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San Francisco Events in September: Fun Things to Do in 2020

San Francisco events in September 2019 include Labor Day Weekend activities, the Sausalito Arts Festival, and the Fringe Theater Festival. You can also enjoy one of several outdoor festivals including the Festa Coloniale Italiana, Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park, and more.

If you're a sports fan, catch a baseball game with the SF Giants or the Oakland A's. Read on for details on these and other top things to do this month in SF.

The Golden Gate Bridge in September in San Francisco.

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend Activities

Dates: TBD

The best way to say goodbye to summer in SF is by enjoying the warm weather and variety of activities over the long Labor Day weekend. Highlights include the Sausalito Arts Festival, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, a Midnight Party Cruise, and so much more. 

This year, Labor Day Weekend runs from Friday, August 30 - Monday, September 2. 

You will find some of the best San Francisco events in September all weekend long!

>> Visit our guide to Labor Day Weekend

Sausalito Arts Festival

Sausalito Art Festival, art piece for sale

Dates: 8/31-9/2

This Labor Day weekend, head over to Sausalito, the lovely waterfront town just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, for their annual arts festival. For over 60 years, the community has held this three-day event featuring a wonderful selection of art, music, food and drink. 

Enjoy live performances by both well known and local bands as you peruse the booths of over 270 artists selling everything from sculptures and paintings to glass, fiber, and wood works. 

>> Additional details about the festival

Where to Stay in Sausalito

If you plan to stay the weekend in Sausalito, you will find plenty of great places to stay. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa: Located in the heart of Sausalito is the Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa. This 4-star hotel is full of amenities and has wonderful views from many of its rooms. 801 Bridgeway, check room availability on Booking.com

Hotel Sausalito: Another centrally located lodging option is the Hotel Sausalito. This one is also located right in the heart of downtown Sausalito with easy access to the festival, restaurants, shops and the ferry. It's a 3-star hotel with breakfast, air conditioning and breakfast. 16 El Portal, check for room availability on TripAdvisor

>> More great places to stay in Sausalito

SF Giants

SF Giants

Dates: TBD

Location: Oracle Park in the South of Market District

Watch the SF Giants baseball team play their last full month of the regular season.

This September, you have 14 opportunities to watch the Giants in full swing as they take on the Marlins, Rockies, Pirates, and the Dodgers at home in Oracle Park. 

There's no better way to enjoy the warm weather than at a ball game by the water. 

>> SF Giants full schedule & more about the team

Additional Bay Area Baseball in September

In addition to the SF Giants, you will also find a second MLB team here in the SF Bay Area. The Oakland A's play just over the bay. This American League team plays host to teams such as the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and the Texas Rangers this month.

>> See the A's full schedule for September

San Francisco Cruises

Cruises on the SF Bay

One of the top San Francisco events in September is a cruise around the SF Bay. You will find more than a dozen options almost every day of the week.

Top daytime cruises include the 60-minute Bay Cruise, the Escape from the Rock Cruise, and the high speed Rocketboat adventure. You can also head out on a Bridge to Bridge Cruise or a wine tasting.

Our evening cruises are also popular. You can watch the sunset on a relaxing, casual cruise or dress up a bit for one of our dinner cruises. Our happy hour cruises are also popular and offer a few hours of cocktails on the water.

Here are the top picks for September.

60-Minute Bay Cruise: The 60-minute cruise leaves from Fisherman's Wharf and takes you around the SF Bay. You will ride under the Golden Gate Bridge, near Sausalito, around Alcatraz, and return to Fisherman's Wharf. The narration along the way will tell you more about SF and our top attractions. Check for ticket availability.

Sunset Sailing Cruise: In September, the Sunset Sailing Cruise leaves Fisherman's Wharf at 6:30 pm in September. It includes two complimentary beverages, light appetizers, and 1.5 hours on the water. Check for tickets in September.

Rocketboat Cruise: This 30-minute high speed adventure offers a fun ride for thrill seekers. Spin around the SF Bay while listening to Rock and Roll music. You will also get the chance for some amazing views.

Additional SF Bay Cruises You Might Enjoy

What to Wear in September

September Weather with clear skies around the Golden Gate Bridge

September is one of the best times to visit San Francisco. It's warm and usually sunny during the day. It then cools off at night making it the perfect weather for a night out on the town. 

Make sure to bring along layers for your stay in SF as you will find that the temperature can swing up to 10 degrees during the day from one district to the next. You will also find it's even chillier on the water and along the shoreline.

Read my September weather page for more tips on what to pack, what to wear, and a few other fun things to know before you visit.

>> Tips on what to pack and wear in SF in September 

Best Half-Priced Tickets for San Francisco Events in September

The best way to save on your San Francisco events in September is by checking out the great deals on Goldstar. Here are just a few of their half-priced tickets for this month.

60-Minute Bay Cruise: Cruises around the bay, leaves from Fisherman's Wharf, several cruises a day, Full price $34, Goldstar price $17*

California Twilight Cruise: 2-hour evening cruise on the SF Bay, includes light appetizers and one drink per ticket, Full price $80, Goldstar $55*

North Beach Food Tour: 3-hour walking tour, offers a variety of samples in this Italian district, Full price $69, Goldstar $48*

Chinatown Food Tour: Sample traditional dishes in the popular Chinatown district as you learn about its history, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am, Full price $75, Goldstar $49*

*Small service fee at checkout.

Additional Theater Shows in September

Cabaret (7/19 - 9/14) at the San Francisco Playhouse

Anastasia (9/3 - 9/29) at the Golden Gate

Dance Nation (9/24 - 11/9) at the SF Playhouse

This Side of Crazy (9/20 - 10/20) at the New Conservatory

Free Museum Admission Days

Free Museum Admission Days

Dates: Several in early September

It's easy to visit multiple San Francisco museums without spending a ton of money—if you know when to go! This month, take advantage of the free admission days at some of SF's favorites, including the Asian Art Museum, de Young, Legion of Honor, and Conservatory of Flowers.

Usually, the free admission ticket will only get you into the general exhibits and permanent collections, but you can just pay an extra fee to see the special galleries. These San Francisco events in September are popular, so make sure to arrive early for your spot in line. 

>> Additional free things to do this month

Top Festivals & Street Fairs in SF this September

Festa Coloniale Italiana (9/7): Held right in the heart of the North Beach neighborhood (SF's Little Italy), this free street festival is a great family and cultural event. Head over to Stockton Street, just across from the famed Washington Square Park, to enjoy delicious Italian food, a pizza toss, specialty Italian handicrafts, wine tasting, and live performances featuring Moreno Fruzzetti.

Craft Spirits Carnival (9/21 & 9/22): Sample some of the best craft spirits at this year's event. The Craft Spirits Carnaval features a weekend of trying the best whiskey, bourbon, vodka, tequila, grappa, and more. The event runs for two days on Saturday, September 21 (1pm to 5pm) and Sunday, September 22 (1pm to 5pm). Find out additional information for this year's event

California Vegetarian Food Festival & Symposium (9/21): This year's festival will be held at the Palace of Fine Arts and features 100% vegan and green products. This one day event features plant based foods, chefs, entertainers, and lifestyle vendors. You will also find speakers, panelists, kids activities, and so much more. The event runs from 11 am to 6 pm. 

San Francisco Improv Fest (9/18-9/21): If you enjoy watching and laughing along with improv performances, get ready for 10 days of awesome shows at the Eureka Theatre at Jackson Street and Battery. This festival is in its 15th year of celebrating improvisational theater. It will feature work by both local and visiting ensembles, as well as workshops and other events to help educate the public and strengthen the improv community in the SF Bay Area. Visit the event website for more details.

Oktoberfest (9/20 - 9/22): It's that time of year again for you lovers of beer and all things German! Head over to Pier 35 for the annual three-day Oktoberfest by the Bay, including nonstop music, singing, dancing, and the best of German food and drink. This year's entertainment features the 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band. Cheers! Find out how to get tickets, how to get there, and more.

Union Square Live: September is the last month of Union Square Live 2019, an ongoing summer event that presents weekly free, live outdoor performances of dance, music, circus, and theater. You can often learn how to dance salsa or tango with the presenters. These fun shows always encourage the audience to get involved. So go on, enjoy the end of summer and get out on the square! Get the Union Square Live Festival details and schedule.

California Rum Festival (9/7): Taste some of the best rums around at the California Rum Festival in the SOMArts Cultural Center. You'll get to try a wonderful variety from large, micro, and boutique distilleries. In addition, attend seminars by rum producers and aficionados, and mingle with other rum lovers. 

SF Fringe Festival (9/5 - 9/14): If you love theater, this month you are really in luck because September offers a 14-day grassroots theater festival, featuring over a hundred unique performances by dozens of indie companies. All performances will take place at the EXIT Theater in downtown SF at very accessible prices. Find out more about this unique theater festival.

Architecture and the City Festival (9/1-9/30): This month, all month long, San Francisco invites you to engage with its design and architecture in ways you haven't experienced before. These San Francisco events in September include behind-the-scenes and walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures, and more. Explore and appreciate the city's true structural backbone under the 2018 theme, "Future City." Visit the festival's website for more details.

Sunday Streets (9/8 & 9/22): The 2019 edition of Sunday Streets this year takes place on September 8 in the Tenderlion and on September 22 in the Western Addition neighborhoods of San Francisco. This monthly street fair rotates among the city's distinct districts, where each local community comes together to enjoy free family activities, live music, and closed traffic so people can play safely in the streets. These San Francisco events in September are free. Find out more about Sunday Streets and get the full schedule.

SF Cheese Fest (9/14 & 9/15): The annual SF Cheese Fest features samples of amazing craft cheeses from more than two dozen California cheesemakers. If you love food, you'll want to attend this event celebrating local food pioneers in the art of preservation, which also includes cured meat, jams, pickles, and more. Enjoy your delicious bites with your favorite beverages from local brewers and winemakers, and dance along to the live 1930s jazz band. Don't miss out on one of the tastiest San Francisco events in September. Find additional details on their website.

The Bloody Mary Festival (9/14): Looking to put a little kick in your Saturday afternoon? Head over to the SOMArts Cultural Center for one of two sessions to sample the tastiest, most innovative bloody mary concoctions crafted by 12 outstanding Bay Area bars and restaurants. You'll vote on the best one, enjoy live entertainment, and even learn how to shake up your own version of this beloved cocktail. Additional info on their website.

Folsom Street Fair (9/29): Unlike most of the family-friendly neighborhood street fairs you'll find in SF, this raucous all-day festival is for adults only, who don't mind a lot of nudity and erotic paraphernalia. The Folsom Street Fair is one of those "only in San Francisco" events, featuring 13 city blocks of leather and fetish players and dance floors with indie, electronic, and alternative music. Leave the kids at home and head on over to Folsom Street between 10am and 4pm for an experience you will never forget! The parade starts at 2:30pm. See the website for more details.

San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival (9/7 & 9/8): Head over to colorful Grant Avenue in the heart of SF's Chinatown for two full days of entertainment, food, shopping, parades, children's activities, and more. Some of the highlights are the lion dancers and dragon parades. Maybe you'll even try a traditional mooncake to celebrate the full moon and Chinese culture! Get the full festival schedule.

A Taste of Greece (9/20 - 9/22): This annual event showcases the cultural and culinary diversity of SF's Mission District. Get your fill of delicious Greek treats such as spanakopita, mousaka, kotopoulo, and gyros. And of course, the festival wouldn't be complete without Greek wine, Greek pastries, and live Greek music and dance! Find out more about this fun festival.

>> See all the festivals happening this month in SF

Free Shakespeare in the Park

As You Like It

Dates: Saturdays & Sundays all month

This year's free Shakespeare in the Park production is As You Like It. Find these annual free shows by SF Shakes on Saturdays and Sundays throughout September, plus Labor Day Monday. 

You will find these San Francisco events in September on the main lawn in the Presidio and at the amphitheater at McLaren Park. You will also find other events around the SF Bay Area.

>> Visit the SF Shakespeare Festival website for more details

The Giant Race

Giants Race

Date: 9/8

Location: Ends at Oracle Park

Baseball fans and sports fans, there may not be a game this Sunday morning, but you still have a great excuse to visit Oracle Park in San Francisco. 

Starting and ending at the ballpark, there will be a half marathon, 10K, 5K, kids race, and family relay. Celebrate fitness at the home of the Giants with this fun, outdoor, family-friendly event.

This is one of the San Francisco events in September that sells out every year, so make sure to register today!

>> More info and registration

Find the Perfect Hotel for Your Stay

Find the perfect spot to stay as you enjoy these top San Francisco events in September. Click the links below for details.

Booking: Find great deals all around San Francisco for your upcoming stay!

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

SF Opera

Cavalleria

Dates: 9/6-9/30

Location: War Memorial Opera House

The SF Opera opens its 2019-2020 season with Romeo and Juliet on September 6. It runs throughout the month until October 1. 

Later on in the month, catch performances of Billy Budd at the elegant War Memorial Opera House. This one runs from September 7-22. 

If you love the opera, you will love catching one of these San Francisco events in September.

>> Get more details about SF Opera

Film Festivals in September

Iranian Film Festival (9/28 & 9/29): This film festival showcases dozens of features and short stories all about Iran and its people. Head over to the San Francisco Art Institute to catch the film screenings and learn more about this culture.

Latino Film Festival (9/13-9/30): This film festival features unique works from filmmakers from the US, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Films will be screened at several venues around the city, including the Brava Theater Center, the Opera Plaza Cinema, and Galeria de la Raza. Tickets are available for purchase for individual screenings, for five films, or for the entire festival. Get details about this film festival.

Live Music in SF

September Live Music & Concerts

Dates: Several in September

Throughout the year, you can enjoy live music concerts almost every evening in San Francisco. The city attracts some big names, but also has many great venues for independent and up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent. Find a show you'll love at the Chase Center, Warfield, the Fillmore, or the Independent, among many others. 

Here are more details on the top shows this month around San Francisco. Click the links for tickets to each of these San Francisco events in September.

SF Bay Area

In addition to San Francisco, you will also find dozens of fun concerts this month around the SF Bay Area. My calendar includes top shows in Oakland, San Jose, Mountain View and Saratoga.

>> Find additional performances this month

Live Comedy in SF

Comedy in September

Dates: Several this month

San Francisco is a great place to catch stand-up shows, improv performances, and other hilariously entertaining plays and musicals. 

Some of the best comedians in the business, including have been featured at the Punch Line Comedy Club and Cobb's Comedy Club in the city. In addition, this month you can enjoy the annual free Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park.

>> See the detailed schedule of shows

49ers Football

49ers Football

Date: 9/22

Location: Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara 

The SF 49ers kick off their regular season home games this month at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The 49ers take on the Pittsburg Steelers at home on the 22nd. 

This is their only home game this September. You will find these San Francisco events in September about an hour south of SF. 

>> Check out the 49ers full schedule

SF Museum Exhibits

Legion of Honor

Dates: Throughout September

Take some time to check out the fantastic exhibits currently on display at SF's world-renowned museums. The Legion of Honor is currently showing Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters. 

Click the link below to find out what else you can see at the Conservatory of Flowers, Walt Disney Museum, the SF Museum of Modern Art, and more.

Don't miss out on these highly anticipated San Francisco events in September.

>> Discover a detailed list of museum exhibits in SF

Comedy Day

Comedy Day

Date: 9/15

This month brings us a whole day of laughter and fun as more than 40 great comedians come together to offer the city a free comedy show in Golden Gate Park. 

There will be several hilarious sets throughout the afternoon, and of course there will be food and drinks on hand, including Lagunitas Brewing, the Slider Shack, and much more. 

The festival runs from noon to 5pm in Robin Williams Meadow. It's one of the top free San Francisco events in September.

>> This year's festival details 

Urban Air Market

Urban Air Market

Date: 9/15

Urban Air Market is the biggest outdoor design festival in the US, with events all over the country. 

At each event, the marketplace focuses on sustainable design, building community, promoting independent artists, and supporting the local economy. 

For the fall SF market, head over to Hayes Valley and check out the unique fashion design, accessories, body products, home decor, and other types of art.

This is one of the San Francisco events in September that runs from 11am to 6pm.

>> Visit the organization's website for event details 

SF Symphony

SF Symphony

Dates: Several performances in September 

September marks the opening of a new season at the SF Symphony. Enjoy an elegant Opening Gala Night to help kick off the season in style on September 4. Later in the month, catch stunning performances throughout the month at Davies Symphony Hall. 

This month's top shows include MTT & Mahler: MTT & Mahler 6 (9/12 - 9/15), MTT & Trifonov: Rachmaninoff & John Adams (9/19 - 9/22), and MTT, Stravinsky, & Haydn (9/26 - 9/28).

>> See the full SF Symphony schedule

Even More Things to Do in SF This Month

In addition to the fun San Francisco events in September listed above, there is so much to do this month in the City by the Bay! Take a tour or boat cruise, attend a show, check out the nightlife, and get outside to enjoy SF's beautiful summer weather!

>> September activities in SF

More SF Bay Area Events

Oakland International Film Festival

Dates: Virtual for 2021

This year marks the 17th anniversary of one of the largest SF Bay Area events in September--the Oakland International Film Festival. You can enjoy a variety of excellent independent works from around the globe at venues all over the East Bay city of Oakland. 

Attend the screenings, filmmaker panels, networking events, and more to celebrate five days of amazing shorts, documentaries, and feature films created by local and international artists. 

>> Find more information on the festival website

Calistoga Wine Experience

Dates: 9/7

Serious wine lovers, and people just wanting to try something new, this is one of the SF Bay Area events in September that you want to experience for yourself. 

Over 40 different local wineries will be pouring their best vintages and you can meet the winery owners and the winemakers as you enjoy the day. If you want to relax and sit back, feel free to enjoy the live music during the event.

>> Find out more including a full calendar of September events for Napa

Monterey Jazz Festival

Dates: 9/27 - 9/30

The legendary Monterey Jazz Festival is one of the SF Bay Area events in September that cannot be missed if you are a serious music fan. Over the 60 plus years of this festival, headliners have included Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Regina Carter and many more.

With over 500 artists, 100 hours of music and eight different stages, you will be sure to get your fill of music, food, and fun events. The Monterey Jazz Festival always takes place on the third Saturday of September.

>> Find out more and other fun events in Monterey this September

Oakland Pride

Date: 9/8

Come out and show your pride in Oakland at this annual event. Located in downtown Oakland, the parade starts at 10:30, while the festival starts at 11 am and ends at 7 pm. 

Being that this is an all ages event there is a children's carnival area for them to play in and there is even a toddler's zone too. The festival always has a star singer and entertainer for everyone's enjoyment and fun. 

Last but not least, there is great food and other exhibits that are related to Pride. The parade is free for all to attend but the festival does have a fee.

Eat Real Fest

Dates: 9/21 - 9/22

If you love your food and want to explore all that the East Bay has to offer, this is one of the SF Bay Area events in September that you will want to check out. 

Located in Jack London Square, this three-day festival is jam packed with loads of sustainably sourced food, locally brewed and created drinks and some of the best local street food that can be found anywhere. 

The festival is free to attend, and all street food at the event costs 10 dollars or less, so you will be able to find something your taste buds will love.

>> Visit their site for more details

Belmont Greek Festival

Dates: Labor Day Weekend

OPA! One of the classic Labor Day party events in the south bay of San Francisco is the Belmont Greek Festival. Three days of fun, drinking, dancing and the best food around is yours to enjoy at the Church of the Holy Cross. 

This event features church tours, exhibits that are dedicated to the Greek culture, live music, and even a classic Greek play. 

If you are looking to pick up some pieces of art for yourself, there is the agora (marketplace) for you to check out. Since this is an all ages festival, there is a kid's zone for the little ones.

>> Visit their site for details

Santa Cruz Greek Festival

Dates: 9/6 - 9/8

Santa Cruz is known for the amazing beach, and The Boardwalk, but another reason to visit is their Greek Festival. This three-day event starts on Friday night at 5 pm and runs until Sunday night at 7 pm. 

Located in downtown Santa Cruz, this annual festival has been voted the best street festival in Santa Cruz County. As would be expected, there is more dancing, drinking, eating, exhibits and performances than you could imagine during this festival. 

If you, or your family, wants to really become a part of the fun, they even have dance lessons for all ages!

Mountain View Art & Wine Festival

Dates: 9/7 & 9/8

This two-day festival in the heart of Silicon Valley is a celebration of everything related to arts and wines in the south bay. This event brings together over art pieces from 500 of America's best artists. 

The food is delicious and so varied that there is something for everyone's taste. Not only is there premium wine selections, but many breweries will be in attendance and there will be sangria and cocktails if you would prefer those. 

There is live music during the weekend, with each day having a special theme to it, and lots of room to dance. If you are a sport's fan, you are in luck, since they have giant TV screens playing NFL football and Major League baseball games during the festival.

Capitola Art & Wine Festival

Dates: 9/14 & 9/15

The gorgeous beach front city of Capitola is home to this magnificent art and wine festival. This family centered event has over 160 artists and vendors each year and over 22 wineries all located in the Santa Cruz mountain area. 

Being that Capitola is located ocean side, you will be able to taste some of the best seafood you could ever imagine fresh from the sea. 

Both days include dance performances, live music, and even a traveling magician to entertain you and the kids. Speaking of kids, there is a special kid's area for them to play around at when you need a break from all the fun.

Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival

Dates: 9/14 & 9/15

Another of the SF Bay Area events in September that is always a fun time is the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival. Set in the heart of Santa Clara's Central Park, this annual event is attended by over 50,000 people each year. 

Featuring both regional and national artists showing their best art pieces, food from all over the world, wineries and breweries from the local region, you are sure to find everything you'd like to eat, taste and buy. 

Kids are welcome and there is the much-loved Kid's Kingdom for them to play at during the festival.

Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival

Dates: 9/20 - 9/22

Located in the picturesque Santa Cruz Mountains the Sol Festival is a three-day festival full of music, food, and enjoyment. Headliners have included acts such as George Clinton & Parliament, Ozomatli, Michael Franti & Spearhead among many others.

The event is at Roaring Camp Meadows in Felton, CA.

Solano Avenue Stroll

Date: 9/8

For more than 40 years, the Solano Avenue Stroll has been one of the most enjoyable of the SF Bay Area Events in September. Making sure to wear your walking shoes as this event covers over 1 mile of the street and starts with their fun parade on Sunday at 10am. 

With over 50 food booths, 50 entertainers, and loads more non-profits and artisans, this event has something for everyone. Also make sure to visit the other businesses that are regularly located on Solano Avenue as they have so much to offer and you don't want to miss their wares and specialties.

There are also rides and areas for kids. 

CrunchyRoll Expo in Santa Clara

Dates: 8/30 - 9/1

If you are into anime, cosplay, and manga, then the CrunchyRoll Expo cannot be missed. Crunchyroll is the world's largest online home for anime and this 3-day expo will bring together some of the best artists, biggest fans, and best movies from all over.

With over 100,000 square feet of space for the convention, you will have more than enough to see and do all weekend long. You are encouraged to cosplay, but you don't need to if you don't want to. Just come and enjoy this incredible event. There are differing levels of tickets available so make sure to check and see which is the best for you.

>> Find tickets and learn more on their site

Russian River Jazz & Blues Fest

Dates: TBD

Located on the beautiful Johnson's Beach in the quaint town of Guerneville, this two-day event is one of the best of the SF Bay Area events in September. This is the place to be If you are looking for great music, great food and a great location. 

This annual event has been home to headliners like Charlie Musselwhite, The Doobie Brothers, Chaka Khan and many others. 

The event has a wine pavilion, a food court, and since it is on the Russian River's Johnson's Beach, rentals of canoes, kayaks and umbrellas and other items to make your weekend the best. 

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