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San Francisco Events in September: Fun Things to Do in 2021

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: August 30, 2021

Proof of vaccination is now required for certain indoor activities. Learn more here

San Francisco events in September 2021 include Labor Day Weekend activities, concerts, and festivals. You will also find live theater performances including Hamilton at the Orpheum at the beginning of the month. 

If you're a sports fan, catch a baseball game with the SF Giants or the Oakland A's. The 49ers also have one game this month at home. Read on for details on these and other top things to do this month in SF.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Labor Day Weekend

Hazy day near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco from Fort Point.A hazy day near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Dates: 9/3 - 9/6

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 festivals, concerts, tours, and more! 

This year, Labor Day Weekend runs from Friday, September 3 - Monday, September 6.

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

>> Visit our guide to Labor Day Weekend

Sporting Events

SF Giants

SF Giants on the field during a game in September.SF Giants on base during a game in September.

Dates: 9/1 - 9/5, 9/13 - 9/19, 9/28 - 9/30 

Location: Oracle Park in the South of Market District

Tickets: Find tickets to all games in September

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 Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and others 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

Oakland A's

Dates: 9/7 - 9/12, 9/20 - 9/26

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

49ers Football

Date: 9/26

Location: Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara 

Tickets: Find tickets to this month's game

The SF 49ers kick off their regular season home games this month at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers at home on the 26th. 

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

Giant Race

Date: 9/12

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

Theater & Broadway Shows

Empty stage inside the Orpheum Theater as we wait for Hamilton to begin.Waiting for a show to start at the Orpheum Theater.

Hamilton at the Orpheum Theatre (9/1 - 9/5): The biggest show this month in San Francisco is Hamilton at the Orpheum. It is the first Broadway show since lock down and runs for four weeks. You can see the last few performances through September 5. Visit this page for more theater shows in SF this month. Find tickets for Hamilton performances in September.

Free Shakespeare in the Park (9/18 - 9/26): This year's free Shakespeare in the Park production is Pericles, Prince of Tyre. 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 Jerry Garcia Amphitheater at McLaren Park. You will also find other events around the SF Bay Area. Visit the SF Shakespeare Festival website for more details.

Museums: Free Days, Exhibits, & Other Events

Free Days: 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 Museumde YoungLegion 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. Find my calendar of free days here.

Museum Exhibits: 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 Wangechi Mutu, I am Speaking Are You Listening? all month long. 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.

Concerts & Live Music

Dates: Several in September

Most live music venues are now open and offering concerts 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. 

>> Visit this page for a full calendar of shows at top venues in September

Additional Place for Live Music in September

SF Opera: The SF Opera will offer just a couple of performances of TOSCA this September. The two performances are on 9/3 & 9/5.  Get more details about SF Opera

SF Symphony: September marks the opening of a new season at the SF Symphony. They are offering just a few shows this month including The Princess Bridge-Film with Live Orchestra (9/22 & 9/23) and Apollo 13-Film with Live Orchestra (9/24 & 9/25). See the full SF Symphony schedule.

Comedy

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

Top Festivals & Street Fairs in SF this September

San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival (9/11 & 9/12): 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.

California Rum Festival (9/11): Taste some of the best rums around at the California Rum Festival at the Hibernia Bank Building. 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. 

Folsom Street Fair (9/26): This year's Folsom Street Fair will look a little different than in previous years. They are calling it "MEGAHOOD2021" and will have a smaller event than most years. It's will be more of a community, local event in 2021 and they recommend you wait until 2022 if you plan to travel any distance to enjoy this festival. If you are local, then come on down to celebrate! See the website for more details.

Festa Coloniale Italiana (TBD): 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 (TBD): 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).

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 (TBD): 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. 

Oktoberfest (TBD): 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.

SF Fringe Festival (TBD): 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. 

Architecture and the City Festival (9/10 - 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 in 2021. Visit the festival's website for more details.

SF Cheese Fest (TBD): 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.

A Taste of Greece (TBD): 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! 

Latino Film Festival (TBD): 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. Find additional film festivals in September.

>> See all the festivals happening this month in SF

Ideas to Help You Plan Your Stay

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour: The best way to get around San Francisco is on the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour. It runs from 9 am to 6 pm and takes you directly from one attraction to the next. You can select from their 24- or 48-hour tour. They also have a cool night tour. The Big Bus Tour Company is the most popular and highly rated option. Visit their site to learn more.

TripAdvisor: Still need to book your hotel? Check out recent reviews and a list of amenities on TripAdvisor. You can read what others experienced at each hotel and find the one that is right for you! Visit TripAdvisor to learn more.

CityPass: Save up to 44% on 4 of San Francisco's top attractions with the CityPass. This discount card includes admission to the California Academy of Sciences and a Blue & Gold Fleet Cruise. In addition, you can visit two other attractions of your choice from the following four options: Aquarium of the Bay, SF Zoo, Walt Disney Museum, and the Exploratorium. Visit their site to learn more.

San Francisco Cruises

Cruising on the SF Bay in SeptemberA cruise on the SF Bay in September.

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.

Additional Cruises You Might Enjoy

Napa & Sonoma Wine Tours

One of my favorite San Francisco events in September is our Northern California wine country tours. You can head north to visit either Napa Valley or Sonoma or both in just one day.

These tours take you to three to five wineries and offer you the chance to take a sneak peak behind the scenes at the wine making process. You will also meet with those in the business and learn all about their wines and the history of these regions.

You can head up on your own, but the best thing about these guided tour is you don't have to worry about who is driving you back to SF. You will be picked up from your hotel, driven throughout one or both of these wine regions, and dropped off where you started.

Most of them are about 8 to 9 hours. If you are short on time, you will also find some great half-day tours too.

These are just a few of my top recommendations.

Napa & Sonoma Full Day Tour: Includes stops at 3 wineries. You will stop at a large winery and a smaller boutique winery, so you can get a feel for how they each create their wines. You will also have a free hour for lunch where you can grab a meal on your own at any place in the historic Sonoma Square or in the heart of Napa Valley. Tasting fees included for all three stops. Additional tastings and lunch not included. Runs daily. Check for availability for September.

Half-Day Tour: This tour will take you to the Carneros region in Sonoma County. It includes a stop at two wineries. You will also have about an hour to explore downtown Sonoma. The tour leaves SF at Noon and is about 5 hours long. Tasting fees at the first place are included and you will need to pay for your tasting at the second location. Check for availability this month.

More SF Bay Area Events

TreasureFest (9/18 & 9/19): This year's TreasureFest is San Rafael is at the Marin Fairgrounds. This event features a unique shopping experience with handmade up-cycled & revamped items. You will also find additional art, vintage & collectables, and interactive art installments. You can also grab some food (25 gourmet food offerings) or an adult specialty cocktail. The event runs from 10 am to 6 pm. both days. 

Summer's End (9/25): Spend a fun filled day of live music, face painting, and other free family-friendly activities in Half Moon Bay on 9/25. This year's Summer's End is at John Carter Memorial Park and runs from 12 pm to 7 pm. Don't miss it! 

Sausalito Art Festival (Rescheduled to 2022): 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

Fremont Festival of the Arts (9/25 & 9/26): This annual arts & crafts festival features more than 500 different vendors. In addition to handmade crafts, you will also find plenty of food trucks, beer, wine, and even margaritas. This fair is great for the entire family since there are street performers and face painters. There are also two stages with continuous live music all day long. You will also find a whole section just for the kids with rides, games and shows. The event is from 10 am to 6 pm in downtown Fremont. It is free admission for all.

Oakland International Film Festival (Virtual in 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 (Canceled for 2021): 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 (9/24 - 9/26): 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 (9/11 & 9/12): 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 (TBD): 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 (Advanced Orders with Pick-Up Only in 2021): 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 (9/10, 9/11 & 9/12): 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 (9/11 & 9/12): 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 (TBD): 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 (Online Only 9/11 & 9/12): 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 (9/18 - 9/19): 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 (9/12): 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 (Virtual in 2021): 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 (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. 

More Tips to Visit SF in September

What to Wear in September: 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.

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! Find additional September activities in SF.

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