Destination California: Pier 39

Destination California

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — This edition of Destination California takes us to Pier 39 along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Pier 39 opened back up to guests in mid-June and while much of it’s pre-pandemic charm remains unchanged. 

Those being welcomed back to the tourist hot spot will notice some differences.

Now people who come to view it’s most famous attraction, the sea lions barking and wrestling on the floating docks, are given markers to stand on so they can enjoy the spectacle while maintaining social distance.

Even though there are fewer frisky mammals here in the summer because many are migrating, one family of tourists were just happy to be somewhere new.

And now more areas of Pier 39 are being used for al fresco dining so visitors can eat outside and enjoy their sourdough bread bowls with a side of bay breezes. 

Some tables also come with views of the waterfront, even the tiki bar has carved out new patio space. 

The increase of open air seating is something the owner of several restaurants on the pier hopes to see continue beyond the current health crisis. 

Food and drinks are delivered by mask wearing waitstaff, high touch surfaces are regularly sanitized and there are also many hand sanitizing stations throughout the open air marketplace.

By the end of June, about 70 percent of the restaurants and stores were open for business and steps have been taken to keep the pier from overcrowding.

Pier 39 has closed off all but it’s one main entrance here and they have staff on hand reminding people to put masks on before going inside. 

They’re also keeping a manual count how many people go in and out because they’re trying to keep it at about half its normal capacity to allow for social distancing

Those out here for a change of pace appreciate not having to fight the crowds. 

By the end of June only a few attractions such as the musical stairs were open to the public, but they are hopeful more will resume operations as the state continues to reopen.  

Those planning a visit are advised to check their to check Pier 39’s website for updates.

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