Memorial Day is a great time to visit San Francisco. Many events are planned throughout the weekend including one of the largest events at the National Cemetery in the Presidio.
This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 29.
Here you will discover a list of the top events and other things to do during Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco for 2017.
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One of the largest events on Memorial Day in San Francisco is held in the Presidio. Starting at 10:30am on Memorial Day, military members, family and friends will honor those who died for our country. The event is held in the National Cemetery and will last until around 1:30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Learn More: Details for this year's event
In addition to the National Cemetery, San Francisco is home to a number of other military attractions. These include two World War II vessels that are now floating museums and the Fort Point National Historic Site. Click the link below to discover additional details on these and what to expect during your visit.
Learn More: Top military history spots in San Francisco
Head over to AT&T Park as the San Francisco Giants take on the Atlanta Braves. This three-game series is on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Click the links below to check out ticket availability.
One of the best ways to relax this weekend is on a two-hour sunset cruise around the bay. This fun cruise offers you the chance to unwind as you cruise past famous SF landmarks, such as the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz Island, and Angel Island. You also get the chance to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge - twice! Your ticket also includes a hearty appetizer buffet and a cocktail (you can buy more at the cash bar). Cruises are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights at 7pm.
Tickets: On sale now
The San Francisco public library has several free walking tours scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend. They range from informative walks around the colorful Mission District to one about the movies Alfred Hitchcock made here. No registration or tickets are required. Simply show up at the designated time for the chance to learn more about this beautiful city by the bay.
Spend some time in the Mission District on Memorial Day Weekend for their 36th Annual Carnaval Celebration. This two-day street fair starts on Saturday morning and lasts until Sunday afternoon. It includes live music, food and a large parade on Sunday, May 28, 2017. The festival is free and a fun way to mingle with locals.
Learn More: Details about Carnaval on Memorial Day Weekend
The top theater performance this weekend is Hamilton. This blockbuster musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton. You will learn about his political wins, sex scandal, and about him being a war hero. It's told in a way that you've never heard before.
Another big show this weekend is Roman Holiday. It's a love story based on the Academy Award winning film. It's all weekend long at the Golden Gate Theater.
Other top shows this weekend include The Roomate at the SF Playhouse and Sordid Lives at the New Conservatory.
You will find a variety of concerts on Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco. The hottest show this weekend is just to the south at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. On Saturday, catch Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, & Brett Young on stage.
Learn More: Find all concerts this weekend in SF
Over the weekend, you have the chance to catch an excellent performance from the SF Symphony. On Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, head over to Davies Symphony Hall to catch Manfred Honack & Matthias Goerne - Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky. It starts at 8pm each night.
Head over to the Yerba Buena Gardens in the SOMA district for a free performance at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. This fun event offers live music over the Memorial Day weekend as well as several other performances from May to October.
Learn More: Find the full Yerba Buena Festival schedule
Find some great deals for your stay on TripAdvisor and Booking.com. They both offer deals throughout San Francisco and offer you the chance to save money on your room. Click the links below for details.
If you plan to visit Alcatraz Island this Memorial Day Weekend, buy your tickets as soon as you can. During this busy weekend, tickets sell out early and will be almost impossible to buy once you arrive. This weekend, they offer both the day and evening tours. The day tour is a more self-guided visit, while the evening tour is more personalized with fewer people on the island during your visit.
The Academy of Sciences is one of the most popular SF attractions. Memorial Day weekend is a busy time to visit. If you plan on visiting the Academy this weekend, buy your tickets in advance online to avoid waiting in line! It's a fun place to visit and a must see during your stay in San Francisco!
Learn More: Pictures & what to expect during your visit
Another fun way to spend the weekend is by enjoying all of SF's best free attractions and activities. They range from walking over the Golden Gate Bridge to visiting some of SF's hidden gems. It's a great way to save a little money and still enjoy your weekend in San Francisco.
Learn More: Discover 50 free attractions & activities
Are you traveling with kids this holiday weekend? If so, check out my 25 fun things to do with kids in San Francisco. This list includes ideas that are entertaining for the entire family. You can head out on a bay cruise adventure, check out the 7D Experience, or do a scavenger hunt as a family.
Save money with the San Francisco CityPass. If you plan to visit the California Academy of Sciences, the Aquarium of the Bay, and the Exploratorium during your visit, then make sure to check out the discounts through the CityPass. This discount card offers you admission to these attractions, as well as a ticket for an SF Bay Cruise and a 7-day unlimited ride Muni Pass at a fraction of the cost.
The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to visit this time of year. With more than 50,000 exotic plants, there is always something in bloom. During the late spring, you can see the California poppies, irises and several wild flowers in bloom.
The popular Fisherman's Wharf area is also full of action on Memorial Day in San Francisco. There are dozens of things to do here from shopping to Alcatraz cruises. Check out the full list of attractions and activities to you can plan ahead for your visit!
If you love to explore on your own, then check out my free, self-guided walking tours. You will find some that cover the entire city in just a few days and others that give you tips on visiting the best of everything in each district. You will also find free, downloadable itineraries that you can take with you.
Learn More: Check out my self-guided tours
Most of the events below are still for 2016, I'll update them once the 2017 dates have been confirmed.
This year's event starts at 10am and is hosted by the Benicia Historical Society. The event will include guest speakers, military fly-over, color guard, and much more. The event is at the Benicia Arsenal Post Cemetery in Benicia, CA.
This year's celebration in Danville will be at Oak Hill Park. American flags will line the road leading up to the park and the celebration. It begins at 10:30am and features live music, guest speakers, tributes, and more. The event will wrap up around 11:30am.
Head to Oakland for the annual Memorial Day Celebration at the Mountain View Cemetery on Monday, May 29. It starts at 10am at the second fountain on the Main Avenue of the cemetery. Complimentary refreshments will follow the ceremony. There will also be a guided tour of the Civil War plot and notables who are buried in the cemetery.
Pleasant Hill (2016)
This year's event in Pleasant Hill will be at Soldier's Monument (2611 Contra Costa Boulevard) from 1pm to 2:30pm. It will include guest speakers and a firing salute. It will also include a tent with chairs for comfort. Refreshments will be served after the event.
On Saturday, find Sidewalk Sales in downtown Mill Valley, and on Sunday, take a 'Walk Into History' tour at The Outdoor Art Club. The Memorial Day celebration on Monday, May 29 starts with a Pancake Breakfast from 7am to 11am outside City Hall. It's followed by a parade that starts at 10:30am at Old Mill Park, winding its way through downtown Mill Valley and Miller Ave., and ending at Tam High School.
An annual event will be held at the Valley Memorial Park Cemetery. The event starts at 8am with the placing of flags on the graves. Once the guests are seated the program will begin. It will end with taps.
Point Reyes (2016)
The event in Point Reyes is on Monday, May 30. The event starts at 1:30pm. and is at the Historic Life-Saving Service Cemetery located at G Ranch. After the ceremony, there is an open house from 3pm to 5pm at the Point Reyes Coast Guard Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock.
Santa Rosa (2016)
A community tradition, Santa Rosa will once again host the 45th Annual Avenue of the Flags, a Memorial Day celebration, at Santa Rosa Memorial Park. It includes guest speakers, band music, refreshments, and more. The event begins at 10am.
The event starts with the ringing of the bell in the World War I Memorial Arch (Ocean Avenue & San Carlos Street). It continues with speeches from local officials and military veterans in Devendorf Park. It starts at 11am and is on Monday, May 30.
The annual program hosted by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars is at the flagpole monument in downtown Clayton (Oak and Main Streets) at 10am on Monday, May 29.
The annual Memorial Day Parade is on May 29 from 11am to 12:30pm in downtown Gilroy.
The 87th Annual Hillsborough Memorial Day Parade, Carnival & Music Festival is on May 29, 2017. The parade starts at 10:30am, followed by the observance ceremony and music festival at 11:40am. The carnival includes all sorts of traditional games, arts and crafts, and a duck tank and petting zoo. All activities end around 2:30pm.
This year's Memorial Day Ceremony will take place on Monday, May 30 at 9am at Milpitas City Hall, 455 E Calaveras Boulevard. The event features a Presentation of Colors by Knights of Columbus, 21-Gun Salute, and the Remembrance Chair.
Redwood City (2016)
This year, Redwood City will host a special Memorial Day event at the Historic Union Cemetery. All activities start at 10am.
This year, Saratoga's annual celebration will once again take place from 9am to 12pm in the Madronia Cemetery. It will include a flag raising, speeches, music from local school groups, and laying of the wreaths.