Our City by the Bay hosts a range of street fairs, music festivals, cultural and sporting events all summer long. Check out our guide to the best of San Francisco’s summer activities, that will keep you and your family’s weekends packed with fun all summer long!
Off The Grid
Date: Every Friday Night 5pm-10pm
Location: Fort Mason Center (2 Marina Blvd, SF)
California’s largest weekly food truck night market is back to San Francisco! Entering its 12th season, Off the Grid : Fort Mason Center is a beloved launching point for some of the Bay Area’s best known food business, as well as the first food truck market in California featuring a full bar and live music throughout the season. Returning after a 2-year break, we’re ready to add our spice back to the San Francisco food community in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. This year we’re getting back to our roots by bringing you the region’s best food trucks and entertainment, as well as new monthly theme nights and recurring specials like Fido and Family Fridays. Find all of your favorites and discover exciting new ones every Friday night from 5-10pm, starting April 1st.
Carnaval Festival & Parade
Date: Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend
Location: Starts on 24th and Bryant and ends at 15th and Mission
Description: Carnaval is the start of Summer as far as I’m concerned and is one of the largest San Francisco Summer festival. This 2-day event features 8 blocks of fun to celebrate the Latin and Caribbean cultures. There are numerous bands, and DJs, during the festival to get you dancing in the streets. There are many food and drink choices if you want to eat and drink too.
In addition, on Sunday there is a massive parade. It includes many people in authentic native dress, dancers, floats and low rider cars, bring a very lively, and socially conscious start to the season.
The parade is always packed with people so make sure to plan. It starts at 9:30 am and lasts until 2 pm. When the parade ends when the festival begins for that day.
North Beach Festival
Date: Saturday and Sunday in Early June
Location: Numerous locations so make sure to check the link below.
The North Beach Festival has been going strong for over 60 years and is still free to enjoy. The event lasts from 10 am to 6 pm and includes more than 20 food vendors, several stages of live music and loads of arts and crafts vendors. This festival also has Italian chalk artists and a kid’s area in case you bring the family.
A special event at the festival is the Blessing of the Animals. Occurring both days, you are welcome to bring your pet along with you. Each year a different animal advocacy group is selected to help support their cause, and if you want to participate with your furry friend, make sure to bring them along and let them enjoy the festival as well.
Union Street Festival
Date: Early June
Location: Union Street
This two-day festival is known as one the best San Francisco Summer festivals. It occurs over 2 days in June and Union Street is packed with food and drink, arts and craft vendors, and a few stages for the musicians to rock out on and for you to get out on and dance.
One of the reasons this is such a popular festival is that the Union Street has not only a craft beer pavilion, but also a wine tasting pavilion. If you aren’t into beer and wine, there is a health & fitness pavilion as well as a fashion pavilion.
This festival is free to enter, and you can understand why so many people love this festival and make sure to enjoy it every year they visit San Francisco.
Location: Fillmore Street between Post and Turk
Celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth is celebrating the abolition of slavery and pride in African American culture and how it has influenced the US. A parade starts off the celebration every year and you will see riders on horses, people in authentic dress, marching bands and lowrider cars.
This event has many live bands playing music as diverse as rock, soul, Latin, and reggae throughout the day. There is more food than you could imagine, and it is all mouthwatering. It might be spicy, so make sure to buy a beverage to help if your taste buds get hot.
This is an all age events so, on top of car shows, job fair, and the music, there are activities for kids like a petting zoo and pony rides! The is one of the free San Francisco Summer festivals and it runs from 10 am to 6 pm with the parade starting at 11 am.
Pride Parade & Festival
Date: Last Weekend in June
Location: Civic Center Plaza
This free event celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed people in their community and gives them the freedom to be out and proud. Before the party starts, a famous event happens as a huge pink triangle is installed on a mountain near the area. Then a special ceremony starts at 10:30 am to pay respects to LGTBQI people who lost their lives in the concentration camps.
After these two events, the festival (or should I say party) starts. It runs from noon and goes until 6 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday.
The parade is always on Sunday morning. It starts at 10:30 at Beale and Market Street and ends at 8th and Market Street in Downtown San Francisco. This is a can’t miss part of the festival since so many people come out and are dressed in wonderful outfits and having fun. Make sure to get there early as it can get very busy.
As for the actual festival, it is a party like you’ll never forget. There are over 20 stages, 300 vendors and dancers and other entertainers. It’s another one of the San Francisco Summer festivals where you will find loads of food and drink available all weekend long.
Fourth of July Fireworks & Waterfront Festival
Date: July 4th
Location: SF’s Fisherman’s Wharf waterfront and other locations around SF
The Fourth of July Waterfront Festival is a full day of activities and live entertainment in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf District. It includes fun events at Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and the Municipal Pier.
Many of the events are free and family friendly. All of these activities will keep you busy as you wait for the grand finale of the day–the fireworks show.
Every year, the fireworks draw in thousands. There are two sets fired off at the same time. Both of them are over the waterfront in Fisherman’s Wharf at dark.
In addition to this festival, you will also find plenty of other fun things to do every Fourth of July in San Francisco.
Fillmore Jazz Festival
Date: First Weekend in July
If you are looking for more jazz than you could imagine, at a free event, then the Fillmore Jazz Festival is going to be your dream festival. The 2-day festival has four different stages, with two main ones, and there is music from 10 am to 6 pm both days.
Not only is there incredible jazz music all day long, but there are many arts & crafts vendors selling their products, people selling gourmet food, and even a beer garden. Make sure to bring you ID as you can’t enter the beer garden if you don’t have one. This means if your friends go in, and you forget yours, you can’t go in with them.
If you are looking to check out the neighborhood and relax, there are many bars and restaurants lining the event that have excellent food and drinks options as well.
Outside Lands Music Festival
Date: First or Second Weekend in August
Location: Western section of the Golden Gate Park
Simply stated, Outside Land’s is the best music festival in San Francisco. It is situated in the gorgeous Golden Gate Park. Unlike most of these San Francisco Summer festivals, this three-day festival is jam packed with truly world-famous headliners, while also showcasing up and coming and local bands at the same time.
In the past, some of these bands included Duran Duran, Radiohead, Chance the Rapper, Lionel Richie and others. The festival makes sure to have different styles of music so every person that attends can hear the music, and see the bands, that they want to experience.
This three-day festival is so popular that tickets sell out quickly so make sure to buy them as soon as possible. Doors open at 11 am each day and music starts at noon and continues until 10 pm. Parking is incredibly limited so using mass transit or Lyft and Uber is your best bet.
Stern Grove Concerts in the Park
Dates: Mid-June to Mid-August
Location: Stern Grove in Golden Gate Park
Although the Stern Grove isn’t technically a festival, I list it here because it is close enough to one, and the attitude of everyone attending has a festival feel to it. The Stern Grove Concert Series has now been running for over 80 years and there is no end in sight.
Stern Grove has many musicians that play during the summer. They start at 2 pm on Sundays but the grove fills up well before that with people picnicking and getting ready for the music. Make sure to get there in advance and grab a place to sit.
This free event runs every Sunday from late June to late August. The shows usually last about 2 to 3 hours. They are always well attended, and the people are usually dancing and having a great time in the summer sun.
Festa Coloniale Italiana
Date: Saturday, August 27th
Location: North Beach
San Francisco’s only authentic Italian street festival featuring live music, delicious food and more.
Aloha Poly Fest
Date: Saturday August 27th
Bring your good vibe and safely join us for a special family-friendly 10th Annual summertime event in San Francisco, California, with FREE Entry & Parking.
Celebrate and learn about Polynesian (Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Cook Islands and New Zealand), Melanesian (Fiji), and Micronesian (Guam) islands in the South Pacific through cultural dances, songs, crafts, games, merchandise vendors, food, exhibitions, workshops, and more.
So come have fun, reunite with others, make new friends, and leave with feeling like part of one big happy family!
Sausalito Arts Festival
Date: Labor Day Weekend
Location: Sausalito waterfront
The Sausalito Arts Festival is just across the Golden Gate Bridge in the quaint town of Sausalito. If you’ve never been there, you are in for a treat as it is a gorgeous town with all kinds of fun bars, restaurants, and most importantly, a well-respected arts festival that you will not want to miss.
There are many styles of art exhibited including popular ones like photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass and many more. You can purchase tickets either in advance or at the door. There are food and beverage vendors, including delicious drinks like margaritas, for your pleasure.
The festival has been going on for more than 60 years. This is one of the more popular San Francisco Summer festivals as they always have a great live band line-up. There are two stages at the event with music starting at 11 am and ending at 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday.