The Wave Organ

The Wave Organ, San Francisco: Address, Phone Number, The Wave Organ Reviews: 3.5/5

The Wave Organ
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

113 reviews
Very good

Miami, FL160 contributions
May 2021
Wave Organ is hidden away and is NOT a major attraction, but it is worth the walk as an "off the beaten path" attraction. If you come at exactly the right time, the combination of concrete and sounds are clever, has to be exactly at hide tide so it is a narrow window.
Written May 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Livermore, CA290 contributions
Mar 2020 • Friends
Enjoyed our stop to see and hear the wave organ. Fun and interesting concept and structure. Nice short walk along the bay to reach to wave organ. Lovely view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Las Vegas, NV134 contributions
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.
Written July 8, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA27,567 contributions
Jun 2019 • Family
We walked out to the Wave Organ despite conflicting reviews on TA and were happy to find ourselves alone. The sounds were hypnotizing and we ended up staying for quite some time. Try going on a weekday / off time and perhaps you will be lucky to enjoy in peace like we did.
Written July 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Francisco neto
San Francisco, CA152 contributions
Mar 2012 • Friends
check out the wave organ on the bay...easily accessible by city bus with great views of GG Bridge, Alcatraz. Fort Mason and the bay see photos and go wont regret it
Written March 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Terry V
San Francisco, CA140 contributions
Jun 2011
We love taking out of town visitors to the Wave Organ, particularly if they have young children. Located on a jetty that forms the small Boat Harbor in the Marina district of San Francisco, it is within walking distance from the Exploratorium, another fabulous attraction for kids ages 6-100. The jetty itself was constructed with material taken from a demolished cemetery, providing a wonderful assortment of carved granite and marble, which was used in the construction of this piece. The installation includes 25 organ pipes made of PVC and concrete located at various elevations within the site, allowing for the rise and fall of the tides. Sound is created by the impact of waves against the pipe ends and the subsequent movement of the water in and out of the pipes. The sound heard at the site is subtle, requiring visitors to become sensitized to its music, and at the same time to the music of the environment. The Wave Organ sounds best at high tide.
Written March 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rachel L
Fairfax, CA64 contributions
Mar 2017
I took a friend from out of town here, and it was really cool. The organ is more like amplified wave sounds and not as musical as the name implies. But it is fun to listen to, especially when you sit in the sheltered bench area. The surround-sound waves are amazing. Make sure to park in the yacht club lot, googlemaps took us to the wrong spot, so we could see the wave organ but couldn't walk to it across the water.
Written March 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bonnie H
Indianapolis, IN5 contributions
We walked from the Marriott courtyard - which was a very pleasant jaunt but the way the route makes you think you may never get there.... We did go at high tide (as recommended but did not hear any "music". Did meet a nice local and his dog Rufus. View was awesome and the built in seat was unique. My teenage daughter enjoyed it - so that was my gauge 😄
Written March 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

San Gabriel60 contributions
Apr 2013 • Couples
The Wave Organ, Palace of Fine Arts, Fort Point and The Marina Neighborhood for lunch/dinner. You can spend a whole day walking and visiting these great spots, all located within one mile from point to point. Park around the St. Francis Yacht Club, on Marina and Fillmore. From there, head NB on Fillmore to Chestnut Street, turn right and you'll be at the Marina neighborhood...shops, wine bars, regular bars, tasty restaurants, grills, shops, etc. Walk WB on Chestnut and spend as much time as you'd like, knowing that you'll need at least 1-2 hrs at Palace of The Arts and 1-2 hrs headed to Fort Point, then The Wave Organ. From Chestnut Broderick, turn Right to Bay Street, Left and quick right to Baker then Left again to Bay and on to Palace of Fine Arts. At the Palace, plan to spend a good hour or so taking in the park (Great photo shoot spot). They have a Science Center for kids so that in and of itself is a treat. From the Palace, ask for directions to Fort Point where you'll come across the Let's Be Frank hot dog cart. A delicious, no preservatives added, hot dog. I'm not a hot dog eater but I can down two of these in one sitting. The cart is next to "The Warming Hut," on your way to Fort Point. It's windy and a bit cold so be sure to wear layers and a scarf on cool days. Stop by the hut then head to Fort Point. The Fort is at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge...OH, By THE WAY, You can access the Golden Gate Bridge by foot near the Warming Hut if you desire...I'm telling you, LOTS to do around there. Once at the Fort, you'll find relics and historic scenes nicely depicted for the viewer. You'll have a beautiful view of the bay from the top of the fort. At the top of the fort, you'll get a beautiful view of the Bay. Head back on the San Francisco Bay Trail, through the parking lot of the St. Francis Yacht club (About 3/4 miles from the Fort) and on to the Wave Organ for a nice bottle of Wine. Will you hear music? No. You'll hear water splashing at the base of the pipes, similar to water in and out of a drain. What's most wonderful about the Wave Organ is not the music but rather, that you can spend 30 minutes or so having great conversation, sipping on wine and taking in the view of the Bay and Alcatraz. Yes. You will find parking..just be patient.
Written April 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

39 contributions
Mar 2017 • Solo
If you have some time to kill and a little patience this public art installation is worth a visit. You should time your visit with high tide and a full moon is possible. Be patient and stick your ear to one of the pipes and just listen.
Written March 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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