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PIER 39 Holiday Tree with nightly tree lighting shows

PIER 39 Holiday Tree with nightly tree lighting shows

Pier 39's 60' Christmas tree features a nightly tree lighting experience which comes to life every half hour

Every holiday season since 1983, the entrance plaza of PIER 39 transforms into a festive wonderland, anchored by a towering Christmas tree that beckons visitors to partake in a cherished San Francisco tradition. This 60-foot White Fir, adorned with thousands of lights and ornaments, symbolizes the joy and spirit of the season, making Pier 39 a must-visit destination for holiday revelers.

  • Did you know? It takes about three weeks to decorate the Pier’s Christmas tree, meticulously placing each of the 13,000 LED lights, 400 ornaments, and 150 bows.
  • Did you know? The tree lighting ceremony at Pier 39 is synchronized to holiday music, creating a mesmerizing experience that draws visitors from near and far.

Pier's Christmas tree
Pier’s Christmas tree

PIER 39’S History

Pier 39’s history stretches back to its construction in 1977 and its opening a year later. By 1988, it had become the third-most visited attraction in the country, a testament to its appeal as a premier destination for entertainment, dining, and shopping. The addition of the giant Christmas tree in 1983 introduced a new, festive dimension to the Pier, further cementing its status as a hub of holiday cheer in San Francisco.


PIER 39 continues to thrive as a bustling waterfront locale, offering two levels brimming with over 110 specialty shops, numerous dining options, and attractions that appeal to all ages. From the sunbathing sea lions to the vintage carousel and live entertainment, the Pier offers an array of experiences that embody the vibrant spirit of San Francisco.



Not to be Missed

  • Giant Christmas Tree: The centerpiece of Pier 39’s holiday celebrations, this magnificent tree is a sight to behold, with nightly lighting experiences that bring the tree to life in a dazzling display of colors and music.
  • Sea Lions: A visit to Pier 39 wouldn’t be complete without seeing the famous sea lions, who have made the Pier their home since 1990.
  • Aquarium of the Bay: Get up close with local marine life in an immersive setting, offering interactive experiences for visitors of all ages.
  • Dining and Shopping: With a wide range of restaurants and shops, Pier 39 offers something for everyone, from seafood lovers to those searching for the perfect San Francisco souvenir.

Location, Address, Website, and Hours

  • Location: The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
  • Address: Pier 39, San Francisco, CA 94133
  • Website: Pier 39 Official Website
  • Hours: Pier 39 is open year-round, with specific hours for shops, restaurants, and attractions available on the website.

Why You Should Visit

Pier 39 is not just a destination; it’s an experience. During the holiday season, the Pier transforms into a magical place where visitors can enjoy festive lights, stunning views of the Bay, and a variety of entertainment options. The giant Christmas tree, with its nightly lighting spectacle, adds a special touch to holiday celebrations, making Pier 39 a quintessential part of San Francisco’s holiday tradition.

Fun Facts

  • Did you know? Pier 39’s sea lions are considered one of the city’s most beloved natural attractions, their arrival coinciding with the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Pier 39 embodies the heart and soul of San Francisco’s festive spirit. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of the holiday tree, the charm of the sea lions, or Pier’s myriad of attractions, a visit to Pier 39 during the holiday season is an unforgettable experience that captures the magic and wonder of the holidays in San Francisco.


Other Holiday Tour Destinations in San Francisco

PIER 39 Holiday Tree with Nightly Tree Lighting Shows Experience the holiday magic at PIER 39 in San Francisco, where a towering Christmas tree lights up the waterfront, offering a festive backdrop to a season full of joy, shopping, dining, and the famous sea lions

Fisherman’s Wharf for the Holidays -Fisherman’s Wharf celebrates with lighted fishing boats in the harbor, a Boat parade, and the Crab wheel sign light for the holidays

Experience the holiday magic at the Fairmont San Francisco with its life-sized Gingerbread House, crafted from thousands of gingerbread bricks and adorned with candy. A festive tradition that delights visitors of all ages.

Union Square Christmas Tree, Ice Skating Rink, and more – Take in one of the largest holiday displays in San Francisco including the 83-foot tree at the center of Union Square

Cable Cars are decorated for the Holiday Season: open to the public since 1873, this fascinating mode of transportation conveys visitors from Market Street to Beach Street, where Fisherman’s Wharf is less than a ten-minute walk away. Be sure to watch operators move the cable car on a turntable to point it in the right direction for the return trip to Market Street!

Experience the magic of the holiday season at San Francisco’s City Hall and Civic Center. 50′ Tall Holiday Tree with City Hall light up in holiday colors as the perfect backdrop.

Holiday Magic at Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco’s historic landmark, where festive lights, holiday movies, and the aroma of chocolate create a perfect holiday escape

Umbrella Alley All Holiday Lights and Sights Tours start at Umbrella Alley in Fisheman’s Wharf. Mural-filled alley with perfect backdrops for Instagram and Tik Tok. Located at 757 Beach Street near Hyde St.


Lucky Tuk Tuk holiday lights sites tour San Francisco

Holiday Lights & Sites Lucky Tuk Tuk Tour in San Francisco

Celebrate the season in a Tuk Tuk! Our 1.5 hour San Francisco Holiday Lights outings include yummy hot chocolate, candy canes, fuzzy Santa hats and plenty of sing-along holiday karaoke tunes on board.

Jump Aboard these Other Fun Tours and Rentals to Explore San Francisco

Buckle in and explore the city with an entertaining driving tour of or a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge to walk among the .
San Francisco Jeep Tours will drive you and up to 6 guests in a convertible Jeep. You’ll see all the iconic sites and attractions on exclusive routes with a fun and experienced tour guide.

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