The Wave Organ
The Wave Organ
3.5
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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles117 reviews
Excellent
25
Very good
40
Average
31
Poor
12
Terrible
9

Roary
Vancouver, Canada3,715 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
I think I found out about the Wave Organ through someone's travel blog, so I added it to my list of free things to do while in San Francisco. It's a nice walk there, but was very underwhelming. The structure itself is OK, but I didn't actually hear anything. If you have a lot of free time and happen to be in the area, it's OK to visit, but certainly not worth going out of your way for.
Written December 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

misopiso88
Seattle, WA25,018 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Francisco neto
San Francisco, CA173 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 ...you wont regret it
Written March 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Terry V
San Francisco, CA131 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel L
Fairfax, CA57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bonnie H
Indianapolis, IN5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N0Excuses
San Gabriel56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

B_Qaz
38 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nancy F
Livermore, CA31 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Friends
I like the wave organ because a) it's local in the extreme - you're visiting the San Francisco Bay and it's talking to you;b) it's low key - no tickets, no lines, no crowds, no loudspeakers, no assigned seating; c) it's mildly educational and scientific, which is an attraction to me, but not necessarily to all; d) it's art - designed to catch the changing sounds of the water lapping in pipes of various sizes, it'll never be precisely the same from one visit to the next.

I've visited the wave organ at various tidal heights, and I'll agree with another review who said it can be underwhelming. And I agree with the reviewer who suggests arriving just before or just after high tide. The performance depends on phase of the moon - really.

For someone mobility challenged, this may not be the best tourism site, as it involves climbing on rocks. Similarly, it's probably not suited to very young children, like toddlers. Otherwise, I expect most people to be at least intrigued and some to be fascinated.
Written July 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cosmopolitan35637
Long Beach, California1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Wow! Give yourself time, dress warmly/appropriately and try to get to the WO when the tide is coming IN (OUT is not quite so good) and be patient. Visit more than once if you can and try to go alone and 'be still...very very still..' Its a primeval experience seldom rivalled and if the weather is a bit cooler (fog helps too) somuch the better.
Its a bit like listening to whales or dolphins. There is a link a message, a reassurance that all is connected. Its profound and worthy of recording if you can do it unobtrusively and not get lost in the 'confusion'. Each 'performance' is unique. Be patient.
Written October 9, 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Wave Organ - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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