A group of three of us went to the Wave Organ on July 4, 2010, around 5pm-6pm and each one of us had a different reaction to it. Our reactions seemed to correlate to our expectations of the place. However, none of us expected that the walk out there would be so cold and windy. But, all of us loved the views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz from the site.
I liked it quite a bit because I like the sound of waves and enjoyed the amplified, echoey sounds coming from the pipes. I had researched and read a lot about the wave organ before visiting it, so I knew what to expect. The website I have listed with this review even has audio of the wave organ's sounds. It would be bliss to visit it at hide tide during sunrise or sunset, especially if very few other people and no dogs were there. Under the right circumstances, it could be a very nice calm, meditative experience.
Another person in our group thought it was generallhy OK. He basically had no expectations about it. He thought it was an interesting concept. He likes walking, so he enjoyed the walk that was very close to the ocean (I enjoyed the walk too). He did not like the rambunctious dogs that were allowed to freely run all over the site by their owners. At least four or more different dogs were out there without leashes. Their owners had no considertation for others.
The last person in our group was disappointed by the wave organ. She said she could not believe we walked all that way in the cold and wind to listen to sounds that were like a FLUSHING TOILET (and I could kind of see her point). Because of the name of the place, she said she was expecting melodious wave-like sounds, perhaps some sort of combination of waves and organ. That was absolutely not the case. The sounds were amplified waves with no musical quality. She was also freezing to death out there.
Note that the location per Google Maps is incorrect. Google maps shows it as being about in the middle of the little strip of land protruding into the ocean. That is really a yacht club. The actual location of the wave organ is at the END OF THE LAND STRIP (unpaved portion of Yacht Road).
Also, it is not that close to the Exploratorium. I was under the mistaken impression it was right next to it, based upon some of the TripAdvisor reviews. It's walkable from the Exploratorium, but it's a bit of a long walk that is cold and windy.
So, to enjoy and appreciate the wave organ, do your homework, know what to expect and wear appropriate clothing.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.