The San Francisco Piers
...By the Numbers

Need a guide to the numbered San Francisco piers? Lots of the waterfront attractions in San Francisco are designated by their San Francisco pier locations.

Even-Numbered Piers Odd-Numbered Piers

Map of Even-Numbered Piers

Map of the San Francisco Piers
(The Odd-Numbered Ones)

map of san francisco piers, with numbers

The piers in San Francisco run along the Embarcadero, the street that follows the curve of the northeastern edge of the city.

The numbering starts at the Ferry Building at the end of Market Street; to the left are the odd-numbered piers, and to the right, the even-numbered piers.

The waterfront tourism activity mostly happens between the Ferry Building and Fisherman's Wharf to the north and west. Hence, the piers associated with various San Francisco activities and attractions are usually the odd-numbered ones, like the well-known Pier 39.

Guide to the San Francisco Piers

What's where at the piers? Here are some items of interest to visitors associated with the San Francisco piers.

san francisco piers, aerial view, sf waterfront
SF Piers, 1961 (image courtesy of the San Francisco History Center,
San Francisco Public Library)

First..the Odd Numbers

Ferry Building and Pier 1

ferry building and piers san francisco 1930
Ferry Building in 1930
(image courtesy of the San Francisco History Center,
San Francisco Public Library)

The Ferry Building is still a major hub for all the ferries coming into San Francisco from around the bay. Inside is an enticing collection of foodie stalls, and out in front there's a popular Farmers' Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

ferry building, san francisco
The Ferry Building

Did the name of the store, Pier 1 Imports, comes from the Pier 1 that's just to the right of the Ferry Building? Haven't been able to find out, but I suspect that might be the case.

Pier 1 1/2

A boating dock available for the public; tie your boat up free for three hours. A water taxi service is now available here; you can sail to Fisherman's Wharf or the ballpark for $10 ($5 for SF residents).

Also at Pier 1 1/2: La Mar, an upscale Peruvian restaurant chain specializing in ceviche (they also have empanadas...yum). Both inside and outside dining.

Pier 3

San Francisco Pier 3 houses the offices of the Hornblower yacht company; their bay cruises leave from here.

Hornblower Landing, Pier 3

There is some limited parking available here.

The Plant Cafe Organic, is here also, another upscale chain, indoor/outdoor restaurant featuring organic, locally-grown produce. California fusion, vegetarian and non.

Pier 5

San Francisco Piers 1 through 5 have been designated the Central Embarcadero Piers Historic District. These piers were originally used for inland trade, shipping cargo upriver into the Sacramento Delta.

During World War 2 they were heavily used for military purposes: troop and supply ships bound for the Pacific Theater were loaded here.

san francisco waterfront, loading military equipment, world war 2
San Francisco Waterfront
Loading Military Equipment, 1944
(image courtesy of the San Francisco History Center,
San Francisco Public Library)

After the war, the most of the commercial shipping moved to the Port of Oakland across the bay, which was better able to handle the large container ships.

TV chef Michael Chiarello, of the Bottega restaurant in Napa, has opened a restaurant at Pier 5, featuring Spanish cuisine. Coqueta serves dishes from Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Region, and has a tapas bar.

Pier 7

Pier 7 and Hornblower's Paddlewheel Boat

San Francisco Pier 7 is a long, skinny pier, lined with benches, looking straight down at the Transamerica building. This pier is a very popular spot for fishing. Locals do some serious crab fishing here, mainly at night, and also catch sharks and perch. Incredible views of the city; very romantic at night with the twinkling lights.

Piers 15 and 17

new san francisco exploratorium, piers 15 and 17
New Exploratorium

The Exploratorium, our fascinating, hands-on, science museum, is now located at piers 15/17, in its new and much larger space. More on the Exploratorium.

piers 11 to 19, san francisco, 1934
Piers 11 to 19, 1934
Exploratorium Building third from left
(image courtesy of the San Francisco History Center,
San Francisco Public Library)

Pier 23

This is the location of the oddly-named Pier 23 Cafe. A funky dive, with good seafood and pretty views of the bay form the eating area in back.

pier 23 embarcadero, san francisco
Pier 23 Restaurant

All day parking is available inside the pier structure for $20 (double for special events).

fishing from pier 23, san francisco, 1958
Fishing From Pier 23, 1958
(image courtesy of the San Francisco History Center,
San Francisco Public Library)

Piers 27 and 29

Pier 27 was the home of the 2013 America's Cup facility. Now the site of the new cruise ship terminal.

It can handle only one cruise ship at a time; overflow goes to Pier 35.

new cruise ship termanal, pier 27 san francisco
New Cruise Ship Terminal

The western side of Pier 27 is now a large parking lot open to the public ($12 for two hours, $15 for the day weekdays, $20 day flat rate on weekends). Open 6 am to 11 pm.

san francisco piers 29 and 31, 1934
Piers 29 and 31, 1934(image courtesy of the San Francisco History Center,
San Francisco Public Library)

Pier 33

Alcatraz Ferry at Pier 33

Departure point for the Alcatraz ferry, the only one that actually stops at the island.

Check out my tips on getting the tickets and visiting Alcatraz.

Pier 35

Backup cruise ship terminal. Handles overflow from new terminal at pier 27.

Pier 39

Pier 39

The famous attraction. Shopping, entertainment and the sea lions. More on Pier 39 from a local's viewpoint.

Pier 41

The Blue and Gold ferries and the Rocket Boat leave from Pier 41 (and the Ferry Building). For more info on bay cruises, and transportation to Sausalito, Tiburon, and Angel Island, see San Francisco Bay Cruises.

Pier 43 1/2

The Red and White fleet of ferries leaves from this pier for their bay tours. For more info, see San Francisco Bay Cruises.

Pier 45

U.S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien at Pier 45

Pier 45 has three really cool attractions: two World War 2 ships to climb around on (a submarine SS Pampanito and a Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien), and Museé Mechanique, a weird and fun museum with 200 antique, coin-operated games.

Other San Francisco Piers

In addition to the numbered San Francisco piers, there are a couple of other well-known piers past Pier 45, at the western end of Fisherman's Wharf.

Hyde Street Pier

san francisco piers, hyde street pier entrance

Hyde Street Pier at the end of Fisherman's Wharf hosts a number of older ships available for exploring: sailing ships from the late 1880's and several steam-powered ferries and tug boats.

The Municipal Pier

This city pier extends way out into the bay in a long, curving arc, just west of Aquatic Park. Great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

The Even-Numbered San Francisco Piers

Most of the even-numbered piers are industrial, working piers. They start with Pier 14, just before the Bay Bridge, and run south from the Ferry Building,

Highlights of the Even Piers

Pier 14

Pier 14 (on the other side of the Ferry Building), is another extremely long pier, jutting way out into the bay, with great views of the Bay Bridge and the city.

City View from Pier 14

It was on Pier 14 that Kate Steinle was tragically murdered in July 2015. For more photos and information about this pier, see Pier 14.

Pier 24

This pier right underneath the Bay Bridge houses a relatively new art gallery dedicated to photography, but also presents showings of other types of art. Admission is free, but only by appointment. See Pier 24 Photography for info on current exhibits.

Piers 30/32

This formerly busy pier is now a parking lot.

piers 30 and 32 san francisco in 1939
Piers 30 and 32 in 1939
(image courtesy of the San Francisco History Center,
San Francisco Public Library)

These 13 acres of pavement have been proposed for all sorts of uses (hotels, condos, art galleries, George Lucas' museum, Cirque du Soleil, etc.), but first, massive amounts of money are necessary to prevent it from sinking into the bay. Only used for parking now: 1000 spaces, Mon-Fri 9 to 6, $4 for 2 hours, $18 max. $10 after 6 pm.

Pier 48

This pier has a large indoor space that is used for various entertainment events; Oktoberfest By the Bay is usually held here. It sits across McCovey Cove (where the home run baseballs land) from AT&T Park. There is a huge parking lot in front of Pier 48, used by people going to the games and events at the pier.

Pier 70

Pier 70 hosts a ship-repair facility with a dry dock.

Pier 80

Pier 80 is huge, 60 acres of concrete. This pier is San Francisco's main cargo terminal and is being developed as a massive auto importing facility, starting in the fall of 2016. It's also used to dock four Navy ships during Fleet Week ship tours, and provides a free parking area for tons of cars during those events. More on Fleet Week.

fleet week ship tours, sailors at pier 80
Fleet Week Ship Tours at Pier 80

Map of the Even-numbered Piers

map of even-numbered piers, san francisco

On the map below you can zoom in on the piers to see more details and the nearby streets.

See full screen

Exploring the Embarcadero

Lots of interesting things are located on the Embarcadero, running alongside the piers from the Bay Bridge to Pier 39. It's a pleasant and scenic place to stroll, popular with both locals and visitors. For more information and photos of the attractions along this boulevard, see The Embarcadero.

Parking at the Piers

I've created a page on the best prospects for parking along or near the piers: see Embarcadero Parking

Things to do on the piers...

> San Francisco Piers

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