Top San Francisco events in August 2018 include the Outside Lands Music Festival, Eat Drink SF, and several theater productions. You can also enjoy some free walking tours, a trip up to wine country for the day, and SF Giants baseball.
August is one of the busiest times of the year in San Francisco. You will love it as the days are warm and the evenings are cool. It's the perfect place to escape the dreaded summer heat.
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Dates: 8/6, 8/7, 8/9-8/12, 8/24-8/29, & 8/31
Location: AT&T Park in the SoMa District
Tickets: Buy your tickets today
Baseball season is in full swing and SF Giants games are some of the most popular San Francisco events in August. This month, they play thirteen home games. They play host to the Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
All home games are at AT&T Park in the SoMa District.
You can also head across the bay to catch a game with the Oakland A's. This month, they play 17 home games. Teams visiting this month include the Houston Astros, the LA Dodgers, and the Seattle Mariners.
The Oakland Coliseum, where the A's play, is an easy BART ride from SF. It takes about 20 minutes by train to the stadium and the station in Oakland is less than a 5 minute walk away from the game.
Outside Lands is one of the largest San Francisco events in August. This three-day music festival features more than 70 well-known artists on multiple stages, as well as local food, wine, and beer vendors. Each year it's held in Golden Gate Park near the Polo Field.
The 2018 lineup includes The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, and Janet Jackson. Other artists taking the stage include Future, Beck and Odesza. It's one of the most anticipated music festivals every Summer.
Tickets: All performances on sale now
Les Miserables is returning to the Orpheum Theater stage this month. It's one of the top San Francisco events in August and one of the world's most popular musicals.
It tells the story of how strong the human spirit is when faced with broken dreams, love, passion, and sacrifice.
Don't miss your chance to see one of the top Broadway shows on stage this month in SF.
Here are a few additional shows on stage around town this August.
Sunday in the Park with George (7/5-9/8) at the SF Playhouse, check for tickets
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (7/7 - 8/5) at the Victoria Theater, check for tickets
Boeing Boeing (7/19 - 8/4), a high flying musical comedy, at the Bindlestiff Studio, check for tickets
Dates: 8/15, 8/16, & 8/17
Location: Davies Symphony Hall
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres is coming to San Francisco for three nights of comedy. For the first time in 15 years, DeGeneres will take the stage for a night of stand-up comedy.
Before she became famous for her show Ellen and her syndicated talk-show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she was well known for her live stand-up comedies and her TV specials. She will be filming a Netflix show in Seattle and is making her way through the SF Bay Area first.
It's one of the most anticipated San Francisco events in August! Pick up your tickets today as they are sure to go fast!
Location: Festival Pavilion at the Fort Mason Center
Admission: $10.50 per person per day
Check out the handmade crafts at this three-day event brought to you by the American Craft Council with over 225 top artisans in jewelry, furniture, clothing, and home decor.
No matter what your taste—vintage, cutting-edge, elegant, or full of colors—you're sure to find something you'll love. It runs from 10am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday. The hours for Sunday are 11am to 5pm.
You will love the variety of cruises offered from Fisherman's Wharf. They include some popular day cruises such as the 60-Minute Bay Cruise Adventure, the Bridge-to-Bridge Cruise, and the Escape from the Rock. Thrill seekers also love the high-speed Rocketboat ride that runs throughout the Summer and Fall months.
We also have a number of fun evening cruises. The include more casual options such as the Red & White California Sunset Cruise or the Sunset Catamaran Sailing Cruise. There are also some fun Happy Hour Cruises a few nights a week as well as higher end Dinner Cruises.
More than a dozen cruises leave from the shores of Fisherman's Wharf each day. Here are just a few of the most popular picks.
Sunset Sailing Cruise: Leaves at 7pm daily from the Wharf, includes indoor and outdoor seating, 1.5 hour cruise, check for ticket availability for August dates
Rocketboat: Leaves several times a day in July, 30-minute high-speed ride with twists and turns and rock and roll music, check for tickets
Champagne Brunch Cruise: 2-hour cruise with a breakfast buffet, free flowing champagne, and amazing views, check for dates in August
at The Wharf
Date: 8/4 & 8/5
The Nihonmachi Street Fair is held in SF's Japantown district each year. It's one of the weekend-long San Francisco events in August that celebrates Asian Pacific American cultures.
During this event, you can sample traditional food, listen to live entertainment, and enjoy activities with your kids.
Pistahan Parade and Festival (8/11 & 8/12): Free admission. Experience the beauty of Filipino art, dance, music, and food at the 24th edition of this two-day festival, known to be the largest celebration of Filipino Americans in the U.S. This event is fun for the whole family, and admission is free. Go to the Pistahan website to find out more
420 Games in Golden Gate Park (Saturday, 8/11 from 8am to 2pm): Celebrate the legalization of cannabis in California at this year's 420 Games in Golden Gate Park. It's a full day of fun including the chance to sample local beers, listen to live music, and laugh the day away with some great comedians. It kicks off with a 4.2 mile group trip through the park (you can run, walk or bike). Note: No smoking or use of cannabis is permitted on site.
Chinatown Music Festival (8/12): Celebrate the music and culture of this vibrant district in the heart of San Francisco. This annual music and alleyway festival offers free live music as well as your chance to sample some of its best traditional dishes. It runs from 11am to 5pm and is along Waverly Place between Washington and Sacramento.
Polk Street Blues Festival (8/18 & 8/19): The Polk Street Blues Festival is back! 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. Details for the 2018 event
Aloha Polyfest (8/18): This year's annual Aloha Polyfest takes place along the Marina Green West in SF's Marina District. This free event is a great place to learn more about Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian cultures through music, food, and other activities. You can also visit the Marketplace for unique and rare items for sale. The kids zone offers face painting and several hands on activities. It runs from 11am to 5pm.
Noise Pop's 20th Street Block Party (8/18): Join the diverse community of SF's colorful Mission District for the fifth annual 20th Street Block Party--a free celebration of summer, music, and great food. Noise Pop, which also co-hosts the Treasure Island Music Festival, is one of the leading independent music promoters in the country, bringing the best emerging bands to stage. Some of the featured artists from previous years include Miami Horror, Chicano Batman, Hazel English, and Spooky Mansion. Find out more on the official website
Origami Festival (8/26): It is amazing what can be created with just a piece of paper and some clever folding action! At the Origami-Palooza and Paper Airplane Contest, people of all ages are invited to come learn from the experts and make their own paper art pieces. This festival, which takes place at the Japan Center Malls in Japantown, will also include an origami competition and prizes for the best entries. Discover more details about the festival
Check out the best half-priced tickets for San Francisco events in August. You will find them on Goldstar, where most tickets are up to 50% off the full retail price.
*Small service fee at checkout.
One of the best ways to explore SF is on a City Tour. These guided tours are often on comfortable motor buses and offer a great overview of the city.
Most drive over the Golden Gate Bridge with a photography stop on one side. Many of them also cruise through Chinatown, the Haight-Ashbury District, and through Golden Gate Park.
Others will drive you past the gorgeous Painted Ladies of Alamo Square and one of the crookedest streets in the world, Lombard Street. Most offer several photo stops along the way so you can get out, stretch your legs, and admire some of our top attractions in more details.
Here are a few of the top city tour options.
Grand City Tour: 3.5 hour tour includes views of the Civic Center District, Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, and Alamo Square, knowledgable guide will tell you all about the history of SF and our top attractions, check for ticket availability in August
Night Tour: Head out on this double decker bus to see SF at night, 2-hour tour that takes you past North Beach, Chinatown, and along California Street, leaves at 7:30pm and the sun starts to set around 8pm this time of year, live guide will tell you all about SF, check for tickets in August
Hop On Hop Off Tour: If you prefer to explore on your own, then check out the Hop On Hop Off Tour, you can then hop off and back on at any stop along the route, this tour offers 32 stops in SF and Sausalito, the 2-day or 48 hour tour is the most popular, check for tickets through City Sightseeing
Dates: Several in August
Save money while you explore some of SF's top museums. This month, you can step inside the Asian Art Museum at no cost to check out their permanent collection.
These are just some of the San Francisco events in August you do not want to miss!
Don't pay full price for your stay in SF, click the links below to check out the best deals available! It's a great way to save as you are enjoying all of these fun San Francisco events in August.
Enjoy a ton of savings on your trip to San Francisco with this handy discount attraction and museum pass!
In addition, take a free cruise on the SF Bay and ride the cable cars and buses for free. The pass is also full of other shopping discounts!
Tickets: Save big on your trip to SF now!
Date: 8/9 & 8/25
One of those unique San Francisco treats, the SF Mime Troupe is a community-based theater group that performs an original, socially and politically relevant show each summer, for free, in many different locations to reach as many people as possible.
This year's piece, Seeing Red: A Time Traveling Musical, is about a small town woman in the Midwest that is fed up with politics. She voted for the current president and feels that she and others in the middle states have been conned. She meets a mysterious man who takes her back in time to 1912, when she learns that what she and others that voted for the current president want from her country is not that much different from what those on the coasts want.
The 8/9 performance is at the Bayview Opera House and the 8/25 show is in Glen Park.
San Francisco is a food lovers dream. Some of the best San Francisco events in August revolve around our hot food scene.
Almost every day of the week, you will find a variety of food tours. The offer you the chance to sample some of SF's most famous dishes and cuisines from around the world. You can sample Dim Sum in Chinatown, Central and South American dishes in the Mission, or some of our best Italian goodies in North Beach.
The tours usually last about 2 to 3 hours and include small samples of a variety of dishes. As you walk from place to place, you will also learn more about the district, the restaurants you visit, and the foods you sample.
Here are some of our most popular food tours.
North Beach & Little Italy Food Tour: Sample some of the best pizza, pastas, breads and other Italian treats on this 3-hour tour of North Beach, this behind the scenes tour also includes samples of fresh coffee and local olive oils, leaves three times a day in August, find ticketing availability
Chinatown & North Beach Food Tour: Taste treats from two of our top foodie districts, sample dim sum, egg tarts, and other traditional Chinese dishes in Chinatown and then head next door to North Beach for some Italian treats, 3-hour tour runs twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday, find tickets for this tour
Craft Beer, Bites & Brewery Tour: During this 5-hour tour, you'll cruise around SF in an open air vehicle as you sample some of SF's best craft beers and small bites, get a behind the scenes look at how craft beers are made, taste some of our internationally famous ice cream, and see some lesser known sites around town, leaves at 2:30pm several days each week in August, find tickets for this tour
The Original San Francisco Gourmet Chocolate Tour: Spend three hours strolling from the waterfront along the Embarcadero to Union Square as you sample chocolate from up to 6 local chocolatiers, learn about h ow SF became a chocolate lovers destination, and sample some of the best chocolates in town, small group tour, runs four times a week, find tickets for this tour
Dates: Several in August
In addition to the three-day Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, you'll find several great concerts this time of year at SF's top venues, including at the Warfield and the Independent.
Top performers this year include Erasure, Jack White and David Byrne. Top shows around the SF Bay Area include Hall & Oats + Train in Oakland and Rod Stewart with Cyndi Lauper at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.
Here are a few more details on the top show in SF and around the SF Bay Area this August. Click the artists names for ticketing information.
8/1: Lucinda Williams, Steve Earl & The Dukes, and Dwight Yoakam at the Nob Hill Masonic Center
8/14, 8/15 & 8/16: Van Morrison at the Nob Hill Masonic Center
8/15 & 8/16: Jack White at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
8/21: Ed Sheeran at AT&T Park
8/6: Willie Nelson with Alison Krauss at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga
8/7: Hall & Oats with Train at the Oracle Arena in Oakland
8/26: The Temptations & The Four Tops at Rodney Strong Winery in Healdsburg
8/29: Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View
Dates: Every Sunday from 6/17 to 8/19
Enjoy the last few live music performances in beautiful Stern Grove each Sunday this month until August 19. All shows start at 2pm. These San Francisco events in August are free, so make sure to arrive early for the best spots in the park.
Union Square Live: This ongoing summer festival continues to offer free outdoor, live performances at Union Square this month, featuring a variety of dance, music, circus, and theater acts. Take a day to head on over and relax in the square, in the heart of downtown SF. Get the Union Square Festival details and schedule
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is one of the ongoing San Francisco events in August with weekly performances. They last all summer long from May through October. The live outdoor music, dance, and theater performances bring both well-known and emerging artists to stage, and portray a variety of ethnic and cultural groups. Find out more about this year's Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Dates: 8/9 & 8/30
Location: Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara
Tickets: On sale now for all games
NFL fans, this is the month you's been waiting for, when football is back in force in the Bay Area!
On August 9, the San Francisco 49ers open the preseason at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara against the Dallas Cowboys. They return on August 30 to take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
If you plan to head to a 49ers game, you will find plenty of place to stay right near the stadium. All of these are a short walk or drive to the games.
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara: 10-minute walk to the stadium, 4-star hotel with a breakfast buffet and pool, 5101 Great American Parkway, check for room availability
Hilton Santa Clara: 5-minute walk to the stadium, 4-star with free parking, onsite restaurant and a pool, 4949 Great American Parkway, check for room availability
Santa Clara Marriott: 15-minute walk away from the stadium, 4-star hotel with parking, a sports bar, breakfast, 2700 Mission College Blvd, check for availability
Some of our most ask about San Francisco events in August are our tours to Napa Valley. This Northern California wine region creates some of the best wines in the world.
They are well known for their Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. In addition, you will also find a wide variety of other top wines including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and many others.
The region is just over an hour north of San Francisco. Many companies offer a full day tour that runs for about 8 to 10 hours. During the day, you will often stop at around 3 to 4 tours with tastings at most places. Some tours include the price of the tastings and some don't.
A guided tour is a great way to leave the driving to someone else so you can taste as much of the amazing wines here as you want. All tours leave from and return to SF.
Here are just a few of my favorites.
Full Day Napa Tour from SF: This 8 to 9 hour tour includes stops at 3 wineries along Napa Valley's famed Silverado Trail, sample 5 to 6 wines at each location, see how wine is made on a behind the scenes tour, includes the wine tasting, does not include lunch in the ticket price (you will stop at Oxbow for lunch), leaves from SF daily, find tickets for this tour
Vineyard, Cave and Winery Tour of Napa and Sonoma with Lunch: This tour includes stops at local Napa & Sonoma wineries with a 45-minute tram tour at Benziger, sample several wines, enjoy a picnic lunch near the vineyards, tasting fees included at both Benziger and Imagery, you will need to pay for other tastings, lunch is included, leaves daily from SF, runs for about 10 hours, find tickets for this tour in August
Napa & Sonoma Full Day Tour: Visit three wineries including a large facility to a smaller boutique winery, visit both Napa & Sonoma on this full day trip that runs for about 8 hours, all three tastings included with your ticket, stop for lunch is not included, learn about wine making from experts in both of these regions, find tickets for August
Enjoy a full day of sampling local beers at the Bay Area Brew Festival. This is one of the popular San Francisco events in August that features dozens of beers from all around the world.
You can also sample foods from some of the best food trucks around along Food Truck Alley. Food is sold separately and not included in the price of your entry ticket.
This year's Bay Area Brew Fest is scheduled to have more than 200 beers on hand from around 70 breweries. Some of the most popular picks include Pine Street Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Company, and Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
This year's event is at Pier 35 from Noon to 4pm or 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
Date: 8/17 - 8/19
Location: Westfield San Francisco Centre
San Francisco offers lots of wonderful wine tasting events throughout the year, but this one is truly special. It's your chance to sample some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, Sonoma, Washington, Bordeaux and from other regions around the world.
This year's event features more than 80 wines. There will also be several food and wine experts that will be guest speaking throughout the weekend.
The event offers several activities with the most popular being the Grand Tasting Events. The first Grand Tasting is on Saturday from 1pm to 5pm. The second tasting is on Sunday afternoon from 12pm to 4pm.
Dates: All throughout the month
This August, you will find a variety of interesting traveling exhibits at our top museums such as the Asian Art Museum, the Legion of Honor and the SF Museum of Modern Arts. Here are just a few of the top options this month.
Asian Art Museum: Fu Shen's Paintings and Calligraphy
de Young Fine Arts Museum: Judy Dater - Only Human
Exploratorium: Inflatable, Expanding Works of Art
Legion of Honor: The Future of the Past: Mummies and Medicine
SF MOMA: Between Two Worlds, Art of California
Dates: Every Day in August
Another great way to save on sightseeing in San Francisco is by taking the free walking tours offered by SF City Guides and expert volunteers from the SF Public Library.
Another one of the best San Francisco events in August is our tours to Muir Woods. This historic gem is about 20 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
It's home to Coastal Redwood Trees. Many of them are between 600 to 800 years old with a few more than 1,000 years old.
These tall beauties are an amazing sight to see. You can stroll along the well maintained trails and stare up at their beauty. There are also some informational signs along the way, so you can learn more as you stroll. In addition, you can step inside the Welcome Center for even more information.
This place gets crowded and you are now required to pre-book both parking and shuttles. This is why I now think it's much easier to take a guided tour. These tours will pick you up and drop you off in SF and at the entrance to Muir Woods. You will also have plenty of time to explore the lovely trails around this National Park.
Here are just a few of the top tours.
Muir Woods & Sausalito with Ferry Option: This tour takes you to the entrance of Muir Woods and through its famous redwoods. You will spend an hour in Muir Woods and 45 minutes exploring Sausalito. You can then either bus back or select the option to take the ferry back. This way you can spend more time in Sausalito for lunch and a little shopping. The ticket does not include the $10 entry fee into Muir Woods. Find out more about this tour.
Muir Woods & Wine Country Escape: This tour offers you the chance to explore Muir Woods and then continue north for some wine tasting. It's a great combo tour that allows you to see quite a bit in just one day. After spending a little time checking out Muir Woods, you will then head to Sonoma where you will have two tastings. You will then continue on to Napa Valley where you will have your final tasting. You will spend 45 minutes to an hour in each location. Does not include Muir Woods entry fee or lunch, but does include the cost to taste at all three wineries. Find out more here.
Date: Any day of the week
Do you have only a short time to explore San Francisco? While it will be difficult to see it all, you can cover quite a bit of ground in just a few days.
To simplify your planning process, I've created this three-day itinerary with the best attractions, activities, and must-see stops in SF.
It includes a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge, time to check out Fisherman's Wharf, and tips on when you should visit Alcatraz.
In addition to my three day suggested itinerary, here are a few more you might enjoy.
Enjoy the California Academy of Sciences with other 21+ nature and science lovers at their weekly Nightlife event. Each week, they feature an evening event with cocktails and fun activities.
The event is every Thursday night in August from 6pm to 10pm. Each week is also a new theme, so you can learn more about a certain topic that relates to science or the museum.
Previous topics include Golden State Nightlife, Smoked Nightlife, Beer Garden Nightlife, and Big Picture Nightlife. It's a great way to learn more about the nocturnal life at the museum.
Head on over to the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, where the city's best culinary treasures will be laid out before you. Taste amazing food, enjoy unlimited pours of wine and spirits, make your way through the cheese monger cave, watch pro cooking demonstrations, and mingle with other food and drink lovers.
This annual celebration of food, wines and spirits features dishes from more than 35 chefs throughout the Bay Area. You will find Grand Tasting Events for the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The thing I love most about this event is that everything (except merchandise) is included with your ticket. This allows you to sample and sip as much as you want during the Grand Tasting Event.
Dates: Several in August
San Francisco events in August include a variety of laugh-out-loud performances, including stand up at the comedy clubs, improv shows, and musical comedies like Beach Blanket Babylon.
Click the link below to find out who's performing this month at Cobb's Comedy Club and the Punch Line. Make sure to enjoy one of these San Francisco events in August during your stay.
Location: McLaren Park at 45 John F. Shelley Drive
Jerry Garcia was born in San Francisco and lived most of his childhood in the Excelsior District. Started in 2002, Jerry Day is a day to celebrate this talented artist that brought so much music and love to the world.
The events for Jerry Day are held in McLaren Park (45 John F. Shelley Drive) near the Excelsior District. The event includes talented artists that will bring you the best of Jerry's music. You will also be able to buy plenty of food and drinks from local vendors.
This is one of the free San Francisco events in August. Gates open at 11am and the music starts at 11:30am.
Dates: 8/2 & 8/3, 8/10-8/12
Location: Davies Symphony Hall
The SF Symphony has a few fun San Francisco events in August for the entire family. They will perform the score for two popular movies as it is shown on the big screen.
The first is Star Wars Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. This will run on 7/29, 8/2 & 8/3.
The second show is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They will offer several performances from 8/10-8/12.
Location: Pier 39
One of the best San Francisco events in August is Outdoor Movie Night at Pier 39. This fun event offers a free screening of the film "School of Rock" on their smartwater Stage.
Before the show begins, make sure to stop by one of Pier 39's full service restaurants for dinner. You can also stop by some of their other stores for a grab and go meal or for some sweet treats to enjoy during the film.
Seating will be provided, but it does get cool after the sun goes down in August. Make sure to bring along a jacket and/or a blanket to stay warm.
"School of Rock" will start at around 8pm and end around 10pm.
The annual Bridge to Bridge race runs between two of our iconic bridges from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge. This race is one of the most beautiful runs in America.
This is one of the San Francisco events in August that features both a 5k and a 12k run. Both groups will start on the Embarcadero near the SF Bay Bridge. You will run along the waterfront toward the Golden Gate Bridge. The 5k group will stop at the Marina Green and the 12k group will run almost all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and finish in the Marina Green also.
The After Party is another fun perk for this event. Celebrate your run along with family and friends on the Marina Green. The event features live music, beer, and food. Register for this event today!
Beyond attending the wonderful events I've outlined above, there are plenty more things to do when you visit San Francisco in August. Read my guide on the best tours, cruises, family activities, restaurants, and nightlife to check out during this time of year.
Are you looking for a few ideas on what to pack? If so, then visit my San Francisco weather page for August. I take you through what to expect during the day and night. I also provide you with some tips on what to wear during your stay.
Dates: 8/4 & 8/25
One of the best San Francisco events in August is enjoying outdoor movies after dark in open public spaces. This August, there are two screenings. You can watch "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert " at Dolores Park on August 4 and then "Lady Bird" at Washington Square Park on August 25. Picnics on the lawn are encouraged, but leave your chairs at home so everyone around you can see.
Festivals in SF