San Francisco Events in October 2014

Halloween Parties, Fleet Week, Open Studios and Other Fun Things to Do This Month in SF

The San Francisco event calendar for October is one of the busiest all year long. It's also one of the most beautiful months with sunny days and cool, comfortable evenings.

In 2014, you can watch the Blue Angels fly high over the bay during Fleet Week, take a peek inside local artists studios during SF Open Studios and enjoy free music in Golden Gate Park during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

Other highlights this month include the Castro Street Fair, the Union Street Wine Walk and Union Square Live. Toward the beginning of the month, you can catch a theater performance of Pippin and at the end of the month, you can celebrate all night long for Halloween (which falls on a Friday night this year!).

Half Priced Tickets

Each month, you will find a number of great deals for tours, event tickets and more through Goldstar. It's the first place I look before buying tickets to anything in the city. Here are just a handful of the great deals available this month.

Red & white Fleet Bay Cruise

  • 60-minute cruise that takes you around the SF Bay
  • See the SF waterfront including the Palace of Fine Arts, the Fort Point National Historic Site, Alcatraz, and Sausalito
  • Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Leaves several times a day
  • Full Price: $28.00 | Goldstar Price: $14.00*

2-Hour Golden Gate Champagne or Mimosa Cruise

  • Cruise around the SF Bay while enjoying two complimentary drinks
  • See SF's beautiful waterfront attractions including the Palace of Fine Arts, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz Island
  • Raise your glass at 11am for a toast as you ride under the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Leaves every Saturday and Sunday at 10am
  • Full Price: $60.00 | Goldstar Price: $36.00*

Day Trip to Monterey & Carmel

  • Enjoy a one day trip to two beautiful waterfront towns, Monterey and Carmel
  • Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway on the way down through Santa Cruz
  • Stop in Monterey for two hours of shopping, to grab a meal, or to walk along the waterfront
  • Cruise south on 17-Mile Drive and see the gorgeous golf courses this area is famous for
  • Stop in Carmel-by-the-Sea for an hour of free time to shop and stroll around this lovely town
  • Full Price: $84.00 | Goldstar Price: $42.00*

*Additional fees may apply

Fleet Week 2014

After being cancelled last year, the 2014 Fleet Week is on schedule. This year, the plan is to once again have the large airs how, ship tours and other activities all weekend long. It will start on Thursday, October 9 and last through Monday, October 13.

Dates: October 9 - 13

Learn More: What to Expect for Fleet Week 2014

Open Studios

Open Studios gives you the chance to take a sneak peek to the studios where local artists create their masterpieces. This fun SF event lasts for four weeks with different studios open each weekend. The 2014 schedule is final and you will find all the details by clicking the link below.

Dates: October 18 - November 9

Learn More: SF Open Studios

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Every year, you can listen to free music in Golden Gate Park at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. This year's event is on October 3, 4 and 5, 2014. Some of this year's top acts include Chris Isaak, Dwight Yoakam and Rosanne Cash. Click the link below for this year's full list of performers.

Dates: October 3, 4, and 5

Learn More: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

The Castro Street Fair

The first Sunday of October is when you can party all day long in the Castro district at their annual street fair. This year's fair will include live music, performers and areas dedicated to dancing. Every year, they also feature gourmet food, beverages and works from a variety of artists.

Date: October 5

Learn More: The Castro Street Fair

Halloween 2014

This is one of the best years to celebrate Halloween in San Francisco. This fun, lively holiday falls on a Friday this year, so you can expect more parties than ever! You will find everything from fun 21+ costume parties to several family friendly events. On my Halloween Insider's Guide, you will also find some of the best ghost tours all around San Francisco.

Date: October 31

Learn More: Halloween 2014

Union Street Wine Walk

If you love sampling wines, then head over to Union Street in the Marina on Thursday, October 9. In its 5th year, this wine walk features wine samples and hors d'oeuvres by local restaurants and merchants. The cost is $25 per person on-site and you can get your tickets at 2040 Union Street. This event starts at 4pm and they finish pouring at around 8pm.

Date: Thursday, October 9

Learn More: How to Get to the Marina District

Learn More: All Wine Festivals in SF this Year

Best of Broadway: Pippin

Head to the Golden Gate Theater through October 19 to catch the award winning musical Pippin. It follows the story of a young prince that needs to make a lift altering decision. Does he live a simple life or risk it all for one small moment in the spotlight?

Dates: September 23 - October 19

Learn More: 2014 October Theater Calendar & Ticketing Info

Union Square Live

Another free event this month is Union Square Live. In the heart of the city, you will find music and other performances on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. All are local artists showing their skills as well as teaching others.

Dates: Several in October

Learn More: Union Square Live

Haight Ashbury House tours

The Haight Ashbury District has the largest number of Victorian homes still intact. This area was not impacted by the 1906 Earthquake and Fire because it was more of a suburb of San Francisco at the time. On Sunday, October 19, you have the chance to take a look at these lovely dwellings. Between 1pm and 5pm, you can step inside houses within a nine block radius.

Date: Sunday, October 19

Tickets: On Sale Now on the Haight Ashbury House Tours Site

Sunday Streets

The final San Francisco Sunday Streets is on Sunday, October 19. On this day, several streets close to allow pedestrians, bikers and others to use the streets for outdoor activities. This event also includes live entertainment, healthy food options, activities for the kids and more.

Date: October 19

Learn More: Sunday Streets in October

Best Hotels in SF

If you are still searching for the best place to stay, look no further! Click the links below for my hotel recommendations based on location, amenities and budget.

You can also find some great hotel deals on

SF 49ers

Another fun thing to do in October in San Francisco is to head down south to watch the SF 49ers play. The football team relocated to Santa Clara, but it's an easy trip from anywhere in the Bay Area and a fun way to spend a day. They play one game in October on Sunday the 5th against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Learn More: 2014 SF 49ers Home Schedule

Fiesta on the Hill

Another fun street fair this month is Fiesta on the Hill. In its 26th year, this alcohol free event includes several activities for the family. Kids can go on pony rides, spend time in the petting zoo or enjoy the pumpkin patch. There are also two stages with live music, food and so much more. This event is in Bernal Heights on Cortland Avenue between Bocana Avenue and Folsom Street from 10am to 6pm on Sunday, October 26.

Date: October 26

Learn More: Fiesta on the Hill Details

Whale Watching on the Pacific Ocean

The weather is gorgeous in SF in October. This is also one of my favorite times to go whale watching in the waters off the coast of the city. During this time of year, both the blue and humpback whales migrate through this area. You will also get the chance to see schools of dolphins, porpoises and sea otters.

Dates: Daily

Learn More: What to Expect on a Whale Watching Tour

Free Walking Tour of the Castro

Three times a week, you can take a free walking tour around the colorful Castro District. These tours, offered by the SF Public Library, are every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am. Your guide will walk you through this interesting district and teach you more about its past, present and future. No reservations required. Simply show up a few minutes before 11am near the rainbow flag on the southwest corner of Market and Castro Streets.

Dates: Daily

Learn More: Additional Guided Walking Tours in SF

Satire Fest

The Satire Fest offers you three days to fully celebrate the art of satire. It includes talks about satire, audience participation workshops, and many cartoonists showing their stuff. All daytime performances are at the Marines' Memorial Theater on Sutter and Mason Streets. You will also find events at the Cartoon Art Museum, aboard an SF Bay Cruise, and more.

Dates: October 8, 9, 10, & 11

Learn More: Visit their Site for the Full Festival Schedule

SF International Festival of Short Films

If you love short movies, then head over to this year's International Festival of Short Films. This year's festival is October 16 - 18. All shows during this three-day event are 30 minutes or less and include a diverse range of topics.

Dates: October 16 - 18

Learn More: This Month's Film Festivals

Additional Ways to Save $$ in SF

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Discount Card
Go San Francisco
Discount Pass

Enter the Mandala at the Asian Art Museum

Mandalas are maps of Buddhist visionaries worlds. Head over to the Asian Art Museum through October 26 to see paintings and sculptures that represent these important Buddhist mind maps. It's a unique opportunity to see these amazing 14th Century pieces.

Dates: All Days Except Monday through October 26

Learn More: Full SF Museum Exhibit Calendar for October

Learn More: Tips to Visit the Asian Art Museum

Fireworks at Pier 39

Every Saturday night in October, head to Pier 39 in Fisherman's Wharf for fireworks along the SF Bay. On October 4, 11, 18 & 25, enjoy fireworks along with live music and other fun activities. The festivities start at 6pm with fireworks at 8:30pm.

Dates: October 4, 11, 18 & 25

Italian Heritage Parade

The Italian Heritage Parade is SF's oldest civic event. This year, it is on Sunday, October 12, 2014. This fun event takes place on the streets between Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach.

Date: October 12

Learn More: Full Details for this Year's Parade

Treasure Island Music Festival

Head over to Treasure Island for their annual music festival. This year, it is October 18 - 19. For two days, listen to live music, enjoy gourmet food, and participate in other fun activities. The 2014 schedule includes bands such as Outkast, Massive Attach, and Janelle Monae.

Dates: October 18 - 19

Learn More: Discover the 2014 Event Details

Learn More: Find a Full Calendar of Live Music Performances in October


San Francisco's Literary Festival, Litquake, celebrates its 15th year in 2014. It offers literary lovers a chance to listen to readings, meet some of their favorite authors, and enjoy panel discussions. This year's festival is from October 10 - 18.

Dates: October 10 - 18

Learn More: Full 2014 Schedule

Leap's 31st Annual Sand Castle Competition

If you want to see something very different, then head west to Ocean Beach for the Leap's 31st Annual Sand Castle Competition. This year's event theme is Food, Glorious Food. The event is on Saturday, October 11 from 10:30am to 4:30pm.

Date: October 11

Noe Valley Harvest Festival

The Noe Valley Harvest Festival heads into its 10th year. On Saturday, October 18, head to 24th Street to enjoy arts from several Bay Area artists and crafts people, live entertainment on two stages, and a pumpkin patch. Kids will also enjoy the two jumpy tents, balloon artists, face painters, and more.

Date: Saturday, October 18

Learn More: Full Festival Details

Potrero Hill Festival

Another fun festival on Saturday, October 18 is the Potrero Hill Festival. This event is from 11am to 4pm on 20th Street in Potrero Hill. It features local food vendors, artists, musicians, local entertainment, and more.

Date: Saturday, October 18

Learn More: Full Festival Details

Craft Beer Festival

Head over to the Fort Mason Center for this Fall's Craft Beer Festival. This one-day event features 75 breweries showing off their beers. Tickets included a souvenir beer glass that you will use to sample an unlimited amount of two-ounce pours. There are two sessions on Saturday.

Date: Saturday, October 18

San Francisco Wharf Fest

The first San Francisco Wharf Fest is on Saturday, October 25. This street fair in the Fisherman's Wharf district features live music, a chowder competition, a chef demonstration, and ship tours. You will also enjoy street performers, art, fireworks, a movie screening, and more.

Date: Saturday, October 25

Learn More: Full Festial Details

Free Museum Days

Many of the museums in SF offer one free admission day a month. Even on these free days, a few charge a small fee for their traveling exhibits. However, you can still see their general exhibit at no charge.

Learn More: October 2014 Free Museum Days Calendar

Fillmore Food & Wine Festival

Head over to the Pacific Heights District for their annual Fillmore Food & Wine Festival. On October 6 - 8, enjoy food, wine tasting and other pop-up shops along Fillmore Street between Geary and Jackson.

Dates: October 6 - 8

Susan Boyle in Concert

See music sensation Susan Boyle in concert at the Orpheum Theater. She will be performing a contemporary repertoire of classic album hits and never before heard pieces. The show lasts around 90 minutes. No children under 5 allowed.

Date: Saturday, October 11

Fun Self-Guided Tours

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A Perfect Day
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A Perfect Day in Pacific Heights

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Hi there! I'm Jill and I love writing about San Francisco travel as much as I love exploring my amazing city. Thanks for stopping by and please contact me if you have any questions before your trip.

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