Seal of Approval

Photo courtesy of Pier 39

Photo courtesy of Pier 39

For the next couple of days, we’re heading to the Bay area. Starting with… Pier 39 in San Francisco. Waiting with hellos — the resident seals.

Image courtesy of Pier 39

Image courtesy of Pier 39

They haven’t always called Pier 39’s marina home. In fact, they came at an odd time. Right after the 1989 earthquake that left the city shaken, both literally and figuratively. As if arriving to soothe frayed nerves and raw hearts, the California Sea Lions kept arriving. Within three months, 500 of them had made Pier 39 their base camp.

Despite being mesmerized by these new residents, locals began to wonder… was the marina a good place for the sea lions to call home? Advice was sought from The Marine Mammal Center. After much research and debate, the sea lions were welcomed with open arms.

Photo courtesy of Pier 39

Photo courtesy of Pier 39

Now, as with all good things, an anniversary saluting these pinnipeds has arrived — 25 years of marina habitation. To celebrate, from January 16 through 19, Pier 39 is offering free, 20-minute, educational walking tours. What they’re saying about the festivities:

“Besides learning all about California sea lions, tour participants will also be treated to a
celebratory treat, discounts at participating PIER 39 businesses, a chance to meet PIER 39’s
mascot, Salty the Sea Lion, and special exhibits from Aquarium of the Bay and The Marine
Mammal Center. Tours depart on the hour from 11am – 4pm from the Sea Lion Statue west of
the PIER 39 Entrance Plaza. For more event information and to watch a video about the sea
lions, click here.

The Sea Lion Anniversary will also launch a month-long, PIER-wide campaign to help sustain the Sea Lion Center’s educational programs, as well as a sustainable environment for sea lions
everywhere. Visitors to The PIER will be able to make donations at PIER 39 businesses to support the Sea Lion Center’s free daily presentations and classroom programs for students and visitors from around the world. In addition, PIER 39 sea lion fans can join the celebration by taking the Sea Lion Pledge to support a happy and healthy home for sea lions around the world. For more information and to take the pledge, visit”

As for anniversary celebrations, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, when we give you the 411 on Oakland’s Restaurant Week.

For more information about Pier 39 visit

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