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Your Guide to Spending 4th of July in San Francisco

Time to start planning your 4th of July in San Francisco! First things first, take July 3 off work so you can have a long weekend, as July 4 falls on a Tuesday. Next, book your room at Golden Gate Hotel for a comfortable and memorable stay in the Golden City. We are a family-friendly and pet-friendly hotel, so you can bring your whole gang with you. Nobody gets left behind. If you’re looking for a more romantic adventure, we got you too! 

Located on the very edge of Union Square, you’ll be right in the middle of the action of all the fun things to do in San Francisco on 4th of July weekend when you stay with us. There’s so much to do and see within walking distance or a short cable car ride. The best of the city is at your fingertips.

San Francisco on Independence Day is brimming with patriotic celebrations and fun activities to do. Here’s a rundown of it all. Read on and start crafting your 4th of July in San Francisco weekend itinerary:


Where to watch 4th of July Fireworks in San Francisco?


4th of July won’t feel right without fireworks lighting up the night sky. Every year, the City & County of San Francisco holds a spectacular display along the Northern Waterfront. Two simultaneous displays will be set off from the Municipal Pier and a barge off Pier 39 at 9:30 pm. 

Here are some of the best places to watch 4th of July fireworks in San Francisco:

Don’t forget to dress warm and arrive early to secure a good viewing spot. It tends to get crowded, but just enjoy all the buzz while waiting, too!


Go on a 4th of July Fireworks Cruise

Alternatively, you can enjoy the fireworks from the waters for a nicer and fancier experience. Sail along the stunning San Francisco Bay, take in breathtaking views of the city skyline, and watch the jaw-dropping fireworks show in all its glory — without all the crowd. Check out companies like Hornblower Cruises, Red and White Fleet, and Blue & Gold Fleet for their special 4th of July Fireworks Cruises. Some cruises offer just drinks on board. Others offer a full-on yacht experience with meals and drinks included in the package


4th of July Events in San Francisco you don’t want to miss


The Hornet Museum’s 4th of July

Join the party at the 4th of July Celebration with the USS Hornet, a retired aircraft carrier turned museum, for a dose of history to your 4th of July celebration. The festivities take place on the ship’s flight deck, where you can enjoy live music by the USS Hornet’s very own Swinging Blue Stars, tunes by DJ Samoa Boy, a variety of food options and drinks. The celebration starts at 10am and ends at 5pm, so you’ll have plenty of time to head to where you plan on watching the fireworks. 

Celebration at Pier 39

How to get here

Pier 39 will be buzzing all afternoon on Independence Day. It will be a little bit crowded, but it’s a fun kind of buzz with live music and family-friendly activities to keep you entertained while waiting for the fireworks at night. There’ll be food and drinks available around, so everything you’ll need will be right here. You won’t need to go anywhere else. 

Golden Gate Park Band Concert

How to get here

If you want to go on a more relaxed 4th of July event in San Francisco, catch the Golden Gate Park Band at none other than Golden Gate Park itself for an afternoon of music. This classic San Francisco tradition is free and takes place at the Spreckels Temple of Music in the Music Concourse of the Park beginning at 1pm. The 30-piece symphony’s repertoire for the day include: Shenandoah, American Overture, Copeland’s Hoe-Down from Rodeo (known popularly as “the beef song”), Salute to American Jazz, and an Armed Forces medley. 

Other things to do in San Francisco on the 4th of July weekend

Fillmore Jazz Festival

How to get here

Held annually during the 4th of July weekend, the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival in San Francisco is a celebration of the sounds of the city. Since its humble beginnings in 1986, the festival has grown to become the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast. With an estimated attendance of 100,000 people, the two-day event boasts an incredible lineup of renowned jazz artists and up-and-coming talents performing across multiple stages.

Taking place in the Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood on July 1st and 2nd, the festival spans 12 blocks of Fillmore Street and also features food trucks, gourmet food booths, vendor stalls, and beer gardens.

Stern Grove Festival

How to get here

Nature and live music? What’s not to love? Stern Grove Festival is back this year on its 86th season of free concerts at Stern Grove Park. This free summer concert series features a diverse lineup of artists from various genres, and you can watch one of the festival’s shows on July 2, with SANTIGOLD and Ogi taking the stage. 

Although the event is free, you have to reserve your tickets online through Eventbrite. The venue seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so come early to secure your spot! You can bring picnic blankets no larger than 5×7ft and low-profile lawn chairs. 

Food and drinks and water bottle refilling stations will be available throughout the Festival grounds, but you can bring your own too. Everyone’s encouraged to bring reusable food containers and bottles to help reduce waste during the festival. 

For more information about this San Francisco event, visit Stern Grove Festival’s website

Illuminate Live – Crucial Reggae Sundays 

If you like Reggae, head over to the Golden Gate Bandshell on July 2nd and catch Illuminate Live’s Crucial Reggae Sundays featuring Irie Dole, DJ Guid8nce, and special guest DJ Trueverse. Irie Dole and DJ Guid8nce will kick off the event at 4:20 pm, followed by DJ Trueverse at 5:30 pm. Bring your family and friends! The concert is free and open to all ages.


San Francisco Giants vs. Seattle Mariners at Oracle Park

How to get here

Watching a game at Oracle Park is a quintessential San Francisco experience. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you just have to! So if you have the time catch an exciting baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Seattle Mariners at the iconic Oracle Park on July 3rd at 6:45pm or on July 4th at 1:05pm




Family-friendly, pet-friendly, and just generally friendly, stay at the Golden Gate Hotel on your 4th of July weekend trip! Our hotel is ideally located on the very edge of Union Square, so you’ll be right in the heart of all the action. Everything is within walking distance or a short cable car ride, whether you want to catch a concert, explore the city’s famous landmarks, or join in the Independence Day festivities. 

Kick-start your day with our complimentary continental breakfast, so you can fuel up before heading out to the 4th of July festivities. In the afternoon, recharge before your evening adventures and join us for a delightful afternoon tea.  And at night, rest your head in our cozy beds and immaculate rooms for a good night’s sleep. 

Book your room now and experience the magic of Independence Day in the Golden City!

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