Memorial Day in San Francisco: Top Things to Do & See in 2020

Memorial Day 2020 is a great time to visit San Francisco. Many events are planned throughout the weekend including the large celebration at the National Cemetery in the Presidio. You can also catch a baseball game, attend a festival, and enjoy a Broadway show at one of our theaters.

This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 25. 

A grave stone in SF's National Cemetery

Here you will discover a list of the top events and other things to do during Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco for 2020.

You will also find some great ideas for all around the Bay Area including Oakland, San Jose, Monterey, Napa and more.

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

Memorial Day: A Day of Honor & Remembrance

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.

>> Details for this year's event

>> More information about the cemetery & tips to get here

Oakland A's Baseball

Dates: 5/22 - 5/24

The SF Giants are out of town this weekend, but the Oakland A's will take the field this Memorial Day Weekend just across the bay. They take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a three game series that starts on Friday night. They will then play a game on both Saturday and Sunday. 

>> Find out more about attending a game

Carnaval Celebration & Parade

Dates: 5/23 & 5/24

Spend some time in the Mission District on Memorial Day Weekend for their 41st 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 24, 2020. The festival is free and a fun way to mingle with locals. 

>> Details about Carnaval on Memorial Day Weekend

Pier Pressure SF Memorial Weekend Yacht Party

Date: TBD

Head out on the water this Memorial Day Weekend for a fun party with Hornblower Cruises. The Pier Pressure Yacht Party offers three levels of music including Hip Hop/Throwbacks (Deck 1), EDM/House/Remixes (Deck 2), and Top 40/Open Format (Deck 3/Sky Deck). This 3-hour cruise also features three bars. It leaves from Pier 3 at 4:30pm and returns at 8pm.

Golden Gate Champagne & Mimosa Cruise

Dates: Saturday & Sunday

Hop aboard The Privateer for one of the best cruises this Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco. For two hours, you get the chance to soak in the gorgeous views from around the bay. The cruise includes two drinks and a chance to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge - twice! It leaves from Pier 39 on Friday morning at 10am.

Top Discounts this Weekend

Memorial Day in San Francisco is busy, but you will still find some great deals online when you book in advance. Here are a few discounts to help you save this holiday weekend.

North Beach Food Tour: Sample tasty treats in Little Italy on this fun, food walking tour, starts at 11am on Saturday and runs for 3-hours. Visit Goldstar to save up to 50% on this tour.

Golden Gate Bridge Biking Tour: Head out on a guided tour over the Golden Gate Bridge and all the way to Sausalito, runs all weekend long. Visit Goldstar to save up to 50% on this tour.

Free Walking Tours

Dates: 5/22 - 5/25

The San Francisco public library has several free walking tours scheduled for Memorial Day in San Francisco. 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.

>> More details on walking tours this weekend in SF

Hamilton & Other Theater Shows this Weekend

Dates: 5/24 - 5/26

The top theater performance this weekend is Hamilton. This award-winning musical tells the story of one of our founding father's, Alexander Hamilton. It follows the story of his life up until his untimely death in a duel against Aaron Burr.

Other top shows this weekend include Harry Potter & The Cursed Child at the Curran, The Clean House at the SF Playhouse and Life Sucks at the Custom Made Theater.

>> Additional details & other theater performances this month

BottleRock Napa

Dates: 5/22 - 5/24

The biggest outdoor music festival this Memorial Day Weekend in the SF Bay Area is up in Napa. BottleRock offers you three days of music and their line-up does not disappoint. Last year's headliners include Imagine Dragon, Logic and OneRepublic on Friday; Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Pharrell Williams, and Nathaniel Rateliff + The Night Sweats, and Gary Clark Jr. on Saturday; and Mumford + Sons, Santana, Tash Sultana, and Lord Huron on Sunday. This year's headliners will be announced soon.

In addition to these artists, each day features almost a dozen additional acts on stage. It's one of the largest festivals of it's kind and one you will not want to miss. All performances are at the Napa Valley Expo at 575 3rd Street.

>> More fun things to do this weekend in Napa

Additional Concerts this Weekend

You will find a variety of other concerts around Memorial Day in San Francisco. You will find shows at venues all around San Francisco as well as in San Jose, Oakland, and Berkeley.

>> Find all concerts this weekend in SF

SF Symphony Performances

Dates: 5/22 - 5/24

Over the weekend, you have the chance to catch an excellent performance from the SF Symphony. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, head over to Davies Symphony Hall to catch MTT & Brahms A German Requiem. It starts at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. 

>> Get the full May SF Symphony schedule & tips to attend a performance

California Roots Festival in Monterey

Dates: 5/22 - 5/24

The California Roots Music and Arts Festival is heading into its 11th year in 2020. This festival draws in thousands of people from around the world and is growing each year. Just some of the headliners last year included Stick Figure, Dirty Heads, Rebelution, and Ben Harper + the Innocent Criminals. 

This three-day festival is held at the Monterey Fairgrounds.

>> Visit their site for tickets to this year's event

Yerba Buena Festival

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.

>> Find the full Yerba Buena Festival schedule

Hotel Deals for this Weekend

Find some great deals for your stay on TripAdvisor and They both offer deals throughout San Francisco and offer you the chance to save money on your room. Click the links below for details.

Booking: Find great deals all around San Francisco for your upcoming stay!

TripAdvisor: What's the #1 hotel in San Francisco? Read reviews & find hotel deals on TripAdvisor!

More Tour Options in San Francisco

Other Fun Things to See & Do 

Alcatraz Island

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.

>> Find additional details about booking tickets for Alcatraz

>> Get the Alcatraz Pass with Alcatraz Tickets + 24 Hour Hop On Hop Off

California Academy of Sciences

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!

Tickets: Buy your tickets in advance

>> Pictures & what to expect during your visit 

200+ Free Activities & Attractions

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.

>> Discover 200+ free attractions & activities

SF With Kids

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. 

>> Find out the top 25 fun things to do with kids in SF

Botanical Gardens

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.

>> See pics & find out what to expect during your visit

Fisherman's Wharf Attractions

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!

>> Get the details on all Fisherman's Wharf attractions

Self-Guided Tours

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.

>> Check out my self-guided tours

Memorial Day Celebrations Around the SF Bay

East Bay


This year's event starts at 10am on Monday 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. 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.

North Bay

Mill Valley

The Memorial Day celebration on Monday 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. This year's event will include the Presentation of colors by the U. S. Air Force Junior ROTC from Novato High School, singing of National Anthem, a guest speaker and a wreath placing ceremony by the Novato Elks Club. Refreshments provided by the Novato Elks Club in the New Reception Center.

Point Reyes

The event in Point Reyes is on Monday. 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

A community tradition, Santa Rosa will once again host the 48th 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.

South Bay


The annual Memorial Day Parade is on Monday from 11am to 12:30pm in downtown Gilroy.


The Annual Hillsborough Memorial Day Parade, Carnival & Music Festival is on Memorial Day. The parade starts at 11am, 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 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

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 starting at 10am at the Madronia Cemetery. It will include a flag raising, speeches, music from local school groups, and laying of the wreaths.


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