Right at the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf another main attractions starts: Pier 39. And yes, it’s one of the most touristic places in San Francisco and very, very crowded at any time. But it has houses one of the best spots there as well – the California Sea lions! Next to several shops, restaurants, bar and even a two-story carousel, these cute animals are lying satisfied in the sun and don’t seem to carry about the boats cruising in the bay or the people watching and taking pictures from the pier. And I have to confess: It’s really fun watching them when they peacefully enjoy a nap or interact loudly with each other.
But why are they living there anyway and since when? It all started in October 1989 after the big earthquake hit San Francisco. In the beginning just a few arrived but they completely took over K-Dock. The experts from Marine Mammal Center then recommended that the seal lions should stay in their new home since its the ideal living situation (plenty of food and protected from predators). Within few months, the number of sea lions grew to more than 300. The record so far was a population of 1701 animals in November 2009. The number of sea lions now rise and fall according to season and natural migration. Anyway, a big group found a permanent home at Pier 39. So if you are in San Francisco, stop by and say hello or relax with them for a little while.