Celebrate summer with these San Francisco events in July 2018. The biggest events this month center around the Fourth of July holiday, with activities along the waterfront and fireworks over the bay.
You can also enjoy a performance of School of Rock at the Orpheum Theater, explore SF on a free walking tour, and visit top museums at no cost during their monthly free admission day.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
Celebrate Independence Day 2018 in San Francisco! Like every year, this Fourth of July will bring lots of fun activities to the city, especially along the waterfront in Fisherman's Wharf. You can enjoy live music, family-friendly activities, and the fireworks display over the water at dark.
It's one of the biggest San Francisco events in July each year!
Fourth of July is also full of other fun activities. You can head out on a cruise, head south to Mountain View for the SF Symphony Firework Spectacular, or enjoy a concert. You will also find some great baseball all week long in both SF and Oakland.
Here are a few fun things to do for the Fourth of July holiday in San Francisco.
Thousands of people head to the waterfront for the fireworks on Fourth of July. Make your stay easier for the night by staying at one of our top hotels in this district. These are just a few of my favorites.
at The Wharf
Dates: Several in July
Location: Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park)
You will find fourteen SF Giants home games in July 2018. Watch them take on the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Considered one of the best baseball parks in the US, Oracle Park is a fun place to watch the SF Giants. They have a tasty selection of treats, fun activities for kids of all ages, some of our best local beers on tap, and views of the SF Bay from most seats in the park. Don't miss out on these popular San Francisco events in July.
You will find Oracle Park in the South of Market (SoMa) District.
You can also head over to Oakland to catch a game with the Oakland A's. If you love the American League, this is your chance to catch a game.
The A's take on the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays. They also have two Inter league series against the SF Giants and the San Diego Padres.
Dates: 6/27 - 7/22
Tickets: On sale now
Based on the movie with the same name, School of Rock is about an out of work musician looking to make a name for himself. He pretends to be a substitute teacher at a prestigious school and in the process find the best students to form a band to compete in a Battle of the Bands contest. It's a funny and heartwarming musical that you will not want to miss.
In addition to School of Rock, you will also find some other great San Francisco events in July on stage at our other theaters. Here are just a few of the other top shows this month. Click the links for tickets at up to 50% off on Goldstar.
One of the best San Francisco events in July is our popular cruises. You can head out on the water during the day for the 60-minute bay cruise, the bridge-to-bridge cruise or the high-speed Rocketboat adventure.
As the sun goes down, you will also find a number of popular happy hour, sunset, and dinner cruises. Almost all of them cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge, near Alcatraz, and along the SF Shoreline. You will get some amazing views of the entire SF Bay Area from the boats.
Many of these run daily and it's an experience you will never forget. Here are just a few of the top options. Click the links for more details and ticketing information.
SF Bay Cruise: 60-Minute cruise around the bay with narration
Sunset Sailing Cruise: 1.5 hour cruise that leaves at 7pm in July, includes both indoor and outdoor seating, two drinks and light appetizers with each ticket
Golden Gate Whale Watching: 2.5 hour cruise out to the Pacific Ocean, humpback and blue whales are migrating past SF this time of year, leaves from Fisherman's Wharf
Cycle One: June 12 - 17, Cycle Two: June 19 - 24, Cycle Three: June 26 - July 1
Location: War Memorial Opera House
While in San Francisco, you have the opportunity to watch the second largest opera company in North America perform at the historic War Memorial Opera House in the Civic Center District. This summer, they are performing The Ring, a cycle of four German-language opera dramas. They will perform three full cycles of The Ring in June and the first part of July.
Dates: Any day in July
Are you interested in exploring the famed Haight-Ashbury District on your own? If so, then check out my self-guided tour of this colorful neighborhood. In one day, it takes you past the places where famous musicians, actors, and others lived.
It will also offer you some great suggestions on where to grab lunch and a list of the top places to see while you are there.
More Perfect Day Itineraries for Your Stay
If you love exploring on your own, then check out these additional one-day itineraries in other top SF Districts.
Buying your tour and event tickets through Goldstar is a great way to save up to 50% off. These are some of the best discounted tickets for San Francisco events in July.
*Small service fee at checkout.
Another great way to save in San Francisco is with the CityPASS. It includes admission to top museums such as the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium (or choose the SF Museum of Modern Art), and the Aquarium of the Bay at a discount.
You will also receive a multi-day Muni pass with unlimited rides on cable cars and buses, and a ticket for a 60-minute SF Bay Cruise. The pass also includes other discounts too.
Dates: Every day in July
Some of my favorite San Francisco events in July are the free walking tours offered through the SF Public Library by SF City Guides. Each one is guided by a knowledgeable local that will tell you all about a specific district, time period, or attraction in SF.
You can also explore the mysterious alleys around Chinatown, get an insider's look at Fisherman's Wharf, and find out all about the history of North Beach including some of its most famous residents over the years.
Dates: 6/30 & 7/1
Location: Fillmore Street from Jackson to Eddy
The largest jazz festival on the west coast takes place on the weekend before Fourth of July in San Francisco. This is one of the fun San Francico events in July that offers free live jazz music all weekend long. The festival also features dozens of local artists showcasing their work, top gourmet goodies from SF eateries, and other fun activities.
SF Ethnic Dance Festival (7/14 & 7/15 + 7/21 & 7/22): Head over to the War Memorial Opera House for the annual SF Ethnic Dance Festival to see incredible performances of traditional dances from more than 20 world cultures, including Bolivia, Cambodia, China, the Congo, Egypt, Haiti, and many more. The festival takes place over three weekends, and each weekend's program is different, featuring a variety of spectacular dance companies from the Bay Area and beyond. Get more details about this awe-inspiring festival
Breastfest Beer Festival (7/14): What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than drinking beers with friends to raise money for a great cause? At this annual event held in the North Bay town of San Rafael, you can sample unlimited pours of local, domestic, and international brews while enjoying live music. The proceeds help women fighting breast cancer gain access to therapy and treatment. Find out how you can attend this great event for a great cause
Sunday Streets (7/15): The fourth edition of Sunday Streets this year takes place on July 15 in the Mission. This is a monthly street fair that rotates among districts, bringing together the community to enjoy free activities for the whole family, live music, and streets closed to traffic so people can play freely in the area. Find out which weekends to visit which neighborhoods
Renegade Craft Fair (7/14 & 7/15): The summer edition of the Renegade Craft Fair at the Fort Mason Center features several hundred hand-selected artists and their unique work, including furniture, jewelry, clothing, posters, and more. This is a great opportunity to get new ideas and purchase the items you need for your summer redecorating projects. Get the details about this bi-annual event for craft lovers
Bastille Day SF 2018 (7/14): Celebrate Bastille Day with the Official Committee of French-American Organizations of Northern California. This free outdoor festival runs from 10am to 7pm and features the best French food, wine and entertainment. It also includes kids activities and tours of San Francisco's French Quarter. All activities will take place at the Embarcadero Plaza at Market & Embarcadero Streets across from the Ferry Building.
Up Your Alley Street Fair (7/29): This popular leather and fetish street fair is not for the faint of heart. It's one of the San Francisco event sin July that draws in more than 15,000 people each year and is dedicated to those that love leather, whips, toys and so much more. The event is held in the South of Market District on Dore Alley between Howard and Folsom.
Laborfest SF (All Month Long): Laborfest is an annual month-long event that discusses and educates the public on the struggles of everyday workers from around the world. It features almost two dozen events including documentary films, discussions, and presentations. You can also join in on their walking tours and annual boat tour. Most of the events are free or request a small donation. Find this year's schedule of events
Dates: Several throughout the month
Head out and enjoy some live music while you're in town, as San Francisco is full of great concert venues from large to small.
Stop into an intimate cafe setting for some local jazz or emerging bands, or purchase tickets ahead of time for one of the bigger names visiting classic venues like the Warfield, the Fillmore, or the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.
Here are some of the biggest concerts in July.
7/16: The Melvins at the Great American Music Hall
7/21 & 7/22: Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Great American Music Hall
7/24 & 7/25: Phish at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
7/24: The Psychedelic Furs at the Nob Hill Masonic Center
Summer is a great time to catch an outdoor shows in the SF Bay Area. There are several large amphitheaters that offer outdoor shows throughout the season.
Some of the most well known include the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, and the stage at Mountain Winery in Saratoga. You will also find some great outdoors shows near the vineyards in both Sonoma and Napa.
Here are just of few of the top outdoor shows in July.
7/2 & 7/3: Dead & Company at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View
7/2: Chris Isaak at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga
7/8: Michael McDonald at the Rodney Strong Winery in Healdsburg
7/12: Sylvan Esso at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley
7/21: Melissa Etheridge at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga
Visit the hotel sites below for top reviews and discounts on hotel rooms during your stay. You will find plenty of deals through the city as you enjoy all of these San Francisco events in July.
Date: Opening Show is on 7/4 with other performances throughout the month
No, this is not pantomiming! But it IS a fantastic, free show of a talented community-based theater group that talks, sings, and dances about socially and politically relevant themes. Their Bay Area Opening Weekend performance in Dolores Park is another one of the unique San Francisco events in July.
This year's show is called Seeing Red: A Time Traveling Musical. It's about a woman that feels that politics is a sham and on Election Night in 2018 decides she wants nothing to do with it anymore. That is until a mysterious man agrees to take her back to a time when politics was for the people and individuals voted for their own interests, not against them.
Another one of the popular San Francisco events in July is our tours to Yosemite. This amazing national park offer views around every corner.
During your tour, your guide and driver will do the heavy lifting to get you to Yosemite which is about 4.5 hours away. Upon arrival, they will drive you to see some of it's top attractions including El Capitan and Half Dome.
You will then get some time to wonder around and do a little hiking on your own. These highlights tours go fast, but it's a great way to see the natural wonders at this amazingly beautiful park.
You can also select one of the two- or three-day tours. These will give you more time to play and explore the park. The price for the tour also includes lodging or camping equipment.
Here are a few of the top tours.
One-Day Yosemite Tour: Runs every day in July and leaves SF around 7am, 3 hours of free time in Yosemite plus additional time in the park with your guide, 13.5 hour tour
1-Day Yosemite National Park, Giant Sequoias: Runs daily in July, 14 hour tour, 5-6 hours in Yosemite, a 1-hour Sequoia walk
Yosemite Lodge 2-Day National Park Tour from San Francisco: Small group tour with no more than 13 people, stay overnight at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, includes one day in Yosemite Valley and the second day in the outlaying area of the park, returns at around 8pm on day two
Yosemite Valley 3-Day Camping Adventure: See even more of Yosemite on this 3-day tour, narrated tour for all three days, guided group hikes, and some free time on the third day, 5 meals are provided as well as the camping equipment, you will help with cooking and tent set up/take down, you must also bring your own sleeping bag (rentals available for a small fee), you can also pick up food along the way for other meals at one of the food stops, it's a fun way to get back to nature and spend the weekend with other outdoor enthusiasts
Dates: 6/17 to 8/19 (Every Sunday in July)
It is a San Francisco tradition for people to flock to Stern Grove to enjoy a picnic with friends while listening to incredible live outdoor concerts amidst the tranquility of the trees on summer Sunday afternoons.
Many well-known groups perform here, and every week the concert is totally free! Previous performers include Janelle Monae, the O'Jays, and the New Pornographers. All shows start at 2pm.
Make sure to arrive early as these San Francisco events in July are popular and spots fill up quickly.
Union Square Live: It's summertime! And that means free, outdoor, live performances at Union Square in the heart of downtown SF. This festival offers a variety of dance, music, circus, and theater performances every week from now through September. These shows are family-friendly and easy to access. Get the Union Square Festival details and schedule
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is an ongoing summer event offering free entertainment every week from now through October. Find a comfy spot on the Yerba Buena Gardens lawn in SoMa and enjoy live outdoor music, dance, and theater performances that feature both well-known and emerging artists. These shows are a great way to get exposed to classical, jazz, and traditional ethnic music and dances. Get the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival details
Dates: Several in early July
Once a month, several SF museums offer free admission to their permanent collections. Many of these free admission days are offered toward the beginning of the month.
Participating museums include the Conservatory of Flowers, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Asian Art Museum. You can also gain free admission to the GLBT Museum in the Castro, the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park, and the deYoung Museum.
It's one of the most popular San Francisco events in July and it's a fun way to see these museums at no cost to you!
Dates: 7/19 - 8/3
Spend an evening with the SF Symphony as they perform the score of three Star Wars movies live. These epic films will come to life on the big screen as the symphony performs each song.
First up is A New Hope which runs from 7/19 to 7/21. The following week, they will perform The Empire Strikes Back from 7/26-7/28. The final movie is Return of the Jedi from 7/29 to 8/3.
You will also find some other great performances this month with the SF Symphony including Steven Allen Fox, the Little Mermaid (7/6 - 7/8) and Alexander Prior, Decadent Romance: Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky (7/13 & 7/14).
Location: Roxie Theater in the Mission
The largest SF film festival in July is the Frozen Film Festival. It offers independent film makers, youth, and underserved communities with great talent but few screening opportunities, a place to show their work to a wide audience.
The opening night gala will feature local musicians and artists, and for four days, you can watch ground-breaking documentaries, animations, and shorts at the Roxie Theater in the heart of the Mission District.
Location: Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) Park in the South of Market District
Oracle Park is where you will find this year's Rugby World Cup Sevens. It's the first time this international event will be held in the US and there is no question it will be one of the top San Francisco events in July.
Twenty-four men's teams and 14 women's team will face off for their chance to become world champions.
You can pick up tickets for just one day (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) or buy the three-day pass to watch all the action this weekend. You will find Oracle Park in the South of Market (SOMA) District.
Dates: Any day in July
If you love tasting wine, then head up north to Napa and/or Sonoma on a fun and interesting day trip. You can leave the driving to the experts as you sit back, relax, and learn more about each region, sample new wines, and see how the wine is made.
Choose among different tour packages that vary in price, duration, number of wineries visited, and form of transportation (may be a bus, private van, bikes, train, or even helicopter!).
Here are just a few of the top Summer Wine Tours. All of them leave from San Francisco and offer transit back to your hotel and/or starting location.
Dates: Several in July
Laugh the night away at one of SF's premier comedy clubs. Both the Punch Line in the Financial District and Cobb's in North Beach are known to host the biggest names in stand-up, such as Dana Carvey, Russell Peters, Dave Chapelle, and many more.
You can also catch local comedians, improv troupes, and musical comedies at those and several other locations all around town.
Here are some of the biggest shows this month in SF.
7/5 - 7/7: Arj Barker at Cobb's Comedy Club
7/21: Michael Blackson at the Nob Hill Masonic Center
7/24 & 7/25: Marcella Arguello at the Punch Line Comedy Club
Dates: All throughout the month
This is the last month to catch the exhibit Contraption: Rediscovering California Jewish Artists at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in SoMa. In addition, check out SF's other top museums, including the Walt Disney Museum, the de Young Fine Arts Museum, and the Legion of Honor. All are currently featuring excellent traveling exhibits.
Here are just a few additional top exhibits in July.
Asian Art Museum: Traces of the Past & Future: Fu Shen's Paintings and Calligraphy
Exploratorium: Inflatable, Expanding Works of Art
SF Museum of Modern Art: Alexander Calder
Walt Disney Museum: Make Believe, The World of Glen Keane
Dates: 7/21 & 7/22
This year's Orchids in the Park is in July at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. On display, you will find thousands of gorgeous orchids for sale.
The event runs from 10am to 5pm both days. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and children 16 and under are free.
Golden Gate Park is busy on the weekends, so you will want to plan ahead for transit. If you plan to drive, you can either park on the street or in the Music Concourse Garage (north entrance at 10th Ave. and Fulton Street and south entrance at Concourse Dr. and Martin Luther King Dr.).
You can also take public transit. Your best options are the N-Judah line which will drop you off about a block away from the event. Exit the train at 9th and Irving. It's one of the more colorful San Francisco events in July.
This year marks the 40th edition of the San Francisco Marathon! Spend your Sunday morning touring SF's streets with your own feet by joining more than 27,000 other runners in either the 5K, half, or full marathon.
You'll run past landmarks like the Embarcadero, Fisherman's Wharf, Crissy Field, the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Golden Gate Park, the Haight-Ashbury, and the Mission.
Make sure to register today as this is one of the most popular running races and San Francisco events in July.
Location: Golden Gate Club in the Presidio
Spend the afternoon celebrating lamb and the ranches and farms across the nation that raise them. The event features lamb creations from 16 of SF's top chefs.
The main event runs from 3pm to 6pm on Saturday, July 22. It features the 16 chefs competing to win the best dish of the day and YOU get to sample them before casting your ballet.
In addition to the competition, there will also be local winemakers, brewers, cocktail specialists and other chefs on hand serving up some of their best beverages and culinary delights also. Head over early for the VIP event which starts at 2pm and also includes early entry to the event and a full hour of sampling with all the other VIPs.
Don't miss out on one of the hottest culinary San Francisco events in July!
In addition to these San Francisco events in July, you will find dozens of other fun things to do. Click the link below for further ideas, such as which cruises to take, which walking tours are the best, and which districts to visit this month.
Discover tips to help you pack on my weather in July page. Here you will find average highs and lows and a little more about what to expect from the weather each day. I've also included tips on how to dress while you are here.
Enjoy a free movie in the park this July in San Francisco. Film Night in the Park's July movie is TBD. This free event will start just before dark in Union Square. Head over early to get the best seats.
in San Francisco