San Francisco Events in August 2015

Outside Lands Festival, Phantom of the Opera, & Giants Baseball

Wrap-up your summer of fun with these hot San Francisco events in August 2015. Top events this month include the three-day Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, Phantom of the Opera at the Orpheum Theater, and SF Giants Baseball.

You can also go on free walking tours any day of the month, visit some interesting traveling exhibits at SF museums, and head out on a whale watching adventure. This month also includes free concerts in Stern Grove, the large VM World Conference at the Moscone Center, and happy hours at the Exploratorium.

Click here for the 2016 August Events calendar.

Half-Priced Tickets on Goldstar

Goldstar is an online retailer that offers tickets to top events, tours, and activities at up to 50% off. I use them all the time to check out new things to do all around San Francisco.

Here are just a few tickets on sale for August 2015.

SF Bay Cruise

  • 60 minute cruise around the bay
  • Learn more about SF from narration during the tour
  • Ride past the Palace of Fine Arts, Angel Island, and Alcatraz Island
  • Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge (twice!)
  • Enjoy both indoor and outdoor seating
  • Full Price: $30 | Goldstar Price: $15*

Explore Chinatown

  • Visit Chinatown's Back Alleys and discover its history
  • Step inside it's colorful temples, a fortune cookie factory, and an herbalist shop
  • Learn about the draw of the local community to Portsmouth Square
  • Find out about the largest Chinatown in North American from your knowledgable guide
  • Offered on Thursdays at 11am and Sundays at 10am
  • Full Price: $40 | Goldstar Price: $20

90-Minute Afternoon Cruise

  • Afternoon cruise on the SF Bay leaves daily at 12:30pm, 2pm, or 4:30pm
  • See top SF sights such as Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Sausalito
  • Enjoy two drinks (beer or wine), included with each ticket
  • Relax on this semi-private cruise with only 28 total people
  • All boats leave from Pier 39
  • Full Price: $45.00 | Goldstar Price: $27.00*

*Additional fees may apply

Stern Grove Festival

Catch a free, live musical performance at this year's Stern Grove Festival. This annual event offers music in the park between mid-June and mid-August. Each week, you will find new artists that range from international bands to local favorites. All shows start at 2pm.

Dates: August 2, 9, and 16

Learn More: See Who Is Playing at Stern Grove in 2015

Free Walking Tour of the Castro

Learn more about this colorful district on the free weekly walking tour called Castro: The Tales of the Village. This two-hour tour takes you past the most important locations and attractions in the district. You will learn more about its past and why it is so popular today. It runs every Tuesday morning starting at 11am.

Dates: August 4, 11, 18, & 25

Learn More: All Free Walking Tours in SF in August 2015

Best Hotel Deals in San Francisco

Don't book your hotel stay until you've checked out the great deals on They offer a number of great deals from discounts on your room rate to free wifi. Click the link below to check out their great deals today!

Happy Hour at the Exploratorium

Every Thursday night, the Exploratorium opens its doors to those 18 and over that want to tinker around at the museum. The venue offers more than 600 hands-on exhibits. It's perfect for those that love science and art. Each Thursday is a different theme. Buy your tickets in advance to skip the ticket lines.

Dates: August 6, 13, 20, & 27

Learn More: Find Out More About Visiting the Exploratorium

August Film Festivals

This month, you will find two film festivals in San Francisco. The first is the Japan Film Festival. This event runs from August 7 - 16 and features independent pieces made by Japanese film makers. The second festival is the Turkish Film Festival. This three-day event offers film about Turkey and the Turkish community. This event runs from August 18 - 20.

Dates: August 7 - 16 & August 18 - 20

Learn More: All Film Festivals in SF

J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free Exhibit

Head over to the de Young Museum to see their traveling exhibit called J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free. Joseph Mallord William Turner was a famous British artist in the 19th century. This exhibit showcases some of his most important pieces including some of the last ones he completed at the end of his life.

Dates: All Month Long

Learn More: More Museum Exhibits in August 2015

Learn More: Discover What It's Like to Visit the de Young Museum

Family Winemaker's Tasting at the Palace Hotel

Join other wine lovers on Sunday, August 16 at the Palace Hotel for the 25th Annual Family Winemaker's Tasting Event. This year's event includes 126 vintners. They will be pouring 500 wines, which includes 40 different varietals or blends from 60 of California's wonderful appellations. The tasting is from 2:30pm to 5pm. Tickets are $85 per person.

Date: Sunday, August 16

Tickets: Buy Your Tickets on EventBright Today!

San Francisco Street Food Festival

Enjoy a variety of cuisines at this year's San Francisco Street Food Festival. Heading into its 7th year, this event offers you the chance to sample gourmet goodies from some of the Bay Areas top restaurants. Those signed up already for this year include 4505 Meats, A 16, and Curry Up Now. Others that you can sample include Tacolicious, Three Twins Ice Cream, and Mozzeria. It's free to enter (although they request a small donation at the door) so you can pay as you sample. You can also buy passports which include pre-paid tickets for a certain amount of food and drinks.

Dates: August 15 & 16

Craft Spirits Carnival

Discover hand crafted spirits at this year's Craft Spirits Carnival at the Fort Mason Center. This two-day event offers you the chance to sample a variety of handcrafts spirits from independent distilleries including Tequila, Whiskey, Vodka, Rum, and more. You can also sample several craft beers from local SF and Bay Area Breweries.

Dates: August 15 & 16

Learn More: Additional Details About This Year's Event

Midnight Summer Cruise

Enjoy a night out on the SF Bay. The Midnight Summer Cruise is a three-hour party cruise that runs on Saturday, August 15. On board, you will find two DJs spinning Top 40 and House. There is also three stocked, cash bars on board to make it easy to grab a cocktail, beer, or soda. The cruise leaves at 9:30pm, so make sure you arrive a little early for boarding.

Date: Saturday, August 15

Urban Air Market

This month's summer Urban Air Market takes place in the Dogpatch District. It's a place to shop for sustainable goods including clothing, furniture, and accessories. You will find more than 100 designers with original goods on sale. It's free to enter the market and all Urban Air Markets are open to the public.

Dates: August 16 from 11am to 6pm

Sunday Streets

August's Sunday Streets event will take place in the Excelsior District of San Francisco. This one-day, monthly event supports a healthy lifestyle with health screenings, free outdoor activities, and car free streets for easier workouts. The event is free and open to the public.

Date: Sunday, August 16

Learn More: Sunday Streets 2015 Schedule

Excelsior Arts & Music Festival

The theme for this year's Excelsior Arts & Music Festival is Celebrate the E! It will combine with SF's Sunday Streets (mentioned above) and will offer additional free live music and family friendly events. It takes place on Sunday, August 16th on Ocean Avenue between Mission Street and Persia Avenue. All events are between 11am and 4pm.

Date: Sunday, August 16

Learn More: Excelsior Summer Festival Details

Phantom of the Opera

Back by popular demand, the Phantom of the Opera returns to the Orpheum Theater on August 19. This award winning production includes updated scenery, staging, and special effects.

Dates: August 19 - October 4

Learn More: Full August Theater Calendar

A Perfect Day in Golden Gate Park

If you love exploring on your own, then check out my self-guided tour of Golden Gate Park. In one day, you will venture into and past some of the park's top attractions such as the California Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Garden, and Stow Lake.

Dates: Any Day in August

Learn More: Full Itinerary for Golden Gate Park

Save with the SF Go Card

If you love to go, go, go, on your vacations, then check out the San Francisco Go Card. It includes admission to almost 40 SF and Bay Area attractions and museums. Since there is so much included, you can use it for one, two, three, five, or seven days. Using this card offers you a huge savings versus paying for the admission at all of these places individually.

Learn More: Discover Ways to Make the Most of this Discount Card

Eat Drink SF

Eat Drink SF is one of the top food and drink festivals every summer. Each night, you will find samples from more than 30 of the best local chefs. You will also get the chance to taste dozens of wine, spirits, and craft brews. Eat Drink SF also features live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and other great activities all weekend long.

Dates: August 20 - 23

Noe Valley Wine Walk

Spend an evening in Noe Valley as you sip wine, sample appetizers, and hang out with the locals. This year's Noe Valley Wine Walk offers four hours of fun from 4pm to 8pm. Sample new wines, check out the local restaurants, and take some time to relax after a long day of work or play.

Date: Thursday, August 20

Learn More: Other Wine Tasting Events this Year in SF

American Idol Live!

American Idol Live is coming to San Francisco on Sunday, August 23. Enjoy performances from the top five performers from Season 14. This one night only event will be at The Warfield and starts at 8pm (doors open at 7pm). Get their early to grab your spot for the show.

Date: Sunday, August 23

More: Full Live Music Calendar for August 2015

Origami Palooza

Learn how to create amazing art out of paper at the Origami Palooza event in Japantown. During this event, you can learn from experts at the Instruction Tables. You can also show off your skills during the two contests: Paper Airplane Challenge or the Origami Challenge. All events take place between 1pm and 5pm.

Date: August 23

Learn More: Details on this Year's Origami Palooza

SF Giants Baseball

Head over to AT&T Park to see the 2014 World Series Champions in action. This month, the Giants host twelve home games to teams such as the Astros, Nationals, Cubs, and Cardinals.

Dates: Various

Learn More: Full 2015 Home Schedule

SF 49ers PreSeason Play

Join the SF 49ers in their first preseason home game for the 2015 season. They play the Dallas Cowboys at Levi Stadium starting at 5pm.

Date: August 23

Learn More: Full 2015 Schedule

Free Shakespeare in the Park

On Saturday, August 29 or Sunday, August 30, head over to the Presidio for a free performance of Romeo and Juliet. This show is organized by the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. It starts at 2pm, but there is a 15-minute Green Show starting at 1:30pm. Get there early to grab a great space on the lawn at The Presidio's Main Post Parade Ground Lawn.

Date: Saturday, August 29 & 30 at 2pm

Weird Al Yankovic at the Nob Hill Masonic Center

Enjoy Weird Al Yankovic at the Nob Hill Masonic Center on Saturday, August 30. Listen to his hilarious songs starting at 8pm. You will laugh all night long to his best songs such as "Eat It," "Like a Surgeon," and "Smells Like Nirvana."

Date: Saturday, August 30

More: Full Calendar Schedule for August 2015

VM World

At this year's VM World, you will discover software that allows you to take your business to the next level. You can explore new tools and technologies to automate your data center. You will also learn how to take your data to the cloud. It includes more than 500 sessions and labs. You will also get plenty of opportunities to network with others.

Dates: August 30 - September 3

Register: 2015 Registration is Now Open

Whale Watching Tours

Whale watching in San Francisco in August offers you the chance to get a look at some of the largest creatures in the world. In August, you will search for Humpback and Blue Whales. You will also get the chance to see dolphins, porpoises, and other sea animals such as turtles, birds, and sea otters.

Dates: All Month Long

Learn More: More Details on SF's Whale Watching Tours

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Discover free live entertainment at this year's Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. This event takes place every year from May to October. Each week, you will find free shows that are open to the public. Performances range from local musicians to acrobats for kids.

Dates: Various Dates in August

Learn More: Find the Schedule for August 2015

Union Square Live

Another festival offering free performances all summer long is Union Square Live. This annual festival features live performances most Wednesday and Sundays from May to October. You can listen to local musicians, learn how to dance salsa, and more.

Dates: Several in August

Learn More: Full Schedule for 2015

Events from Earlier This Month

Nihonmachi Street Fair

Celebrate the diversity of the Asian Pacific Cultures at the annual Nihonmachi Street Fair. This year's event takes place at the Peace Plaza in SF's Japantown District. All day long, enjoy traditional food, entertainment, and community outreach programs. You can also spoil your dog in Doggie World, entertain your kids in Children's World, and check out the classic cars at Sounds of Thunder.

Date: August 1 & 2

Learn More: Additional Details about this Year's Festival

Free Museum Days

In August, you will find several museums offering one free admission day. Most offer it on the same day, the first Tuesday of the month. Check the schedule to see when you can visit these great museums for free.

Dates: Various

Learn More: All Free Days in August 2015

Outside Lands Festival

Outside Lands is an annual music festival in SF's Golden Gate Park. It's one of the largest and most popular festivals every summer. For three days, you can enjoy live music, sample gourmet treats, and quince your thirst with local brews and wines.

Dates: August 7 - 9

Learn More: Outside Lands Festival 2015

J-Pop Summit Festival

This year's J-Pop Summit Festival offers a new experience. This three day festival includes a large Sake Summit, a technology event, and several other fun activities. You will even get the chance to meet Japanese celebrities. This event is at Union Square and the Fort Mason Center and tickets are required for all events. Opening night is on August 7 with most of the events taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

Dates: August 7, 8, & 9

Learn More: Additional Details about the J-Pop Festival

Pistahan Parade & Festival

Head over to the San Francisco Civic Center District for this year's 22nd Annual Pistahan Parade & Festival. This fun event offers Filipino American food, arts, and activities. The Pistahan Parade is on Saturday, August 8 at 11am and is the official opening to this weekend's festival. It's free for the entire family and runs from 11am to 5pm on Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9. All events are at the Yerba Buena Gardens.

Dates: August 8 & 9

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