Fleet Week San Francisco 2024: Events, Blue Angels Shows & Pictures

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: May 3, 2024

Fleet Week San Francisco is an annual event that draws thousands of people into the city. It's a free event in the Fisherman's Wharf district that features the Blue Angels, a full air show over the SF Bay, and ship tours all weekend long.

This year, Fleet Week is October 7 - 15, 2024. Most activities and the large air show are over the weekend of October 11 - 13. You will find additional ship tours throughout the week. 

I attend this event almost every year. The airshow is an amazing experience and I typically find myself at the waterfront all three days to watch it. I also try to tour one ship each year. The lines can be long, so be prepared for this if you plan to tour a ship.

My guide is based on my experience over the years and I hope it helps you make the most of this year's Fleet Week.

Blue Angels flying over the Golden Gate BridgeI love capturing the Blue Angels as they fly over the Golden Gate Bridge!

It began in 1981 to honor the US Armed Forces and to educate civilians and military personnel about best practices in humanitarian assistance. It's held every year in San Francisco on the first or second weekend in October.

The US Navy Blue Angels are set to perform on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (October 11, 12, & 13) afternoon from 3 pm to 4 pm. They will usually do some practice runs on Thursday afternoon also.

Other air show performers include the Marine F-35B Demo, United 777, Ace Maker T 33, Patriots Jet Team, Coast Guard Dual Demo - Helos and C-27, Navy Parachute Team: The Leap Frogs, and more.

You can also enjoy the Parade of Ships on Friday or head out on a cruise to watch the Blue Angels perform from the water.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

San Francisco Fleet Week Schedule 2024

Three fighter jets in SF

Almost all of the Fleet Week San Francisco activities are along the northern waterfront district of Fisherman's Wharf. This week's schedule of events includes the airshow featuring the Blue Angels, ship tours, live music and other entertainment all weekend long.

Here is the schedule for 2024. Some of this is still TBD, so I'll continue to add in more details as they are announced. 


  • TBD

Monday, October 7

  • TBD

Tuesday, October 8

  • TBD

Wednesday, October 9

  • TBD

Thursday, October 10

  • TBD

Friday, October 11

  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Parade of Ships
  • 12 pm - 4 pm: Air Show (Blue Angels: ~3 pm - 4 pm, arrive early as they will sometimes start as early as 2:45 pm)

Saturday, October 12

  • 12 pm - 4 pm: Air Show  (Blue Angels: ~3 pm - 4 pm, arrive early as they will sometimes start as early as 2:45 pm)

Sunday, October 13

  • 12 pm - 4 pm: Air Show (Blue Angels: ~3 pm - 4 pm, arrive early as they will sometimes start as early as 2:45 pm)

Monday, October 14

  • TBD

Tuesday, October 15

  • TBD

*Schedule of events is subject to change at anytime.

Cruises During Fleet Week San Francisco

Jets over SF

One of the best ways to watch the Blue Angels fly over the San Francisco Bay is from a special Fleet Week cruise. These sell out quickly, so I recommend booking your cruise as soon as you have your plans finalized.

Fleet Week Lunch Cruise on the SF Belle (TBD for 2024)

Dates: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 

Time: Boarding at 1:30 pm, cruising from 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm 

Boarding Location: Pier 3 Hornblower Landing


  • 2-hour lunch cruise on the SF Bay
  • Buffet includes entrees, salads, and desserts
  • Free flowing sparkling wine, coffee, orange juice, water, and soft drinks
  • Purchase wine, beer, and cocktails throughout the cruise
  • Visit their site for ticketing details

Red & White Fleet 2.5-Hour Fleet Week Cruise (TBD 2024)

  • 2-hour afternoon cruise to see the Blue Angels over San Francisco
  • Offered Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Fleet Week
  • Cruise leaves at 1:45 pm (please arrive at least 30 minutes before departure)
  • Outdoor decks with incredible views of the performance
  • Beverages and light snacks available for purchase at the cash bar
  • Leaves from Pier 43 1/2 in Fisherman's Wharf
  • $99 for Adults (21+ and includes two drinks), $65 for Youth (5-20), free for those under 5, but they must have tickets to manage capacity on the boat
  • Visit their site for ticketing details

Cruise on the SS Jeremiah O'Brien 

  • Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 from 10 am to 5 pm (boards at 9 am)
  • Cruise around the bay in the morning and get front row seats for the air show in the afternoon
  • Catch the air show from 12:30 pm to 4 pm (with the Blue Angels performing from 3 pm to 4 pm)
  • Complimentary food and drink, coffee and donuts when you board; hot dog lunch with soft drinks, water, beer and wine
  • Tickets are $185 for adults (age 17+) and $110 for children (age 5-16)
  • There is also a $500 family group option for up to 2 adults and 2 youth
  • Find out more and book your seats for 2024

Blue & Gold 2.5-Hour Cruise (TBD for 2024)

  • Saturday and Sunday, One boat per day leaving at 1:30 pm and returning at 4 pm, boarding time starts at 1:15 pm, but they ask that you arrive 45 minutes in advance
  • Tickets include a box lunch from Boudin Bakery (sandwich, chips, and cookie)
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks available for purchase at their on board bar
  • Tickets start at $99 for adults, $65 for children, $85 for seniors and military members, free for those under 5
  • Find tickets on their site

Additional Activities: Are you looking for some additional fun activities for your visit? Check out my list of the best things to do in October. You will also find a lot of free attractions and activities this month all around SF

Best Places to Watch the Air Show & the Blue Angels

One Blue Angel by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

The northern side of San Francisco along the bay is CROWDED during the air show. If you want to sit down, you will need to arrive at least an hour before the Blue Angels perform.

Most of the Air Show takes place over the bay, around Fisherman's Wharf and Fort Mason

Here are a few places to watch the Air Show with some additional notes to think about for each option:

Pier 39

You will be close to the action, but it gets really crowded here.

However, it's a great place to see most of the show.

Try to find a spot with a clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Aquatic Park

There is a small stadium here with seats facing out over the bay. You will get a great view of the Fleet Week San Francisco Air Show from here, although the maneuvers over the Golden Gate Bridge will be harder to see.

Crissy Field

There will be fewer people on this side, which makes it a nicer viewing area.

This is a great place to see the Blue Angels maneuvers near the bridge.

It is a little further away from the main action though, so the trees may block out a little bit of the show. 

Marina Green

Just to the east of Crissy Field is the Marina Green. This large green space offers a great look at the air show.

You can also buy premium tickets for this area so you don't have to fight for a place to watch the fun.

Tickets for the premium section are already on sale.

You will find them on the official Fleet Week website.

Additional Places to See the Blue Angels in SF

Here are a few places to see the Blue Angels at this year's Fleet Week San Francisco. You won't get great views of the entire airshow, but you will get some great views of the Blue Angels over San Francisco and the Bay. 

Golden Gate Bridge Walkways: You can also see the airshow from the walkways of the Golden Gate Bridge. The eastern walkways are open during the airshow, but they fill up early. I would arrive at least a couple of hours in advance of the start of the airshow in order to get a good spot to see the entire show.

Twin Peaks: You can also see the Blue Angels during Fleet Week San Francisco from Twin Peaks. You won't get a close up view, but some good views of the Blue Angels.

Marin Headlands: Another great place is the Marin Headlands. You will see the airshow, but the biggest benefit to this location is being able to see the Blue Angels near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Again, these are not the best spots for the Fleet Week San Francisco airshow, but some alternative to watching it from the shore along Fisherman's Wharf.

More Things to Do this Weekend in San Francisco

These are some of the other fun things to do during Fleet Week San Francisco or as you are waiting for the big airshow to begin.

San Francisco Theater

Catch a theater performance during your time in San Francisco. Every year, the Golden Gate and Orpheum Theaters welcome hit Broadway musicals.

This year, you will find Wicked on stage throughout Fleet Week. Find tickets

In addition, smaller theater companies perform at a variety of venues all over town.

>> Find a full list of theater performances this weekend in San Francisco

Free Walking Tours

Every day of the week, SF City Guides offers free walking tours in different districts all over town. Learn more about the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, the Palace of Fine Arts, and more. 

>> More details on SF's free walking tours

Concerts in San Francisco

If you love to listen to live music, then you will find plenty of options this weekend in SF. We have venues large and small with everything from well known artists to popular local bands.

>> Click here for a full schedule of concerts this weekend

Additional Fun Tours to Check Out

Hotels for San Francisco Fleet Week

Since more than a million people attend Fleet Week San Francisco each year, I highly recommend booking your hotels early. 

Note: Most hotels will not guarantee that you will get a waterfront room to see the show from your room. Plus, you won't get great views of most of the show so I recommend heading outside to watch it.

All events are in Fisherman's Wharf and it's a great place to stay. You can easily walk to and from your hotel to see the shows and enjoy all of the activities.

Here are a few recommendations in this San Francisco neighborhood.

Courtyard by Marriott: 3-star hotel, 2 blocks from the waterfront, next door to In-N-Out Burger, 580 Beach Street, read recent guest reviews and get your room

Marriott Fisherman's Wharf: 3.5-star hotel, 2.5 to 3 blocks to the waterfront, great for those also visiting North Beach, 1250 Columbus Street, read recent reviews and book your room here

Hotel Zoe: 4-star hotel, 3 blocks to the waterfront, steps away from the Powell/Mason cable car turnaround, 425 North Point Street, read reviews from recent guests here

Find additional hotel recommendations for Fisherman's Wharf.

Fleet Week San Francisco Ship Tours (TBD for 2024)

Ship Tours SF

The Fleet Week San Francisco ship tours are wildly popular. All tours are free, and they encourage you to interact with the sailors on board. I recommend showing up well before they open their doors, as it's first come, first served and the lines get long fast.

These are all the ship tours from last year, 2023. I will update this when they announce the ships that will be here for 2024. Due to national security reasons, they only announce these about three or four days before the ships arrive. However, this is a good estimate on what you can expect again this year. 

Tuesday, 10/3, Wednesday, 10/4 & Thursday 10/5

  • 10 am to 4 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am to 2 pm on Wednesday
  • SF Pier 30/32 only

Saturday 10/7 and Sunday, 10/8

  • 10 am to 4 pm
  • SF Pier 30/32 and Pier 35

Monday, October 9

  • 9 am to 12 pm
  • Pier 30/32
  • Pier 35

These are the ships that will be on site in 2023.

  • Amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26)
  • Guided missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG-60)

More Rules to Visit the Ships During Fleet Week

  • Must show a valid government ID if you are 18 and over
  • Anyone 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult
  • No large backpacks, large purses, or large camera bags
  • May not be accessible for those with disabilities or certain medical conditions. Most ship visits require climbing steep steps, uneven surfaces, small areas, etc.
  • No high heels and closed toed shoes are recommended.
  • Must remain with your tour guide at all times while on the ship.
  • Must comply to screening and inspection before boarding each ship for your tour.

More Pictures and What to Expect in 2024

Below are a few of my photos from previous years for each activity. They will give you an idea of what to expect this year.

Parade of Ships 2024: Friday, October 11 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

The Parade of Ships is the official start of the Fleet Week San Francisco celebrations. All of the ships for the event come in under the Golden Gate Bridge and head to their designated pier in San Francisco. You can tour all of these ships during the three-day celebration.

A couple of years ago, my mom, sister, and I were on Alcatraz Island during the Parade of Ships, which is one of the best places to be for this event. Here are just some of my pictures from that day.

Several boats waiting, in the San Francisco Bay, for the Parade of Ships at the start of Fleet Week

The Parade of Ships is about ready to begin. The boats at the bottom of the picture are all waiting for the parade to start. In the background is the Golden Gate Bridge, which is where all the boats enter the San Francisco Bay for the event.

One of the first boats coming into the San Francisco Bay for Fleet Week

This is one of the first boats coming in for Fleet Week San Francisco. You can see the downtown San Francisco skyline in the background.

The large aircraft carrier for Fleet Week entering the San Francisco Bay

This is one of the largest ships that come into San Francisco for Fleet Week. It's an aircraft carrier and is open for tours all weekend. In the background are the Presidio and the Palace of Fine Arts.

Another shot of the large aircraft carrier ship in the San Francisco Bay for Fleet Week

This is a second look at the aircraft carrier heading into San Francisco. It's close to Alcatraz Island and making its way to its pier to set up for tours. You can again see downtown San Francisco including the Transamerica building in the background. 

Fleet Week San Francisco Air Show: Friday, Saturday & Sunday

The event that most people come out for is the air show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm. There are several performances during the four-hour show.

All three days, the air show finishes with an amazing performance by the Blue Angels. They always start their performance a little after 3 pm. Even if you have watched them before, you will never get tired of seeing their performance over the San Francisco Bay.

Here are just a few of my Blue Angels photos from previous Fleet Week San Francisco performances. This is a shot of just four of the six Blue Angels doing a maneuver. This is another shot from Pier 39. 

Blue Angels performing over the San Francisco Bay at Fleet Week

This is another shot of the Blue Angels, in the distance, performing over the San Francisco Bay. In front is a crowd of people and the sea lions near Pier 39.

Fleet Week San Francisco and the Blue Angels

The smoke trailing the Blue Angels as they perform another maneuver.

Single Blue Angels jet flying over Pier 39 during Fleet Week

The Blue Angels get daringly close during their performance. My camera does not have a great zoom, so this shows just how close you will feel from the viewing area!

You can also head out to catch some of the practice session on Thursday. There are fewer people around and they don't perform their entire show.

However, it's a great way to catch the action if you are not going to be around on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. 

Fleet Week Free Concert Series (TBD for 2024)

Here is a full schedule of all free concerts for 2023. You'll find them both along the waterfront and also in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco. 

Monday, October 2

  • Sunset Library, 12:30 pm, Navy Band Southwest, Woodwind Quintet

Tuesday, October 3

  • Warriors Thrive City, 12 pm, 1st Marine Division Band
  • City College Ocean Campus, 12 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Brass Band
  • San Francisco Zoo, 12 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Woodwind Quintet
  • Salesforce Park, 1:30 pm, 1st Marine Division Band - Brass Band
  • Noe Valley Town Square, 6 pm, 1st Marine Division Band - Brass Band

Wednesday, October 4

  • Hayes Valley, Patricia's Green, 12 pm, 1st Marine Division Band, Ceremonial Band
  • Crab Wheel Plaza at Fisherman's Wharf, 12 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Destroyers
  • San Francisco VA Medical Center, 12:30 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Woodwind Quintet
  • One Sansome, 5 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Woodwind Quintet
  • Japantown Peace Plaza, 5:30 pm, Navy Band Southwest, Brass Band

Thursday, October 5 

  • Ferry Building Marketplace, 12 pm, Navy Band Southwest, Woodwind Quintet
  • Presidio Visitor Center, 3 pm, US Air Force - Band of the Golden West
  • Castro in the Jane Warner Plaza, 5 pm, Navy Band Southwest, Brass Band
  • Herbst Theatre, SF War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, 6 pm, Honor Our Fallen Concert - 1st Marine Division Ceremonial Band and Navy Woodwind Quartet

Friday, October 6

  • Golden Gate Park Band Shell, Noon, Navy Band Southwest, Brass Band
  • Cable Car Turnaround at Powell/Market, Noon, 1st Marine Division Band, Brass Band
  • Union Square Plaza, 12:30 pm, 1st Marine Division Band
  • Lakeside Landing, 4 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Woodwind Quintet
  • Pier 39, 5 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Destroyers
  • Valencia Street (btw 16 St-17 St), 6 pm, 1st Marine Division Band, Ceremonial Band

Saturday, October 7

  • K9 Heroes at Duboce Park, 10 am, 1st Marine Division Band - Ceremonial Band
  • Polk and Jackson Streets, 12 pm, 1st Marine Division Band - Brass Band
  • Ghirardelli Square, 12 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Brass Band
  • Chinatown (Grant Ave & Commercial St), 12 pm, Navy Band Southwest, Woodwind Quintet
  • Pier 39, 12 pm, Navy Band Southwest - Destroyers
  • West Portal Courtyard (82 West Portal Ave), 4 pm, 1st Marine Division Band, Brass Band
  • Westwood (2036 Lombard Street), 7 pm, 1st Marine Division Band, Diamondbacks

Sunday, October 8

  • Jefferson & Powell to Washington Park, 11:00 am, Marine and Navy Band Southwests

Monday, October 9

  • Golden Gate Band Shell, 10 am, High School Band Challenge
Blue Angles cruising near the Golden Gate Bridge

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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