San Francisco is gorgeous in September. The sun shines almost every day and the temperature averages around 70. It's one of my favorite times of the year in the city and one of the best times to visit.
Top San Francisco events in September 2014 include several fun Labor Day activities, the final month of regular season play for the SF Giants and Pippin at the Golden Gate Theater.
Other highlights this month include the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival, the Bay Area Blues Festival and several fun, free walking tours through the SF Public Library.
Labor Day weekend in San Francisco offers you the chance to sample wines in Sausalito, watch free Shakespeare in the park and take a special cruise around the SF Bay. You can also enjoy free performances of Union Square Live, head to the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival or catch a whale watching tour to the Farallon Islands.
Learn More: Labor Day Events in San Francisco
This Tony award winning musical opens at the Golden Gate Theater on September 23. It tells the story of a young prince on a risky journey to find the meaning of life. Will he decide to move to a more simple life or risk everything for a one time chance at glory?
Dates: September 23 - October 19
Learn More: Full September 2014 Calendar
In September, the SF Giants finish up their regular season. This month, they host the Arizona Diamondbacks, the LA Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. With the sun shining and the fog at bay, September is the perfect time of year to catch a game at AT&T Park!
Dates: All Month Long
Learn More: SF Giants September 2014 Schedule
If you enjoy sampling chocolate, then you will love what you find at this year's Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival. This two-day event is on Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14 from noon to 5pm. This family friendly event features cooking demonstrations, live music and children's activities. You can also sample chocolates and other goodies from up to 40 bay area restaurants, bakeries and sweet shops.
Dates: September 13 & 14
Learn More: Additional Details About this Year's Festival
Learn More: Find Out More About Visiting Ghirardelli Square
September is sunny and warm, which makes it the perfect time to go whale watching off the coast of San Francisco. This is the time of year when both Humpback and Blue whales cruise through the area. During your tour, you will also get the chance to see a variety of species of dolphins, sea otters and California sea lions.
Dates: All Month Long
The SF 49ers play their first home game of the regular season on Sunday, September 14. They take on the Chicago Bears at 5:30pm. Their second game this month is on Sunday, September 28. This game is against the Philadelphia Eagles at 1:25pm.
Dates: September 14 & September 28
Learn More: Full Schedule for 2014 & Ticketing Details
Join the SF Public Library every Wednesday morning at 11am for their free Tastes and Tales of North Beach walking tour. This two and a half hour tour offers you the chance to find the best delis, bakeries and coffee shops in this part of the city. You will also learn more about this district's shady past and its many famous residents over the years.
No reservation required. Simply show up on the northwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Broadway Street a few minutes before 11am.
Dates: Every Wednesday at 11am
Learn More: Additional Guided North Beach Walking Tours
Are you looking for a great place to stay during your visit? If so, then check out the pages below to find the best hotels by district or budget. Click the links to learn more.
I also recommend taking a look at this month's deals on TripAdvisor. This online retailer offers dozens of special offers each month such as free parking or a percent discount off your room rate.
This month, you will find three film festivals in San Francisco. The Iranian, the Latino, and the Irish Film Festivals offer a look inside their specific communities. Each one features both full length movies as well as shorts.
Dates: All Month Long
Learn More: SF Film Festivals in September
This annual event started more than 1,000 years ago in Asia to celebrate the harvest from summer. Today, you will find this celebration extending to the streets of San Francisco. During this two-day event, you will see traditional performances, cuisines, and a parade on Saturday morning at 11am. All events are in SF's Chinatown district.
Dates: September 6 & 7
Learn More: Details for the 2014 Festival
This year's Bay Area Blues Festival (formerly the Polk Street Blues Festival) is on September 27 and 28. This festival offers the best free blues music in the area. During this two day event, you can also sample local goodies, walk through art and craft booths and a cafe seating area.
Dates: September 27 & 28
Learn More: All Street Fairs in September
Head over to Golden Gate Park on Sunday, September 14 for this year's 34th Annual Comedy Day. This one day event is a way for comedians in the area (and those that have passed through) to say "thank you" to the San Francisco community for their support over the years. The event features 40 comedians and is free. The first performance starts at 12pm.
Date: September 14
Learn More: Details for this Year's Event
In September, Sunday Streets features two events. On Sunday, September 14 head over to the Western Addition to enjoy car free streets and activities around Alamo Square and on Fillmore and Fulton Streets. On Sunday, September 28, the fun moves to the Excelsior district. These free events offer live music, dancing in the streets and other outdoor activities.
Date: September 28
Learn More: SF Sunday Streets
The SF Fringe Festival is a theater event that offers local performance groups the chance to showcase their talents. It's performed at the three stages in the Exit Theater near SF's Union Square. This year's event is September 5 - 20. Each day, you can see several theater performances at an affordable price of around $10.00 or less.
Dates: September 5 - 20
Learn More: Full Schedule of Performances for 2014
See historic pieces at the Masters of Fire exhibit throughout the month of September. All pieces on display are from a formative time period, the Chalcolithic Period, also known as the Copper-Stone Age from around 5500 to 3500 BC. Unique pieces in this collection include oddly shaped zoomorphic ossuaries, basalt stands with human faces and other beautiful objects that represent this period's influence on later works.
Dates: All Month Long
Learn More: Full SF Museum Exhibit Calendar for September
Learn More: Tips to Visit the Legion of Honor
Enjoy live music and family-friendly programs at the 2014 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Most performances are free and you can catch several shows each week.
Dates: Several Dates Throughout the Month
Learn More: 2014 Festival Details & Schedule
The 2014 SuperHero Street Fair is on Saturday, September 27. Heading into its 5th year, this event features live music, art and a large bazaar. Make sure you also wear your favorite SuperHero costume! All activities are on Indiana Street near Cesar Chavez.
Date: September 27
The SF's Symphony opens the 2014 - 2015 season on Wednesday, September 3. The Opening Night Gala is a black tie event and features Bonnie Raitt and Yuja Wang performing alongside the SF Symphony. Other performances this month include The Wizard of Oz-Film with the SF Symphony, MTT conducts Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and MTT conducts Also sprach Zarathustra.
Dates: Opening Gala is September 3 with Several Other Performances All Month Long
The SF Opera kicks off their fall season with the annual Free Opera in the Park event. On Sunday, September 7, head out to Sharon Meadows in Golden Gate Park to enjoy a free performance. The show starts at 1:30pm. Bring along a picnic lunch or buy something from one of the local food and beverage vendors.
Dates: September 7
Hyde Street Pier will once again host the one-day Sea Music Festival. From 9:30am to 5pm, head over to the pier to listen to old time and traditional songs of the sea. You will find two stages on the pier. You can listen here for free. You will find two additional stage on the historic vessels of Balclutha and Eureka. These are both $5 to board.
Date: September 13
The annual "A Taste of Greece" Greek Food Festival is September 19 - 21. Enjoy three days of yummy Greek eats, entertainment and other activities at the Annunciation Cathedral at 245 Valencia Street.
Dates: September 19 - 21
Learn More: Find Additional Details
The colorful Craft Spirits Carnival is September 20 - 21. During this two-day event, enjoy samples from the world's largest tasting room for hand-crafted spirits. While you enjoy your handcrafted samples, you can also watch edgy Vaudville-style Carnival performers all throughout the venue. The event is from 2 - 5 each day.
Dates: September 20 - 21
The Annual Oktoberfest by the Bay is September 19 - 21 at SF's Pier 48. For three days, celebrate German beer, food and entertainment. This year's headliner is the world renowned, 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band.
Dates: September 19 - 21
Learn More: Discover More Details for 2014
In September, you can also enjoy two free movies through Film Night in the Park. The first is on Saturday, September 6 in Washington Square Park. The other one is on Saturday, September 27 in Dolores Park. Bring along something to sit on and a snack to enjoy during the show.
Dates: September 6 & 27
Learn More: Full 2014 Schedule of Films
Head over to the Excelsior district for the annual Excelsior Arts & Music Festival. During this one day event, you can listen to live music, enjoy multi-cultural food and entertain the family with a variety of activities. This year's theme is "Greening the Excelsior through Art."
Date: September 28 from 11am to 4pm
Learn More: Full Details for the 2014 Festival
Join other Sake lovers on Saturday, September 27 for this year's Sake Day celebration. For one day, you get the chance to sample, and learn about sake. This year's event is at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California at 1840 Sutter Street in Japantown. Admission is $80 at the door and IDs are required.
Date: Saturday, September 27 from 4pm to 8pm
In the month of September, you will find several free museum admission days. This allows you to enter the general exhibit areas at no charge. Some museums require a small admission fee to enter their special exhibits.
Learn More: Free Admission Days in September 2014
Join other craft beer lovers for the 2014 Brews on the Bay event. On Saturday, September 13, you can enjoy beers created by local San Francisco breweries. This event is on the historic S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien on Pier 45 in Fisherman's Wharf. In addition to brews, you can also check out local food and entertainment.
Date: Saturday, September 13 from Noon to 5pm
Heading into its 15th year, the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival offers the best electronic music from around the world. Events start on Thursday, September 11 and last until Sunday, September 14. For four nights, you get the chance to listen to a highly diverse group of Bay Area musicians showcase their music.
Dates: September 11 - 14 at the Brava Theater
Buy Tickets: Find Tickets on their Website
If you love comedy, then check out this month's Improv Festival. It's the tenth year for this popular festival and all performances are at the Eureka Theater in downtown SF.
Dates: September 11 - 20
Join other bike and beer lovers for the Tour de Fat in San Francisco. Created by the New Belgium Brewing Company, this public event includes biking riding around Golden Gate Park, live entertainment (including Reggie Watts), and more.
Date: Saturday, September 13 from 10am to 5pm