Every year when October rolls around, San Franciscans get excited it is once again time for Fleet Week! The best place to celebrate Fleet Week is PIER 39, thanks to the great waterfront views, convenient parking at the PIER 39 parking garage and the best San Francisco seafood restaurants.
With a range of exciting events, it’s smart to plan ahead.
Prepare for crowds and get there early for the best parking and views. You’ll have plenty to do since the PIER 39 Sea Lions are always lounging on the docks, not to mention Biscoff Coffee Corner opens at 7am serving coffee, pastries and fresh waffles, and Wipeout Bar & Grill opens at 9am serving breakfast. All retail shops and attractions open by 10am.
The Best Spot to Watch the Blue Angels
The Fleet Week Air Show is 12noon-4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 6-8, 2017) and PIER 39 is the best place for a front row seat. One of the highlights of the Fleet Week Air Show is of course watching the Blue Angels zoom overhead. This 40-minute show is spectacular to watch with the roaring jet noises and pilots performing daring stunts including loops, spinning dives, flying up and more. The Blue Angels perform on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 6-8, 2017) at 3 p.m.
How to Avoid Traffic
The heaviest traffic jams occur immediately after the Blue Angels performance ends. To avoid traffic, plan to hang out and have dinner on PIER 39 to avoid the worst traffic and/or Uber and Lyft surges.
Most restaurants do not take reservations on this busy weekend. This non-reservation policy is because they prefer to keep all tables available for walk-in guests, like you! Be sure to put your name in at Pier Market, Fog Harbor Fish House or Wipeout Bar & Grill and you will be seated or added to the waitlist and notified when your table is ready.
Enjoy the Big Ships
If you love big ships, head to PIER 39 in San Francisco on Friday of Fleet Week and make it an all-day event. Enjoy the Parade of ships from 11am to 12:00pm when several U.S. Navy ships will be making their way into the Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge. It is truly a site to see, especially for those who enjoy big ships. The following types of ships might make an appearance:
• Amphibious assault transports
• Missile cruisers
If you want a closer look, many of the big ships will be open to the public for free tours. You won’t have to go far from PIER 39, as the ships will be docked at Piers 35, 30/32 and 15/17.
Stay for the Live Music
Fleet Week is not just about viewing the awesome Navy Ships and stunts by the talented pilots; it is also a party to celebrate the Navy. Therefore, when you head to PIER 39 in San Francisco to see the Parade of Ships and/or the Air Show featuring the Blue Angels, you’ll love the live music. There are several bands scheduled to play in the afternoon and evenings during the weekend, including 32nd Brass Band and the Destroyers from the Navy Band Southwest and Saved By the 90s.
Where to Park
With so much traffic during Fleet Week, you might wish to opt for public transportation rather than driving. Pick your choice of cable cars, buses, or a streetcar. Another good option is taxi, Uber or Lyft.
If you wish to drive, the best parking is the PIER 39 parking garage. The garage is open 24 hours a day so you can arrive as early as you wish to secure a spot. The garage has an hourly rate with a maximum daily rate subject to holiday pricing. If you eat at Pier Market Seafood Restaurant, Fog Harbor Fish House or Wipeout Bar & Grill be sure to get your parking ticket validated for one hour free.
PIER 39 is a great place to celebrate Fleet Week. You can enjoy some of the best San Francisco seafood restaurants as well as have a front row seat to the many celebrations happening over the weekend.
For more tips and discounts on PIER 39, click here.