San Francisco Things to Do

Events, Sports, Comedy, Free, Cheap & More

NOTE: On December 6, San Francisco (and a few surrounding counties) will once again be on a stay-at-home order. This will last indefinitely. Click here for more information.

Discover the best San Francisco things to do. You will find everything you need for your stay including what's happening each month, what to do for the holidays, and ideas for today, tonight, tomorrow and this weekend.

You will also find some of the best free and cheap things to do, top activities for families, and options throughout the SF Bay Area.

Read on for 100+ options for your upcoming vacation.

San Francisco Things to Do

First Time Visitors

Are you visiting San Francisco for the first time? On this page, you will learn everything you need to start planning your vacation to the City by the Bay. It includes ideas on where to stay and the must see attractions.

You will also find an overview of the city, so you know what to expect, tips on how to get around, and other things that will help all first time visitors make the most of their first stay.

>> First Time Visitors Guide to San Francisco

Top 10 Things to Do in San Francisco

Are you looking for a simple list of the 10 best San Francisco things to do? They include visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing the famous Painted Ladies of Alamo Square, and so much more. My handy list is the best place to get start for both first timers and those returning for a second trip to the City by the Bay.

>> Read my full list of the 10 best things to do in SF

Best San Francisco Things to Do by Month

One of the first places to look for San Francisco things to do is on my monthly pages. On each one, I've created a list of 50+ top options for each month. They include events, sports, concerts, theater and so much more. Click the links below to visit each page.

January | February | March

April | May | June | July

August | September | October

November | December

Best Times to Visit: You will also find some great information on the best times to visit on this page. It includes an overview of my favorite times and why I think they are an extra special time to visit.

Best Events & Activities by Season

In addition to top San Francisco things to do by month, I've also created some great guides for each season. You will find both indoor and outdoor options all year long.

Click the links below to learn more about the top options each season.


Family-Friendly Things to Do

Are you visiting San Francisco with the entire family? Some of the best family friendly things to do include visiting the California Academy of Sciences, heading out on a half-day city tour, or stopping by our hand-on science museum.

SF Bay Aquarium

Below you will find several options to help you find top San Francisco things to do when visiting with teenagers, toddlers, and more. Click the links to learn more.

Family-Friendly Options | Best Options with Teenagers

Ideas for Those Traveling with Toddlers | More Ideas to Visit SF with Kids of All Ages

Free & Cheap San Francisco Things to Do

San Francisco can be expensive, but there are dozens of free and cheap things to do here! Some of our top attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, and the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square are all free!

Many of our museums offer monthly free days and we have several museums with no admissions fees at all. In addition to these free San Francisco things to do, you will also find several cheap and inexpensive options that won't cost more than $10 per person.

Best Free Things to Do | Free Options for Kids | Cheap & Inexpensive Ideas

Best Things to Do Today & Tonight

Are you looking for some ideas for today or tonight? San Francisco is a flurry of activities and events all year long. With our mild climate, you will find so many fun indoor and outdoor activities every day of the year. Check out my list of the best things to do today and tonight.

>> Ideas for what to do today

Best Outdoor Activities

You can enjoy outdoor activities all year long in San Francisco. To help you find the best, I've pulled together a list of my 15 favorites.

They include everything from SF bay cruises to exploring the best of Golden Gate Park. You can also stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge, check out some of our colorful staircases, and admire our unique murals.

>> Find a list of my 15 top outdoor things to do

Urban Hikes

In addition to the fun outdoor things to do listed above, I've also created a list of my favorite urban hikes. Some are in the heart of the action, while many others take you off the beaten path.

You will find short hikes with amazing views. You will also find longer hikes that make you feel like you aren't in the heart of the city. Some include colorful street art, and some are in our most famous attractions.

>> Discover my list of the 15 best urban hikes in SF

Unusual Activities

San Francisco is known to be a bit colorful and unique. To help you find some of these activities here, I created a list of my 25 favorite unusual things to do.

They include some history museums that would not be welcome in most cities, a couple of churches that have been transformed into something very different, and a few places to stop at where historic events occurred.

>> Find my list of 25 strange things to do

Where the Famous Lived

Over the years, dozens of famous actors, musicians and other famous people have called San Francisco home. Discover the addresses and a brief history of where some of these famous people lived.

They include Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin. You will also find old addresses for Charles Manson, Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana.

>> Find more details here

Top Things to Do in Each Neighborhood

You will find unique personalities in each neighborhood here. Alamo Square is famous for its painted ladies while Chinatown is popular for its inexpensive shopping and tasting dim sum. Some of the top things to do in Fisherman's Wharf includes cruises, ferries to Alcatraz, and plenty of seafood restaurants.

The Mission is where you will find hundreds of colorful murals and you can shop all day long in Union Square. Click the links below to learn more about each district and find the best San Francisco things to do in each one.

Alamo Square | The Castro | Chinatown | Civic Center

Fisherman's Wharf | Haight Ashbury

The Mission | Nob Hill | North Beach

Pacific Heights | Russian Hill | Union Square

All Neighborhoods in San Francisco

San Francisco Attractions

Visiting our attractions is another one of the fun San Francisco things to do. Top museums here include the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Asian Art Museum.

Alcatraz in SF

Other top picks include admiring the views from Twin Peaks, catching a Giants baseball game in Oracle Park, and taking a stroll across Golden Gate Park.

>> Find a list of our 25 top attractions

Events by Month

Our events calendar is full of fun San Francisco things to do. You will find top picks including shows, concerts, and theater productions. You will also find dates for upcoming wine tasting events, street fairs, and popular conferences. Click the links below to visit each month's event calendar for more fun ideas for your vacation.

January | February | March | April | May | June

July | August | September | October | November | December

Things to Do on the Holidays in San Francisco

What are the best San Francisco things to do during the holidays? You will find so many fun options each holiday including museums, aquariums, and attractions. You will also find tours every day of the year and special events for our holidays.

Find a full list of holiday things to do on each of my insider's guides. Click the links below for details on our major holidays.

Easter | Memorial Day | 4th of July | Labor Day

Halloween | Thanksgiving | Christmas | New Year's

All Major & Minor Holidays in SF

Things to Do at Night

San Francisco is an amazing place to explore during the day, but it also comes to life at night. Some of the best things to do in San Francisco at night include checking out our top bars, wine bars, and happy hour specials. You can also attend a concert, see a theater performance, or head to a sporting event.

Best Bars | Best Wine Bars | Happy Hour

Top Things to Do at Night

Where to Go Shopping

If you love to shop, you are going to love the diversity and selection of shopping options in San Francisco. Here you will find everything from inexpensive goodies to high-end artisan pieces.

Shopping in Union Square

There are large malls including the Westfield Mall near Union Square and Stonestown on the western end. You can also shop in some of our top districts such as Chinatown, Union Square, and the Marina.

In addition, you will find some fun shopping on Pier 39, in the Ferry Building, and also in the Haight-Ashbury District.

Chinatown Shopping | Union Square Shopping | Pier 39

All Shopping Options

Upcoming Concerts & Live Music

Top San Francisco things to do also include going to listen to live music. Our concert venues range from large auditoriums to small, intimate places with space for only a handful of people. Our biggest venues include the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, The Nob Hill Masonic Center, and The Warfield. Other top picks include The Fillmore, The Independent, and Slim's. To make it easier to find what you need, I've created calendars for each month.

January | February | March | April | May | June

July | August | September | October | November | December

Festivals and Street Fairs

With our mild climate all year long, one of the most popular San Francisco things to do is attending a festival or street fair. A large number of these events are outside and include food, drinks, and live entertainment. You will also find several inside at places such as the Fort Mason Center.

>> Annual festivals and street fairs in SF

Theater: Broadway Shows, Musicals & Plays

Every year, San Francisco invites almost a dozen Broadway shows to our stages. They include award winning productions such as Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, and The Lion King.

In addition to these shows, you will also find other performances all year long. They include well known productions on smaller stages, locally written pieces on stage for the first time, and several options in between.

Find a full calendar of upcoming musicals and plays below. In addition, find some of the top performances in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area.

Musicals | Plays | All SF Theater

San Jose | SF Bay Area

Upcoming Sporting Events

One of my favorite San Francisco things to do is to cheer on one of our local sports teams. We are lucky to have a half dozen professional teams in the SF Bay Area including baseball, football, basketball and hockey.

Baseball in SF

They include teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the SF Giants, and the San Jose Sharks.

We also have several college teams in action around the bay. Top teams include those at University of California - Berkeley and Stanford.

Golden State Warriors | SF Giants | SF 49ers

San Jose Sharks | All Sports

Cruises and Water Activities

Sitting on the SF Bay means that you will find a lot of fun cruises and water activities. The most popular is the 60-Minute Bay Cruise. You can also head out on a dinner, sunset, and a wine tasting cruise.

Other water activities include kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and fishing.

Top Bay Cruises | All Water Activities

Bus, City, Walking & Other Tours

If you really want to get to know SF, then head out on a guided tour around the city. The Hop On Hop Off Buses are popular as well as the half-day city tours. You can also go on a walking tour to learn all there is to know about a specific attraction or district.

Yellow Bus in SF

The Alcatraz tours are also popular and sell out early during the busy summer months and on holidays.

Alcatraz Tours | City Tours | Hop On Hop Off

All SF Tours

Where to Get Engaged

If you are planning to pop the question during your stay in San Francisco, you will find several great places for your special moment. My list of the 10 best include bars with a view, where you can propose at some of our top attractions, and a few romantic restaurants.

>> Places to get engaged in SF

Things to Do Around the SF Bay Area

In addition to the fun San Francisco things to do, you will also find some fun events and activities around the SF Bay. They include festivals, attractions, and other activities.

January | February | March | April | May | June

July | August | September | November | December

Beyond SF

If you are looking for additional San Francisco things to do, then check out some of our day trips. We are located close to several fun places to see including Napa Valley, Sonoma, and Tahoe. You can also get to Yosemite, Monterey, and Santa Cruz in one day. Sausalito and Tiburon are also just a quick ferry ride away.

>> More details on the best day trips from SF

More Great San Francisco Pages

Quizzes | Why I Love SF | Pictures of SF

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It includes tips, must see attractions, and other fun details.

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Other Fun Pages to Explore

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Hi there! I'm Jill Loeffler and welcome to my site. I've been exploring San Francisco for almost two decades and I can't wait to help you find the best things to do here! Thanks for stopping by and please contact me if you have any questions before your trip.

Top Attractions

Twin Peaks

Hop On Hop Off

Wine Tours

Free Museum Admission Days

Sports Events

Theater Calendar