Best SF Bay Area
Events, Weekends & Festivals 2015

We limit our top picks to only best, most special events in the SF Bay area in 2015, selected especially for local insiders. These events are organized by month & regularly updated including local Pacific Coast time. Many are unique world-class affairs. A few are just a lot of local fun. We use this calendar ourselves to avoid accidentally missing something fabulous.

MAY 2015 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

The weather is generally great and May is filled with good events to see and do!

Foster City Arts & Wine Festival, Leo Ryan Park, 650 Shell Blvd/Hillsdale, Foster City
Friday, 5/29/15, 5 pm – 11 pm;  Sat, 5/30/15, 10 am – 11 pm; Sun, 5/31/15, 10 am – 7 pm.
Free admission.
Big annual Arts & Wine Festival with an old fashioned carnival, live music entertainment Saturday & Sunday, and over 150 booths.  More than 50,000 attendees are expected.  See more.

Gray Whale Migration Season, Numerous locations along the Pacific coast
12/20/14 – 5/31/15, Paid boat tours or Free from shore
Watch some 20,000 gray whales migrating from the Arctic to Baja, Mexico.  Tour boats leave San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Moss Landing and Monterey during this season. See recent Santa Cruz sightings.  Or, watch them from on shore.  See more details.

Fun & Free WEEKLY Activities
Here are some good things to do that happen regularly every week in May.

Month of May – Other

The AT&T SF Giants Ball Park

The AT&T SF Giants Ball Park

JUNE 2015 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

NBA Finals

The Warriors Steph Curry is hard to handle.  He just took the ball away from Griffin on the floor.

The Warriors’ & NBA MVP, Steph Curry, is hard to handle. He just took the ball away from the Clippers’ Griffin who is now being left behind in the dust.

NBA Basketball Finals with the Golden State Warriors, Free on TV
The Warriors are now in the Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
** Thursday, 6/4/15, 6:10 pm. Cavaliers at Warriors. Game 1 of the Finals.
** Sunday, 6/7/15, 5:10 pm. Cavaliers at Warriors. Game 2 of the Finals.
** Tuesday, 6/9/15, 6:10 pm. Warriors at Cavaliers. Game 3 of the Finals.
** Thursday, 6/11/15, 6:10 pm. Warriors at Cavaliers. Game 4 of the Finals.
** Sunday, 6/14/15, 5:10 pm. Cavaliers at Warriors. Game 5 of the Finals if needed.
** Tuesday, 6/16/15, 6:10 pm. Warriors at Cavaliers. Game 6 of the Finals if needed.
** Friday, 6/19/15, 6:10 pm. Cavaliers at Warriors. Game 7 of the Finals if needed.

There are a total of four rounds in the playoffs and the best 4 out of 7 games wins each round.  The final two teams in the 4th round will be two teams who consecutively won all of their first three playoff rounds.  On Thursday, 6/4/15, Game 1 of the NBA finals (the 4th & final round) begins. The Warriors’ chances of getting there to play, probably against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, keep looking better!

Here are some good videos of highlights shot during the latest game.  Also see details of the upcoming Warriors schedule and the current status of all playoff teams.

Jazz on the Hill, San Mateo Jr College, San Mateo, CA.
Saturday 6/6/15, 12 pm-6 pm, Free
A day-long community event sponsored by the jazz station KCSM 91.1 FM and San Mateo Jr College.  It’s free, the setting is beautiful, and there will be plenty of good food by local vendors.  Last year over 5000 attended.  See more details.

Belmont Stakes, Elmont, New York (outside of NYC)
Saturday, 6/6/15.  Post time approximately 3:32 pm PST.  Free on TV.
The third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown is the 1-1/2 mile Belmont Stakes.  This is a big, big race since American Pharoah has already won the first two legs of the Triple Crown (i.e., the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness) this year.  If he wins the Belmont Stakes American Pharoah will become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown and the 12th of all time.  Check out the San Mateo Jockey Club if you want to make some pari-mutuel satellite wagers.

2014 Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon Marina Blvd/Scott, SF
Sunday 6/7/15, 7:30 am-12 pm,Free to spectators
Join 20,000 spectators to watch 2,000 of the world’s top triathletes compete at Marina Green Park (see area map) this weekend. At 7:30 am 2000 triathletes will jump in at Alcatraz Island for a 1.5-mile swim. At 8:00 am the first swimmers will arrive at Marina Green where they start a 18-mile bike ride. The first cyclist will get back to Marina Green at 8:45 am and start an 8-mile run. The first runner will finish at Marina Green at 9:30 am; the remaining 1,999 athletes will straggle in for hours. Awards are at 11:30 am at the free Fitness Festival & Expo which is open from 6:30 am-2:30 pm (also open Saturday 11 am-6 pm). See more details.

Golden Gate Park Band Festival, Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park
Sat-Sun, 6/13/15-6/14/15, 11 am – 5 pm, Free
10 different bands will be playing at the Music Concourse between de Young Museum and the Academy of Sciences.  Drop by as you enjoy the many other things to do in Golden Gate Park.  See more details.

Sunday Streets Great Highway, Great Highway & JFK Drive, San Francisco
Sunday, 6/14/15, 11 am – 4 pm, Free
Sunday Streets is a day of free, healthy activities that promote community in public streets.  The Great Highway from Sloat to Golden Gate Park and JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park will be closed to cars.  Thousands of people will then enjoy a large, temporary, public space where they can bike, walk, run, dance, do yoga and visit booths at activity hubs.  See more details.

Dragon Boat Races Festival
Foster City Lagoon, Leo Ryan Park, 650 Shell Blvd / Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, CA
Sun 6/14/15, 9 am – 4 pm.  Free
Dragon boats are  44 foot long canoes similar to those raced over 2400 years ago in ancient Chinese rituals. Each canoe seats up to 20 paddlers and also has a steersperson and a drummer who beats out the paddling rhythm.   The Festival includes several races, food, music, dancing by lions & dragons, and the opportunity for visitors to take a dragon boat ride or paddling lesson.  See more details.

Stern Grove — FREE Sunday Concerts, Stern Grove at 19th Ave/Sloat Blvd, SF
Playing 10 consecutive Sundays from 6/14/15-8/16/15, 2 pm, Free
World-class musicians, including the SF Symphony/Ballet/Opera, perform free outdoor concerts at Stern Grove every summer. Come early to get a seat. See Stern Grove Festival for schedule & details.

June Holidays

San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade, Civic Center
Sat-Sun 6/27/15-6/28/15, Free
One of the oldest, biggest, and most famous lesbian gay bisexual transgender events in the world. See details.

Fun & Free WEEKLY Events & Activities
Here are some good things to do that happen regularly every week in June.

Month of June – Other

The AT&T SF Giants Ball Park

The AT&T SF Giants Ball Park

  • Sports All month, at many Bay Area locations or on TV, Admission
  • Pro Sports: See San Francisco Giants.
  • College Sports: The local college scene is always fun.  You can often see a variety of interesting sports up close and at low cost.  The sunken diamond at Stanford is one of the best places to watch college baseball in the country. Check schedules for baseball or all sports. We also like Cal Berkeley, and San Mateo Jr. College sports.
  • FREE Outdoor Performances:  There are several summer performances at Yerba Buena Gardens (various days of the week), Stern Grove (Sundays) and Golden Gate Park Band Shell (Sundays).  See more weekly events just above.
  • FREE Monthly Museum Days: Several San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. They are usually crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see some great museums for free.

JULY 2015 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends

Fourth of July Festivities, San Francisco Bay Area
Sat-Sun  7/4/15-7/5/15, Free
There are always big festivities including fireworks by Marina Green and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Expect large crowds, traffic, and sometimes fog. On the Peninsula, the fireworks at Foster City is one of the top displays.  See more about fireworks & festivities around the Bay.

4th of July Hollister Motorcycle Rally

4th of July Hollister Motorcycle Rally & Music Festival

Hollister Motorcycle Rally & Music Street Festival, Hollister, CA
Fri-Sun 7/3/15-7/5/15, Free
Celebrate the “birth of the American biker” as exaggerated in Marlon Brando’s movie The Wild Ones. This is one of the biggest biker rallys in California; about 150,000 attendees show up in this town of 35,000.   See more.

Opera at the Ballpark, AT&T SF Giants Ballpark, SF
Friday 7/3/15, 7:30 pm, Free
Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro will be transmitted live via HD video simulcast from the SF Opera House onto the big scoreboard screen at the ballpark.  Sit on the baseball field or in the stands.  Enjoy hot dogs and garlic fries.  Gates open at 6:00 pm for registered fans and 6:30 pm for general entry.  Register in advance and get there early for the best seats.  See more.

Sunday Streets Great Highway, Tenderloin Area, San Francisco
Sunday, 7/12/15, 11 am – 4 pm, Free
Sunday Streets is a day of free, healthy activities that promote community in public streets.  Several streets in SF’s dense Tenderloin area will be closed to cars and transformed into recreational space for a day.  Thousands of people will then enjoy a large, temporary, public space where they can bike, walk, run, dance, do yoga and visit booths at activity hubs.  See more details.

Berkeley Kite Festival, Berkeley Marina (Caesar Chavez Park)
Sat-Sun 7/25/15 -7/26/15, Free (note: parking costs $15)
Over 25,000 kite fanatics attend this event every year. Features great winds, spectacular views, live music and a three-ring circle of kiting craziness. See details.

Stern Grove — FREE Sunday Concerts, Stern Grove at 19th Ave/Sloat Blvd, SF
Playing 10 consecutive Sundays from 6/14/15-8/16/15, 2 pm, Free
World-class musicians, including the SF Symphony/Ballet/Opera, perform free outdoor concerts at Stern Grove every summer. Come early to get a seat. See Stern Grove Festival for schedule & details.

Picnic at the Presidio, Main Parade Ground, Main Post, Presidio of SF
Sundays, April-October, 11 am – 4 pm, Free
This is another San Francisco treat to do some lazy Sunday afternoon.  Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue (weather, view, grass, food) along with hundreds of locals .  See details.

Fun & Free WEEKLY Events & Activities
Here are some good things to do that happen regularly every week in July.

Month of July – Other

The SF Giants Ball Park

The SF Giants Ball Park

As a final tip, we have noticed that new events are often more unique and pleasant before most of the “world” learns about them. Then they sometimes become more crowded, commercial, and less free wheeling. Also, go early in the day. So don’t wait if you see something you may like. If you have never lived in San Francisco you may not realize that it is definitely a public party town without peer! The inhabitants really do spend a lot of effort throwing outstanding, unique, and fun events. Enjoy these special things to do … only in San Francisco!


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