Summer in San Francisco: Activities and events you just can’t miss
Ah, summer in San Francisco – there’s just something magical about it. The days are long, the nights are cool, and the city is alive with a festive atmosphere. It’s important to know though, that San Francisco’s climate is often quite different from what you might expect from a typical California destination. In the summer months, the city is often blanketed in a layer of fog, known locally as “Karl,” that often creates a cool and misty atmosphere.
While the temperature can vary, it’s not uncommon for daytime temperatures to hover around the mid-60s to low-70s Fahrenheit (around 18-22°C), with cooler temperatures in the evening. This can be a bit chilly for some visitors, especially those who are accustomed to warmer climates. But it’s great for those who aren’t really looking to sweat their butts off while exploring the city. Just check the weather beforehand and make sure you’ve packed accordingly! Bring your trusty puffer jacket or windbreaker, and you’re honestly alright.
Despite the cooler temperatures and foggy days though, there’s so much love about this vibrant and diverse city during the summer months. From its bustling neighborhoods to its iconic landmarks, there’s a sense of excitement and possibility that permeates the air and cuts through Karl. The city offers a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty.
San Francisco is also relaxed and laid-back. It’s home to some of the gentlest and most welcoming people with a strong sense of community and creativity. The city is home to a thriving arts and music scene. There are plenty of opportunities to experience local culture through festivals, concerts, and street fairs.
Here are some of the most exciting activities and events this summer in San Francisco you should include in your itinerary:
Hang around Golden Gate Park
It’s just one of the most standard things to do in San Francisco in summer or at any time of the year, really. But even more so during summer. Spanning over 1,000 acres, Golden Gate Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy summer day, whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city or an adventurous outing just within the city.
In the summer months, the park is bustling with activity, and there’s always something to do or see. You can hike, bike, run, or walk along its beautiful trails, rent a paddleboat and float around Stow Lake, visit the Japanese Tea Garden, watch a concert or play at the outdoor amphitheater, explore the de Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences, or simply relax and have a picnic on the grass. The opportunities for fun are truly endless!
Catch a Giants game at Oracle Park
Oracle Park is the perfect place to enjoy a summer evening in San Francisco. As the home stadium of the San Francisco Giants, this stadium offers a picturesque view of the bay and a lively atmosphere that’s perfect for catching a game.
In addition to the game itself, you’ll find a range of delicious food options at the stadium. We’re talking about some of the best food options in a ballpark in the country. We forbid you to leave the park without trying Garlic fries, Crazy Crab’z crab sandwiches. Also, make sure to arrive early to explore the stadium’s numerous attractions, including the Coca-Cola Fan Lot and the Giants Vault Museum.
You can find the San Francisco Giant’s detailed home game schedule here.
Check out the food trucks at Off the Grid
San Francisco has a thriving food scene, with a plethora of delicious restaurants and cafes to explore. But for the ultimate gastronomic adventure, head to Off the Grid at Fort Mason every Friday from March 24 – June 23, 5pm to 10pm, and sample some of the best food trucks in San Francisco.
Renowned as California’s largest nighttime street food festival, this much anticipated San Francisco event brings together over 50 food creators from all over the Bay Area. Choose from a variety of international cuisines, including tacos, burgers, sushi, bbq, falafel, Thai food, and more. Some local specialties to look out for include sourdough bread (which has been made in San Francisco since the Gold Rush era), Dungeness crab, and Mission-style burritos (a hearty and filling variation of the classic Mexican dish).
With live music, local beer and wine, and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Off the Grid offers a fun, delicious, diverse culinary experience.
Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
No city adventure is complete without a trip to a museum. In San Francisco, the perfect place to start your art journey is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). With an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, installations, and photographs by renowned artists like Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol, SFMOMA is a must-visit for any art lover.
Throughout the year, SFMOMA hosts a variety of events and programs, such as film screenings, artist talks, and workshops. Always with new and exciting exhibits to explore, it’s an enriching experience for both seasoned art lovers and those new to modern art.
Go hiking in Lands End
This rugged and rocky shoreline on the western edge of the city boasts some of the most breathtaking views in the Bay Area. Land’s End has a variety of trails, ranging from easy to moderate, that wind through cypress and eucalyptus trees, over rugged cliffs, and down to hidden beaches.
Take a leisurely stroll along the Coastal Trail and enjoy stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. For a more challenging hike, head up to Eagle’s Point and climb the stairs to the top of the hill for a panoramic view of the city. Along the way, you’ll see wildflowers, cypress trees, and maybe even a pod of whales or dolphins in the distance.
Wear comfortable shoes, bring a camera, and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the scenic overlooks. And don’t forget to dress in layers; the weather can change quickly along the coast.
San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade
Where: Market Street to Civic Center – How to get here
Gather your friends, put on your best rainbow outfit, and join the thousands of people who come from all over the world to celebrate equality, diversity, love, acceptance, and freedom at the San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade. This weekend-long event includes two full days of activities, including live music, dance performances, comedy shows, cabarets, and more. There are also plenty of food and drink vendors, as well as booths where you can learn about LGBTQ+ organizations and advocacy groups.
On the second day, Sunday, the party kicks off with a flurry of rainbow flags, glitter, and floats making their way down Market Street to the Civic Center Plaza in a vibrant and loud parade.
The party is open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and there are plenty of events for families and children. The San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade is usually held in late June. This 2023, it’s on June 24 and 25. So mark your calendar and get ready for a truly unforgettable experience.
Jazz up your summer at the Fillmore Jazz Festival
When: July 2nd and 3rd from 10am to 6pm
Where: Fillmore Street – How to get here
Get ready to tap your feet and groove to the beat world-class jazz musicians and local artists at the Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco! This annual event is the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast, attracting music enthusiasts from all over the world. The two-day festival takes place in the heart of the historic Fillmore district and offers a wide range of jazz performances, food, beverages, and even arts and crafts.
The festival features several stages with non-stop live jazz music from a mix of established and up-and-coming artists. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz aficionado or just looking for a fun weekend, the Fillmore Jazz Festival is not to be missed.
San Francisco Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival
When: August 11-13, 2023 | Gates open at 11am
Where: Golden Gate Park – How to get here
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It’s a weekend of music, art, and culture at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco! This annual festival brings together some of the biggest names in music, along with an impressive lineup of visual and performing artists, all in one spectacular setting.
The festival takes place in the heart of Golden Gate Park, where the stunning scenery provides the perfect backdrop for world-class performances. You can catch live music from a variety of genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and more, from both established and up-and-coming artists.
Indulge in delicious food and drink options from the many vendors and food trucks — offering everything from gourmet bites to craft beer and wine.
The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is an all-ages event, with activities and attractions for families and children.
Shop small and sustainably at Union Street Festival
When: June 3 and 4, from 10am to 6pm
Where: Cow Hollow District – How to get here
We weren’t kidding when we said San Francisco comes alive with festivals in the summer. There’s plenty but the Union Street Festival stands out from the others as it’s one of San Francisco’s oldest festivals. Established in 1976, it started as an arts and crafts festival and has then evolved into a full-on celebration of the community and local businesses showcasing the best of the city’s small vendors, artists, and performers. This family-friendly event features live music, delicious food and drink options, and activities for all ages.
North Beach Festival
When: June 17 and 18 from 10am to 6pm
Where: Columbus and Grant Avenues, and adjacent streets in San Francisco’s historic North Beach – How to get here
One of the best things about San Francisco is its cultural diversity, which is evident in the city’s many neighborhoods, each with its own character and history. Celebrate the historic and vibrant North Beach neighborhood, known for its Italian roots and literary history, on a weekend of arts, culture, and entertainment.
The festival takes place along Grant Avenue, where you’ll find an array of local vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to vintage clothing. You can also enjoy live music and street performers as you make your way through the festival.
One of the highlights of the North Beach Festival is the gourmet food and drink options, which reflect the neighborhood’s Italian heritage. You can indulge in everything from homemade pasta to cannolis, and sip on wine or beer in the festival’s dedicated wine and beer gardens.
The North Beach Festival also features a variety of activities for all ages, including a pet blessing ceremony, a chalk art contest, and a kids’ area with face painting and other activities.
Where to stay at Union Square, San Francisco
Experience that warm hospitality San Francisco is known for firsthand when you stay at the Golden Gate Hotel. This charming hotel is located in the heart of the city, just steps away from some of San Francisco’s most famous attractions.
Traveling with your furry friend? You’ll be happy to know that they are welcome here. And even if you don’t have a pet of your own, you’ll get to enjoy the company of the hotel’s resident cat, Skittles, who loves to greet guests and make them feel at home.
Our hotel itself is cozy and inviting, with comfortable rooms that are decorated in a classic Victorian style. You’ll find all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, including free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Some rooms also feature a fireplace or a balcony with views of the city.
If you need any assistance during your stay, our friendly staff will be happy to help you with anything you need, from restaurant recommendations and tours to just helping you navigate the city.
Book today for a summer to remember in the city by the bay!