San Francisco events in September 2017 include Labor Day Weekend activities, the Sausalito Arts Festival, and the Fringe Theater Festival. You can also enjoy one of several outdoor festivals including the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival, Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park, and the Bay Area Blues Festival.
If you're a sports fan, catch a baseball game with the SF Giants or the Oakland A's. Read on for details on these and other top things to do this month in SF.
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The best way to say goodbye to summer in SF is by enjoying the warm weather and variety of activities over the long Labor Day weekend. Highlights include the Sausalito Arts Festival, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, a Midnight Party Cruise, the SF Comic Con, and so much more.
Dates: Friday, September 1 - Monday, September 4
The San Francisco Comic Con is a must for comic and pop-culture aficionados. This three-day convention features not only a wide range of comic books, but also games, toys, magazines, Star Trek, Star Wars, anime, manga, sketches, artwork, and apparel. Adults and children of all ages are welcome, and children under 12 get in free. If you're a big fan of artists like Ian McDiarmid, Krysten Ritter, Jenna Coleman, and others, check out the full schedule to see what times they will be doing photos and autographs.
Dates: September 1 - 3
This Labor Day weekend, head over to Sausalito, the lovely waterfront town just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, for their annual arts festival. For over 60 years, the community has held this three-day event featuring a wonderful selection of art, music, food and drink. Enjoy live performances by both well known and local bands as you peruse the booths of over 270 artists selling everything from sculptures and paintings to glass, fiber, and wood works.
Dates: September 2 - 4
The best way to save on your San Francisco events in September is by checking out the great deals on Goldstar. Here are just a few of their half-priced tickets for this month.
*Small service fee at checkout.
It's easy to visit multiple San Francisco museums without spending a ton of money—if you know when to go! This month, take advantage of the free admission days at some of SF's favorites, including the Asian Art Museum, de Young, Legion of Honor, and Conservatory of Flowers.
Usually, the free admission ticket will only get you into the general exhibits and permanent collections, but you can just pay an extra fee to see the special galleries.
Dates: Several in early September
More: View the entire schedule
To be, or not to be... that... is one of the most famous lines from Shakespeare's Hamlet, a play that you can watch completely free in SF parks this month. Find these annual free shows by SF Shakes on Saturdays and Sundays throughout September, plus Labor Day Monday. Catch them on the main lawn in the Presidio and at the amphitheater at McLaren Park.
Dates: Saturdays & Sundays all month
You will find more than 300 hotels within the SF city limits. With so many options, you are sure to find one that is perfect for your stay. I recommend starting your search on Booking.com and TripAdvisor. Both offer great deals and add-ons that will make your stay even more enjoyable!
September is the last month of Union Square Live 2017, an ongoing summer event that presents weekly free, live outdoor performances of dance, music, circus, and theater. You can often learn how to dance salsa or tango with the presenters. These fun shows always encourage the audience to get involved. So go on, enjoy the end of summer and get out on the square!
Dates: Several in September
One of the best San Francisco events in September is the free walking tour of the Golden Gate Bridge. This massive structure connects the city with its northern neighbor, Marin County. On the tour, you will find out more about this iconic orange bridge, including its construction and history, and get the chance to walk across it.
Dates: Every Thursday and Sunday at 11am
Taste some of the best rums around at the California Rum Festival in the SOMArts Cultural Center. You'll get to try a wonderful variety from large, micro, and boutique distilleries. In addition, attend seminars by rum producers and aficionados, and mingle with other rum lovers.
Date: September 8
If you love theater, this month you are really in luck because September offers a 14-day grassroots theater festival, featuring over a hundred unique performances by dozens of indie companies. All performances will take place at the EXIT Theater in downtown SF at very accessible prices.
Dates: September 8 - 23
Also at the theater this month are two excellent plays. Catch the Tony Award-winning musical La Cage Aux Folles, a fun and romantic Broadway sensation with Cabaret influence. Then there's Zenith, a rich and daring dramatic work about the complexity and reach of one life that suddenly ends.
Dates: Several in September
Watch the SF Giants baseball team play their last full month of the regular season. This September, you have 13 opportunities to watch the Giants in full swing as they take on the Cardinals, Dodgers, D-Backs, Rockies, and Padres at home in AT&T Park. There's no better way to enjoy the warm weather than at a ballgame by the water.
Dates: Several in September
The SF Opera opens its 2017-2018 season with Turandot on September 8. Later on in the month, catch some other shows of the season including Elektra and La Traviata at the elegant War Memorial Opera House.
Dates: September 8 - December 9
If you've only got 72 hours on your visit to SF, but want to make sure you cover the city's top attractions and districts, check out my three-day itinerary so you can fit it all in without having to backtrack. In addition to famous sites like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts, you'll get to know different neighborhoods like Chinatown and North Beach, museums like the California Academy of Sciences, great places to dine, and more.
Dates: Any day you visit
Don't throw your money away on cable car rides, other public transport, a bay cruise, or admission to SF's top museums! Plan ahead and come armed with a CityPASS, which will get you into the Exploratorium (or the de Young), the Aquarium of the Bay, AND the California Academy of Sciences. Your 60-minute boat trip on the bay is also included, as well as a multi-day Muni transit pass for the cable cars and buses, and other shopping discounts.
J-Pop Summit is an annual Japanese cultural festival in San Francisco, which presents the latest in Japanese music, fashion, film, art, games, technology, anime, and food, as well as niche subcultures. It's one of the San Francisco events in September with most of its activities at the Fort Mason Center.
Dates: September 9 - 10
Throughout the year, you can enjoy live music concerts almost every evening in San Francisco. The city attracts some big names, but also has many great venues for independent and up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent. Find a show you'll love at the Warfield, the Fillmore, or the Independent, among many others.
Dates: Several in September
San Francisco's famous Ghirardelli chocolate is the star of this annual event, where guests can sample delectable chocolate treats, sip premium wines, and watch chefs show off their culinary skills. You can even participate in an ice cream eating contest! For sweet-tooths and wine lovers, this festival is a must. Plus, you'll be helping a great cause, as profits are donated to Project Open Hand.
Dates: September 9 - 10
More: Additional festival info
San Francisco is a great place to catch standup shows, improv performances, and other hilariously entertaining plays and musicals. Some of the best comedians in the business, including Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle, Russell Peters, and many more, have been featured at the Punch Line Comedy Club and Cobb's Comedy Club in the city. In addition, this month you can enjoy the 37th annual free Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park.
Dates: Several this month
Head up north to Guerneville along the Russian River for the 40th annual Jazz and Blues Fest. For two days, you get the chance to see top artists such as Jonny Lang and Brian Culbertson. Other performers this year include Bobby Rush, Raul Midon, and Moreland & Arbuckle.
Dates: September 9 - 10
The seventh edition of Sunday Streets this year takes place on September 10 in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. This monthly street fair rotates among the city's distinct districts, where each local community comes together to enjoy free family activities, live music, and closed traffic so people can play safely in the streets.
Date: September 10
The annual SF Cheese Fest features samples of amazing craft cheeses from more than two dozen California cheesemakers. If you love food, you'll want to attend this event celebrating local food pioneers in the art of preservation, which also includes cured meat, jams, pickles, and more. Enjoy your delicious bites with your favorite beverages from local brewers and winemakers, and dance along to the live 1930s jazz band.
Date: September 16
Take some time to check out the fantastic exhibits currently on display at SF's world-renowned museums. The Legion of Honor is currently showing The Future of the Past: Mummies and Medicine, which takes you into the science behind ancient Egypt's long-kept secrets. Click the link below to find out what else you can see at the Conservatory of Flowers, Walt Disney Museum, the SF Museum of Modern Art, and more.
Dates: Throughout September
This month brings us a whole day of laughter and fun as more than 40 great comedians come together to offer the city a free comedy show in Golden Gate Park. There will be several hilarious sets throughout the afternoon, and of course there will be food and drinks on hand, including Lagunitas Brewing, the Slider Shack, and much more. The festival runs from noon to 5pm in Sharon Meadow.
Date: September 17
Urban Air Market is the biggest outdoor design festival in the US, with events all over the country. At each event, the marketplace focuses on sustainable design, building community, promoting independent artists, and supporting the local economy. For the fall SF market, head over to Hayes Valley and check out the unique fashion design, accessories, body products, home decor, and other types of art.
Date: September 17
With SF being front-and-center of the tech world, you won't be disappointed by this gathering of the brightest and most enthusiastic entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans. Here, innovation is celebrated as the industry's leaders are featured in on-stage interviews, a Startup Battlefield competition, and a 24-hour Hackathon. You'll also find great information in the Startup Alley and Hardware Alley.
Dates: September 18 - 20
As one of the world's leading hubs of innovation and a melting pot of cultures, it seems only natural that the theme of this year's annual SF Fashion Week be Innovating Fashion's Diverse Culture. This week-long convention will show how diversity became the battle cry of the fashion industry. Check out the full schedule of events and find out how you can launch your own fashion product.
Dates: September 22 - October 1
It's that time of year again for you lovers of beer and all things German! Head over to Pier 48 for the annual three-day Oktoberfest by the Bay, including nonstop music, singing, dancing, and the best of German food and drink. This year's entertainment features the 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band. Cheers!
Dates: September 22 - 24
Head over to historic downtown Martinez on the other side of the bay for the 7th annual Bay Area Blues Festival. This event features live blues music on two stages, gourmet food booths, bistro-style seating areas, arts and crafts exhibitors, and kids activities. It's fun for the whole family.
Dates: September 23 - 24
Bike MS: Waves to Wine is a totally different way to get to Sonoma wine country. It involves one or two days of cycling from San Francisco to the valley, along with thousands of other passionate individuals, on routes that range from 20 - 100 miles each. This event fundraises for a great cause, the National MS Society.
Dates: September 23 - 24
This film festival showcases dozens of features and short stories all about Iran and its people. Head over to the San Francisco Art Institute to catch the film screenings and learn more about this culture.
Dates: September 23 - 24
Unlike most of the family-friendly neighborhood street fairs you'll find in SF, this raucous all-day festival is for adults only, who don't mind a lot of nudity and erotic paraphernalia. The Folsom Street Fair is one of those "only in San Francisco" events, featuring 13 city blocks of leather and fetish players and dance floors with indie, electronic, and alternative music.
Leave the kids at home and head on over to Folsom Street between 10am and 4pm for an experience you will never forget! The parade starts at 2:30pm.
Date: September 24
In addition to the fun events listed above, there is so much to do this month in the City by the Bay! Take a tour or boat cruise, attend a show, check out the nightlife, and get outside to enjoy SF's beautiful summer weather!
Make sure to bring along layers for your stay in SF. It's warm during the day, but cools down quite a bit at night. Read my September weather page for more tips on what to pack, what to wear, and a few other fun things to know before you visit.
Last year in September, we also enjoyed the following events, which have not yet been confirmed for 2017. I'll update these as soon as this year's details are released.
September marks the opening of a new season at the SF Symphony. Enjoy an elegant Opening Gala Night to help kick off the season in style. Later in the month, catch stunning performances of Reich & Copland and Beethoven's Fifth (both directed by the renowned Michael Tilson Thomas), Viva Verdi: Italian Masterworks, and Yuja Wang and Stravinsky's Firebird.
If you enjoy watching and laughing along with improv performances, get ready for 10 days of awesome shows at the Eureka Theatre at Jackson Street and Battery. This festival is in its 13th year of celebrating improvisational theater. It will feature work by both local and visiting ensembles, as well as workshops and other events to help educate the public and strengthen the improv community in the SF Bay Area.
This nine-day festival of films about Japan and the Japanese community will take place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema in Japantown. It is a great opportunity to gain insight into Japanese culture. The film festival is a prominent feature of the J-POP Summit, an annual cultural festival that highlights Japanese film, music, fashion, technology, and more.
This month, all month long, San Francisco invites you to engage with its design and architecture in ways you haven't experienced before. This festival features behind-the-scenes and walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures, and more. Explore and appreciate the city's true structural backbone under the 2016 theme, "Resilient City: Strength by Design."
Head over to the City View at the Metreon downtown to enjoy samples of over 100 ultra-premium spirits, including absinthe, bourbon, vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey, and more. Here you will get to taste handcrafted drinks from your favorite distilleries as well as discover new ones, all independent. In addition, your ticket gets you access to the Craft Beer Saloon for unlimited craft beer tastings.
Head over to colorful Grant Avenue in the heart of SF's Chinatown for two full days of entertainment, food, shopping, parades, children's activities, and more. Some of the highlights are the lion dancers and dragon parades. Maybe you'll even try a traditional mooncake to celebrate the full moon and Chinese culture!
The SF 49ers kick off their regular season home games this month at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
This annual event showcases the cultural and culinary diversity of SF's Mission District. Get your fill of delicious Greek treats such as spanakopita, mousaka, kotopoulo, and gyros. And of course, the festival wouldn't be complete without Greek wine, Greek pastries, and live Greek music and dance!
This film festival features unique works from filmmakers from the US, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Films will be screened at several venues around the city, including the Brava Theater Center, the Opera Plaza Cinema, and Galeria de la Raza. Tickets are available for purchase for individual screenings, for five films, or for the entire festival.
This year's Superhero and Electronic Music Street Fair offers a full day of fun along the waterfront. The event features seven stages, 11 sound camps, art installations, and so much more. The event lasts from 1pm to 11pm and is in SF's Dogpatch District.
If you enjoy artisanal brews and Saturday afternoons soaking in a sea breeze with great views, you won't want to miss this unique beer festival. This popular craft brew tasting features over 60 beers on tap, and you'll have the opportunity to mingle with the brewers and ask them questions. There will also be gourmet food trucks on hand. The event is held aboard the historic S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien, a ship that served in WWII and is now docked at Pier 45 in Fisherman's Wharf.
Previously just a one-day music event, this year the Sea Music Festival will be held over three Saturday evenings, one in September, one in October, and the last in November. The festival showcases traditional songs of the sea, and each concert will take place at 8pm on either the historic vessel Balclutha or Eureka. The September event features performances by Diana Gameros and Maria Jose Montijo.
Interested in having a unique cultural experience in the heart of the city? The Korean Day Culture Festival is a free event from 10am - 4pm in Union Square, where you will have the chance to watch colorful performances, try delicious Korean food, and learn more about Korean traditions. This festival honors Chuseok, a Korean holiday similar to Thanksgiving in which families come together to give thanks and celebrate the beautiful autumn season.
New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire, is bringing its beer-and-biking sensation to San Francisco this month. This event attracts thousands of costumed riders who will parade through Golden Gate Park on bicycle to end at a $10 steal of a concert by Dr. Dog. Don't miss out on the fun!
This peaceful festival aims to to educate, inspire, and promote community and global peace. From 11am to 6pm on Saturday in Golden Gate Park, the event will bring together world-renowned peace leaders, yogis, meditation teachers, artists, and others for workshops and meditation.
Looking to put a little kick in your Sunday afternoon? Head over to the Midway in SF's Dogpatch neighborhood from 1 - 4pm to sample the tastiest, most innovative bloody mary concoctions crafted by 12 outstanding Bay Area bars and restaurants. You'll vote on the best one, enjoy live entertainment, and even learn how to shake up your own version of this beloved cocktail.
The annual Re:Make Summit and Festival is designed to inspire and enlighten its guests in their creative endeavors. Here you'll meet the country's leading entrepreneurs, designers, bloggers, and artisans, and have the opportunity to participate in free DIY classes and projects. In addition, SF's best food trucks will be on hand!
Visit to Alcatraz