San Francisco: Pier 39 Sea Lions

Anyone who has visited Pier 39 in San Francisco remarks about its famous resident sea lions. The regularly gathered crowds and constant barking of the sea lions let visitors know they are in the right place even before they can navigate through the crowd to get their first glimpse at the pinnipeds. The California sea lions originally began coming and gathering at Pier 39 in 1990. It is believed that the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in combination with the ample supply of herring and protected pier environment were all contributing factors in drawing the large numbers of sea lions that now inhabit the Pier. A large portion of the Pier’s sea lion population  migrate south to the Channel Islands in the summer months to breed, but visitors can expect to see around a 1,000 sea lions crowding the floating docks and popping in and out of the water during the winter months.