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Memorial Day in San Francisco: Top Things to Do & See in 2022

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: May 6, 2022

Memorial Day 2022 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 30.

Read on for more ideas on what there is to see and do this weekend throughout San Francisco.

A grave stone in SF's National Cemetery

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

Oakland A's Baseball on Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco

Dates: 5/26 - 5/29 & 5/30 - 6/1

Tickets: Find tickets to all Memorial Weekend games in Oakland

The Oakland A's host two teams this Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco. First, they host the Texas Rangers for a four game series starting on Thursday. They then play host to the Houston Astros on Memorial Day and the day after for a two-game series. 

>> Find out more about attending a game

Carnaval Celebration & Parade

Dates: 5/28 & 5/29

Spend some time in the Mission District on Memorial Day Weekend during the annual Carnaval Celebration. This two-day festival is on Saturday and Sunday. You'll find live music, traditional dishes, and dancing in the streets. 

One of the biggest draws every year is their annual parade. It's on Sunday morning and lasts for about two hours. 

It features floats, dancers, and other fun entries. It's a fun event and a must this holiday weekend.

>> Details about Carnaval on Memorial Day Weekend

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Curran Theater

Dates: 5/27 - 5/29

Tickets: Find tickets for all performances

This weekend, you will find several showing of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Curran Theater in San Francisco. Performances are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The story follows Harry Potter and his oldest son who is having many of the same problems Harry had as a boy. How do they work together to overcome these issues as his son matures into a young man?

Find out this weekend at the Curran Theater.

>> Additional theater performances in SF this weekend

>> More about seeing a show at the Curran

Concerts and Live Music

You will find dozens of great performances this weekend in San Francisco and beyond. Here are some of the top shows and music festivals.

5/27: Olivio Rodrigo at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

5/27 & 5/28: Molchat Doma at The Great American Music Hall

5/27 - 5/29: BottleRock Music Festival in Napa, find tickets

>> More concerts this weekend in San Francisco around the Bay Area

Cruises on the SF Bay

You will find almost all cruises are running this holiday weekend in San Francisco. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Golden Gate Bay Cruise: This is the most popular cruise in San Francisco. It's a 60-minute cruise on the bay. It starts in Fisherman's Wharf, heads over to (and under) the Golden Gate Bridge, back over to Alcatraz, and finishes again where it started. Find tickets here

Bay Sailing Tour with Drinks: This is a small group cruise (only 28 people) on a sailboat. They offer fantastic views as well as two drinks per person (beer, wine, soda, water). It runs three times each day this weekend. Find tickets here

Sunset Cruise on a Catamaran: Would you prefer to head out on the water at night? This cruise starts at 7 pm, which gives you the chance to watch the sun as it sets. This 90-minute cruise leaves from Pier 39. Tickets and more details here

Additional Cruise Options this Weekend

Free Walking Tours

Dates: 5/27 - 5/30

The San Francisco public library has several free walking tours scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco. They range from informative walks around the colorful Mission District to one on the Golden Gate Bridge.

You should register online before you arrive, so they know how many people they will have in their group. The tours are free, but they do ask for donations (usually about $15 per person).

>> Visit their site for a list of tours this weekend

>> More details on walking tours this weekend in SF

SF Symphony Performances

Dates: 5/26 - 5/28 & 5/29

This weekend you can catch several performances of the SF Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall. From Thursday through Saturday, catch Natalie Stutzmann as she conducts Tchaikovsky 6. 

On the 29, you will find Chamber Music starting at 2 pm followed by the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra at 7:30 pm.

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

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 Booking.com. They both offer deals throughout San Francisco and offer you the chance to save money on your room. Click the links below for details.

BookingFind great deals all around San Francisco for your upcoming stay

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

VRBO: In addition to hotels, you'll also find some great places to stay locally through VRBO. Book an apartment or a room and feel more like a local. Find some great places to stay on VRBO here

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. The day tours run from 8:45 am to 3:50 pm. 

Ticket for the night cruises are already sold out.

>> Find additional details about booking tickets for Alcatraz

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!

>> Buy your tickets in advance

>> Pictures & what to expect during your visit

55 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 55 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: A Day of Honor & Remembrance

One of the largest events on Memorial Day in San Francisco is held in the Presidio. Starting at 10:30 am 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 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

>> Details for this year's event

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

Memorial Day Celebrations Around the SF Bay

I'm still waiting on confirmation for all of the events below. As the holiday approaches, I'll update these with the latest information. For now, it will give you a good idea on events planned throughout the San Francisco bay.

East Bay

Benicia (TBD for 2022)

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.

Danville (TBD for 2022)

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.

Oakland (TBD for 2022)

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 features a parade that starts at 10:30 am at Old Mill Park, winding its way through downtown Mill Valley and Miller Ave., and ending at Tam High School. The 2022 theme is "Mill Valley Salutes Memorial Day."

Point Reyes

The event in Point Reyes is on Monday. The event starts at 1:30 pm. and is at the Historic Life-Saving Service Cemetery located at G Ranch. They usually have an open house from 3pm to 5pm at the Point Reyes Coast Guard Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock, but a decision on this for 2022 is still TBD.

Novato (TBD for 2022)

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.

Santa Rosa (TBD for 2022)

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

Gilroy

The annual Memorial Day Parade will be postponed until Veterans Day in November. However, they will still have the Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at St. Mary's Cemetery. It will be held at 9 am on Monday, May 30.

Hillsborough

The Annual Hillsborough Memorial Day Parade, Carnival & Music Festival is back this Memorial Day Weekend. The festival is on the North School field with music and other festival activities! 

Milpitas

This year's Memorial Day Ceremony will take place on Monday at 9 am 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 (TBD for 2022)

This year, Redwood City will host a special Memorial Day event at the Historic Union Cemetery. All activities start at 10am.

Saratoga (TBD for 2022)

This year, Saratoga's annual celebration will once again take place starting at 10 am 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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