San Francisco is one of the best places to celebrate New Year's Eve. You'll find a variety of celebrations from 21 and older pub crawls to the SF Symphony's annual Masquerade Ball.
On New Year's Eve, you can also take a cruise, catch some live music, or join friends for a night out on the town.
This year, New Year's Eve falls on a Wednesday night.
You'll find plenty of activities on New Year's Day too. You can head out on a special New Year's Day cruise, visit a few of the famous San Francisco attractions, or lay low watching some great college football games.
Many attractions close early on New Year's Eve. As you plan your visit, make sure to check out my list of closing times for top SF attractions on New Year's Eve.
Learn More: Holiday Attraction Schedules
One of the largest events this New Years in San Francisco is the Fireworks display over the Bay. This annual event is just to the south of the Ferry Building near the SF Bay Bridge. The show kicks off at 11:59pm.
One of the most popular ways to ring in the New Year in San Francisco is at a fun 21+ party. You will find dozens of options, many are at high-end hotels. They feature a variety of music options, dancing, and a night full of fun and entertainment. My favorite part about them is that most charge a set fee and include drinks all night long.
A unique way to spend your New Year's is aboard a cruise on the SF Bay. It's one of the few places in the US you can enjoy this type of adventure on NYE. You will find a variety of cruises from family friendly options to 21+ party boats. You will also find some upscale dinner and fireworks cruise options.
Learn More: Check Out SF Bay Cruises for New Year's Eve
Cirque du Soleil is back in action again this year with two performances of Kurios. Follow a curious inventor as he reaches into his cabinet to try out his bag of tricks. Engage your senses with colorful characters, intricate costumes, and dare devil acrobatics Under the Big Top near AT&T Park. This two and a half hour performance is done early, so you can then celebrate the New Year in style at one of these other fun events.
Times: 1:30pm and 4:30pm
Learn More: Learn more about Kurios
Tickets: On Sale Now
Dress to the nines in your favorite ball gown or tuxedo and head over to the War Memorial Opera House to celebrate with the SF Symphony. The event starts at 9pm with the SF Symphony concert. After the show, the night continues with complimentary La Marca Prosecco, dancing, and a toast at midnight. Tickets range from around $100 to $200 per person.
Buy Tickets: Online at the SF Symphony Website
Learn More: Read More about the SF Symphony
Run into the new year on the New Year's One Day. You can choose from the 24-hour (starts at 9am), 12-hour (starts at 12pm), or the 6-hour (starts at 6pm) run on Wednesday, December 31. You'll run a 1.061 mile loop in Crissy Field with beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island.
Learn More: Click Here to Register Today
Head over to the new SF Jazz Center on New Years Eve for Maceo Parker. This funky New Year's Eve Party includes two hours of music from 8pm to 10pm. Tickets start at $60 for the GA Dance Floor. Reserved seats start at $85 per person. There is also a second members only show starting at 10pm.
Learn More: SF Jazz Center's Official Website
I always recommend checking out the deals on TripAdvisor too before you book your room. They have an entire section of hotel deals. You will find discounts at hotels in Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, and throughout the city. Click here for a list of their current deals for New Year's Eve.
If you love heading out for a nice dinner to celebrate NYE in San Francisco, then you have many of great options. Although the restaurants have not released their 2014/2015 menus yet, here are a few places to think about for a fancy NYE dinner.
Epic Roasthouse: This amazing restuarant is right on the SF waterfront. It's one of my top picks on New Year's Eve because the food is amazing and it's right in front of the gorgeous fireworks display. This steakhouse also offers a fantastic wine list. 369 Embarcadero
Waterbar: Right next to the Epic Roasthouse is Waterbar. If you love seafood, you will go nuts for this place. The food is amazing and you get the additional treat of being able to see the fireworks display over the waterfront. 399 Embarcadero
Boulevard: Just a few blocks away, you will find the famed Boulevard Restaurant. This place is one of my favorites in the city. You will find a variety of options from their Pork Prime Rib Chop to the Local Wild King Salmon. 1 Mission Street
Gary Danko: I've only had the chance to eat here once and it was simply amazing. Their menu changes frequently to keep up with the freshest ingredients by season. If you have the chance for one extra special meal during your visit in SF, I recommend Gary Danko. 800 North Point
Spruce: One option to get you far away from the crowds is Spruce in Presidio Heights. My favorites at this charming restaurant include the Lobster Tortallini and the Roasted Sonoma Chicken. 3640 Sacramento
On New Year's Eve in San Francisco, you will find extended hours for BART, Caltrain, and SF's Muni. The details below are for 2013/2014, but a good indication of what you can expect for 2014/2015. They all release their final schedules in mid-December and I will update this at that time.
BART runs trains until around 3am. This gives you a little extra time to catch a ride home. However, make sure you check your specific train for details.
Caltrain offers a few additional late night trains that make all local stops between SF and San Jose's Diridon Station. They are at 12:45am, 1:15am, 1:45am, and 2:15am. All trains will leave when full (this means the 2:15am train might leave early with no addtional train running after it). They expect the last train to be the fullest, so plan on taking an earlier train if possible.
SF's Muni offers free transit from 8pm to 5am. They also offer additional late night bus service for some of their busiest lines including the 5, 14, 22, 24, 38, 90, 91, and the L and N owl bus routes.
If you didn't party too hard on New Year's Eve, you can also enjoy a number of fun activities the next day. Here are just some of the top things to see and do on New Year's Day in San Francisco.
On New Year's Day, you will find a number of attractions open including the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39, the SF Zoo, and the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. One special treat this day is that you will also get free admission into the gorgeous Botanical Gardens.
Learn More: Hours for All Top Attractions on New Year's Day
Hornblower Cruises is also offering a Champagne Brunch Cruise. This two-hour cruise starts at noon.
Holiday Lights Tour
The Holiday Lights Tour offers one last look at the beautiful holiday decorations and lights on the evening of New Year's Day. This 90-minute tour includes:
Explore Chinatown: An Insider's Walking Tour
Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
One of my favorite things to do on New Year's Day is watch some college football. Here are some great sports bars where you can enjoy the games.
Nickies: Lower Haight neighborhood; pub food available all day including beer battered fish & chips, mac & cheese and gourmet burgers; normally opens at noon; 466 Haight Street (between Webster & Fillmore Streets)
Final Final: Marina District; fun, but often crowded sports bar; mostly locals; very limited food menu; 2990 Baker Street (at Lombard)
Green's Sports Bar: Russian Hill/Nob Hill area; great place to watch football; bar only - no food; normally opens around 10am; 2239 Polk Street
Kezar Pub: Haight Ashbury/Cole Valley; small, but popular sports bar near Golden Gate Park; full pub menu that includes wings, tacos and burgers - their Bangers and Mash is also amazing!; usually opens around 11:30am; 770 Stanyan Street
Union Square Sports Bar: Union Square; it's a little bit of a dive bar, but has several TVs and centrally located; drinks only - no food; usually opens around 11am; 115 Mason Street
in the City
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