Fourth of July San Francisco

Top Activities & Events for 4th of July 2015

Plan for a crazy Fourth of July in San Francisco again this year. In 2015, this popular holiday lands on a Saturday!

Since it falls on a weekend, I expect even more events and people coming to the city to celebrate this special holiday.

On this day, you can enjoy fireworks along the waterfront, activities all day at Pier 39 and a ferry ride around the bay.

Other popular activities this day include biking around the city, wine tasting tours, and several other fun activities throughout the day. You can also join one of the SF Public Library's free walking tours in the morning or afternoon.

The weekend is also full of fun activities with the annual Fillmore Street Festival, a free concert in Stern Grove Park and Oakland Athletics baseball just across the bay.

fireworks sf bay

Beautiful fireworks over Pier 39 in SF's Fisherman's Wharf

Watch the Fireworks Display

fireworks displayEvery year, San Francisco holds a large fireworks display over the bay. There are two sets of fireworks, synced, to allow you to get a glimpse from all around the area.

One set at the end of the Municipal Pier. The other one is on barges in front of Pier 39.

Large parts of the SF waterfront are closed to cars due to crowds for the fireworks display. I recommend heading down early and using public transit to get to and from this area of town for the fireworks display.

The fireworks display starts shortly before 9:30pm (or once it's dark enough to start) and lasts around 30 minutes.

Click here for additional tips on attending this year's fireworks display.

In addition to San Francisco, there are a number of other cities planning large fireworks displays and festivals in the Bay Area. Click these links to find out more:

North Bay & Wine Country | South Bay & Peninsula | East Bay


Grab a Seat on a Fireworks Cruise

blue and goldThe best views of the fireworks are from a cruise on the bay. Several local ferry and boat companies offer cruises for fourth of July San Francisco.

The cruises leave the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood about an hour or more before the fireworks start. This gives the boats a chance to get to the perfect viewing point before they start.

Here are the ferries scheduled so far for 2015. All cruises sell out quickly, so buy yours today!

Red and White Fleet: 4 Cruises

  • All depart from SF's Pier 43 1/2 in Fisherman's Wharf
  • Snacks and beverages available for purchase during the cruise
  • Boats #1 and #2 leave at 7:45pm
  • Boats #3 and #4 leave at 8:15pm
  • Boarding starts 30 minutes before departure so arrive early to secure your spot on the cruise
  • Must check in a minumum of 60 minutes before your cruise departs
  • No outside food and drink allowed
  • Tickets start at $80 per person
  • Buy tickets for any of these four cruises on the Red and White Fleet

Hornblower's Premier Fourth of July Dinner Cruise

  • Four hour cruise, boards at 6:00pm and leaves at 6:30pm
  • Four-course seated meal
  • Premium cocktail bar with Champagne and after dinner liquors
  • Live entertainment
  • Business casual attire recommended
  • Tickets start at $248.50 per person (includes taxes, service charge & landing fees)
  • Buy tickets for this dinner cruise today

Celebrate the Day on Pier 39

pier 39 san franciscoPier 39 will again host a large fourth of July celebration. All afternoon you can listen to live music and enjoy other family friendly activities.

NOTE: The schedule below is for 2014. They typically release their full schedule for Fourth of July a few weeks prior to the event. I'll update it when more information is available. However, this will give you a good idea on what to expect as it is very similar from year to year.

Time: 12pm to 11pm

Schedule of Events:

  • 12pm - 3pm: "Mobility" from the USAF Band of the Golden West on the Entrance Plaza Stage
  • 5pm - 8pm: Tainted Love on the Entrance Plaza Stage
  • 9:30pm: Look to the sky as The City of San Francisco presents a spectacular fireworks display over the SF Bay

Learn More: Other Top Activities & Attractions on Pier 39


Enjoy Music & Fun at Aquatic Park

aquatic parkNote: These details are also for 2014, but 2015 will be similar. The park often features music all afternoon with a special band playing right before the show. I'll update this once more information is available.

Head down to Aquatic Park to experience Super Huey live along the waterfront. This 7-piece band offers you the chance to step back in time and remember the best of the 80s.

Starting at 6pm, you get the chance to listen to the top hits of the time including "The Power of Love." Get there early to grab your place on the Aquatic Park lawn.

Also, stay all evening for additional fun and to see one of the best fireworks displays in the Bay Area!

Admission is free. You will find the excitement at 499 Jefferson Street!


Other Activities on Fourth of July San Francisco 2015

Every year, there are dozens of other fun events on Fourth of July. Here are some of the activities planned already for Fourth of July San Francisco 2015.

Fourth of July 2-Hour Beer Lunch Cruise

Listen to relaxing live music as you sip on free-flowing beer and champagne on Independence Day. As you cruise around the bay, you can enjoy a variety of dishes from their traditional BBQ buffet lunch. It includes BBQ baby back ribs, sirloin skewers and Southern fried chicken. It also includes a number of side dishes such as corn on the cob, macaroni salad and roasted potatoes as well as some sweet treats.

Tickets: On Sale Soon


Free SF Library Walking Tours

The Public Library offers a number of free walking tours each day in San Francisco. So far, many of their Saturday tours are still planned for Fourth of July. Here is the schedule so far:

  • 10am: North Beach
  • 10am: Omni Hotel Walk
  • 10am: Chinatown
  • 11am: Castro, Tales of the Village
  • 11am: Historic Victorians of Alamo Square
  • 11am: Pacific Heights Mansion
  • 11am: Mission Murals
  • 12pm: Ferry Building
  • 1pm: Fort Mason to Aquatic Park
  • 1pm: Telegraph Hill Stairway Hike
  • 1pm: Palace of Fine Arts
  • 1pm: Japanese Tea Garden
  • 2pm: Japantown, Urban Renewal and the Fillmore Jazz District
  • 2pm: Land's End: Sutro Heights
  • 2pm: Mission Bay: Hidden Waters

Click here for details and where to meet for the start of the walk.


Attractions Open on July 4th

Most SF attractions stay open for their regular hours on Fourth of July. However, a few have extended hours and a couple close.

Click here for a detailed look on the hours for all of SF's top attractions on Fourth of July.


Hotel Recommendations

Are you not sure where to stay in SF? Here are several recommendations based on budget, SF district and amenities.

If you are looking for some great hotel deals, then I recommend checking out this month's specials on TripAdvisor. You can save on the cost of your hotel room, get free parking and more. Click here for a list of current special deals and save today!


Other Activities for Fourth of July Weekend 2015

Additional events will be available for 2015 as plans are finalized. I'll continue to add them, so check back for updates.

2-Hour Champagne Cruise

On Saturday or Sunday morning, head out on a morning Champagne and Mimosa cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy your cocktails as you cruise around the SF Bay. You will pass by popular sights such as the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, and Sausalito. You will also raise your glass right at 11am as you cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Find Tickets: On Sale Soon


Oakland A's Baseball

Celebrate Independence weekend with the American past time - baseball! The Oakland A's host the Seattle Mariners this weekend at the Oakland Coliseum. You can catch a game on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Find Tickets: On Sale Now


Fillmore Jazz Festival

One of my favorite street fairs every year is the Fillmore Jazz Festival. This free, jazz music festival is the largest of its kind on the west coast. It's held in the Pacific Heights neighborhood on Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5. Head over for some great music, gourmet eats and locally produced arts and crafts.

Learn More: 2015 Fillmore Jazz Festival

Other Festivals: 2015 Festivals and Street Fairs


Stern Grove Park

Catch a free performance of the SF Symphony in Stern Grove Park. On Sunday, July 6, head over to Stern Grove for this live event that starts at 2pm. You'll want to get there early to find the perfect seat on the lawn.

Find Directions & More Details: Stern Grove Summer Concert Series


Weather in July & What to Wear

What will the weather be like during your visit for Fourth of July San Francisco? Some visitors think it is hot and sunny in San Francisco during the summer. However, the cool ocean breezes and late day fog keeps it nice and cool.

Although it is usually nice and sunny during the day, you will want to bring along a light jacket or sweater for the fireworks display. As the sun sets, the cool breezes bring the temperatures down all around the city. Discover even more tips about what to wear in San Francisco in July.


More Pages You Might Enjoy

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> > Fourth of July 2015

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