Basin Shoreline Park
    Pi.1415926535 · CC BY-SA 4.0
    This pier is located on the eastern edge of San Francisco and offers a quiet escape from the city with trails, picnic areas, and views of the bay. It is also a popular spot for birdwatching.
    India Basin Shoreline Park is a public park located in the India Basin neighborhood of San Francisco. It offers stunning views of the bay, with a beautiful shoreline and a variety of amenities for visitors to enjoy.
    • Location: India Basin, San Francisco
    • Size: 14.7 acres
    • Year Established: 2008
    • Scenic Views: Panoramic views of San Francisco Bay
    • Shoreline Access: Provides access to the shoreline for recreational activities
  10. 10
    This pier is located in the Mission Bay neighborhood and offers a waterfront park with picnic areas, a playground, and views of the bay. It is also a popular spot for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
    Mission Creek Park is a popular pier located in San Francisco that offers stunning views and a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Situated along the Mission Creek, this vibrant park provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. Created with the intention of preserving and showcasing the natural beauty of the area, Mission Creek Park has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
    • Location: San Francisco, California
    • Size: Approximately 4 acres
    • Scenic Views: Offers breathtaking views of the Mission Creek and surrounding cityscape
    • Recreational Activities: Includes walking and jogging paths, picnic areas, and a playground
    • Dog-friendly: Allows dogs as long as they are leashed

Missing your favorite pier?


Ranking factors for popular pier

  1. Visitor numbers
    The popularity of a pier can be measured by the number of visitors it attracts annually. Higher foot traffic indicates a more popular pier.
  2. Accessibility
    The ease of reaching the pier, including its proximity to public transportation, availability of parking spaces, and wheelchair accessibility should be taken into account.
  3. Attractions
    The popularity of a pier may also be determined by its attractions, such as restaurants, shops, amusement facilities, and other entertainment options.
  4. Scenic views
    A pier's popularity can be boosted if it provides stunning views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, or other iconic sights.
  5. Historical significance
    Piers that have historical significance or that play a role in the city's cultural heritage may be more popular among both tourists and locals.
  6. Events and activities
    A lively pier that frequently hosts events, live performances, and other activities is likely to be more popular.
  7. Seasonal factors
    Some piers may be more popular during specific times of the year, such as during summertime or holidays. It's important to consider how the pier's popularity changes throughout the year.
  8. Online reviews and ratings
    Analyzing user-generated reviews and ratings on platforms like TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp can help establish a pier's popularity.
  9. Social media presence
    A pier's popularity could be assessed by the number of followers and engagement on its social media pages.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular pier in San Francisco. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or pier is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 173 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each pier once every 24 hours. The rank of each pier is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular pier in san francisco

The piers of San Francisco are an iconic part of the city's waterfront, attracting millions of visitors each year. From the bustling tourist hub of Fisherman's Wharf to the quieter, more contemplative piers further south, each one has its own unique charm and character. Many of these piers have been repurposed over the years, from their original function as shipping and transportation hubs to their current use as popular tourist destinations. Whether you're looking for stunning views of the Bay, delicious seafood, or a glimpse into San Francisco's storied past, the city's piers have something for everyone. So which one is the most popular? Let's take a closer look.

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