Bay To Breakers, Street Festivals & An International Rugby Tournament
Last year was the 50th anniversary of the Summer Of Love in San Francisco.
But there’s always something to celebrate in “The City” and in 2018 there’s quite a few things happening in this happy place in the Bay Area.
For starters it’s the 60th anniversary of the Giants moving to San Francisco from New York. It’s also been 50 years since the debut of “Bullitt” and 55 years since Alcatraz closed as a federal prison.
Here’s where you can find PubClub-type of activities this summer in San Francisco.
Summertime Fun & What’s New In ‘The City’
Spend your Sunday afternoons on the back patio of Pier 23 or the deck at Sam’s in Tiburon, which is a real PubClub.com type of scene all summer and into the fall.
• The Exploratorium has “After Dark” events for adults that involves cocktails. In fact, there are wine and other events at nearly every museum in town, including the Museum of the African-Diaspora and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
• The Hornblower Cruises has a bay cruise featuring bottomless mimosas.
• The Presidio is getting its first full-sized hotel this summer (you’ll be able to walk to the Golden Gate Bridge) and it also has a craft brewery and a distillery. And its golf course is open to the public.
• Pier 39 has two new attractions coming this summer that visually takes you visually up and over the entire city and the Golden Gate Bridge.
San Francisco Top Summer Events 2018
Beyond all this, there’s some type of street festival nearly every weekend.
Below are PubClub’s top recommendations for the best events and festivals. Unless noted all are free and while some are not technically in the summer, they are still events well worth a making trip to San Francisco.
• May 20 – Bay To Breakers
The ultimate San Francisco event, a rolling block party that moves from the Bay (as in Bay Bridge) to the Breakers (at the end of Golden Gate Park). Floats and shopping carts with kegs in them are no longer allowed and some people actually run in the darned thing. Mostly, you walk and stop at block parties in neighborhoods along the way. Alcohol is (technically) not allowed so be smart about it.
Link: Bay to Breakers Review
• June 2-3 – Union Street Festival
This is the first of three major street festivals that take place every year in San Francisco. This one is in the “singles and fun” area on Union Street in the Marina District. There’s bands and interesting events like waitress competitions where they have run run down a hill with a tray and not spill any beer, but the real “action” here is in the bars.
• June 16-17 – North Beach Festival
This is one of the oldest street festivals in America. It’s similar to the others in town except it’s in San Francisco’s Little Italy section along Grant Avenue, Green Street, Vallejo Street and Columbus Avenue.
The event has more than 125 arts and crafts booths, food booths, two stages of entertainment and a beer & wine garden. Like any place here, you can’t just drink in the streets but most do so in designated areas.
• June 30 & July 1 – Fillmore Jazz Festival
Twelve blocks of stages and 100,000 people on July 4 Weekend (or close to it as possible) make this an annual San Francisco affair along Fillmore Street. The big draw here (other than going to another event that’s packed with people) is the music.
• July 20-22 – Rugby World Cup Sevens
This may turn out to be the biggest party of them all. And not because of the locals but because it will bring in people from all over the world who like to combine their sports with a bit of beer consumption – people like the Irish and the Ozzies. The three-day, single-elimination event is being held at AT&T Park. Three-day ticket packages start at $144.
Link: Rugby World Cup Sevens
• Thru Oct. 21 – Presidio Picnic
Food trucks (or bring your own), yoga on the lawn and just getting together on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Presidio in sight of the Golden Gate Bridge makes this a popular weekly happening. Alcohol is permitted but do note this is more of a wine crowd and scene than something for beer guzzlers. It takes place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., on the Presidio’s main parade ground. It’s also a dog-friendly event.
Link: Presidio Picnic Site
Free Outdoor Concerts In San Francisco
I’m not done yet – San Francisco has several free outdoor concerts that occur on a regular basis. Here’s a rundown.
• April-October – Union Street Live
These are free performances in Union Square featuring music, dance, theater, film, comedy and more. They take place Saturdays at noon an dWednesdays at 6 p.m.
• April-October – Golden Gate Park Band
The Golden Gate Park Band has been playing free public concerts on Sundays in Golden Gate Park continuously since September of 1882. The music ranges from marches to Broadway musicals to big band swing. They perform each Sunday at the Spreckels Temple of Music in the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park from 1-3 p.m.
• May-October – Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
A six-month-long series of free concerts and outdoor events that includes a wide range of performance types. You can expect to find a live show happening at the Yerba Buena Gardens nearly every day of the week, and you can get there by taking BART or Muni to the Powell or Montgomery Street stations.
• June 17-Aug. 19 – Stern Grove Festival
A summer of free concerts, mostly classical or blues, in Sigmund Stern Grove,
19th Avenue and Sloat Blvd. First come, first seated. Great for picnics. Alcohol is permitted. Sundays 2-5 p.m.
• Sept. 9 – Opera In The Park
The San Francisco opera season begins with a free performance in Golden Gate Park (Robin Williams Meadow). This is a free concert by the San Francisco Opera and begins at 1:30 p.m.
• Sept. 23 – Peace In The Park
Also in Golden Gate Park, this is a full (and free) afternoon of live music promoting peace and health. In addition to the music there’s meditation sessions, lectures from experts in healing and wellness, yoga classes and vegetarian food. It takes place from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.