Best SF Bay Area
Events, Weekends & Festivals 2016
We limit our picks to only the best events in the SF Bay area in 2016, personally handpicked for local insiders. Many are unique world-class affairs. A few are just a lot of local fun. The events below are organized by month & regularly updated including local Pacific Coast time. Also see this month’s regularly scheduled weekly events and recently past events.
JULY 2016 — SF Bay Area Events & Weekends
Opera at the Ballpark, SF Giants Ballpark
Saturday 7/2/16, 7:30 pm, Free
Enjoy a free live simulcast of Carmen by the San Francisco Opera under the stars at AT&T Park. See details & sign up now for early entry which gets you the best seats.
Fourth of July Festivities, San Francisco Bay Area
Sat-Mon 7/2/16-7/4/16, 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 over the SF Bay in the evening. See more.
Hollister Motorcycle Rally & Music Street Festival, Hollister, CA
Fri-Sun 7/1/16-7/3/16, 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.
Sunday Streets, Sundays, Free at different locations
These Sunday events close neighborhood streets to cars so people can enjoy a large, temporary, public space where they can freely bike, walk, run, dance, skate, yoga & meet neighbors. In our experience they do not get busy until later in the afternoon so there is no need to get there right on time.
- Sunday Streets Tenderloin (7/10/16, 11 am-4 pm) SF Tenderloin district.
- Every Sunday at Golden Gate Park and Canada Road (off Hwys 280 & 92, Belmont) – Main roads are closed to cars every Sunday year round subject to weather for bicyclists & skaters of all levels to enjoy.
- For more details see Sunday Streets.
Hillsborough Concourse D’Elegance, Crystal Springs Golf Course (just off Hwy 280), Burlingame
Sunday, 7/17/16, 10 am-4 pm. Admission
A nice way to spend a Sunday if you like cars. It’s very close & not too crowded, the venue is quite pleasant and weather was great in 2015. See more details. For something even much better, but much less convenient, try going to the Pebble Beach Concourse so will probably attend that instead (8/16/15 this year).
National Ice Cream Day
July is national ice cream month and the third Sunday, 7/17/16, is national ice cream day. Check out our San Francisco Ice Cream Page and Map for some of the best ice cream in the world any time of year.
Free Shakespeare In The Park, The Winters Tale, see details.
* 7/23/16-8/7/16, Fri-Sat-Sun 7:30 pm
Memorial Park Amphitheater, Stevens Creek & Mary Ave (Across from De Anza College), Cupertino
* 8/13/16-8/28/16, Saturdays 7:30 pm & Sundays 4:30 pm
Sequoia High School, 1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City
* 9/3/16-9/18/16, Sat-Sun & Labor Day Monday, 2:00 pm
The Main Presidio Parade Ground, San Francisco
* 9/24/16-10/2/16, Sat-Sun, 2:00 pm
Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McClaren Park, San Francisco
Berkeley Kite Festival, Berkeley Marina (Caesar Chavez Park)
Sat-Sun 7/30/16 – 7/31/16, 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. It’s crowded but parking ($15) and shuttles can be found at a variety of spots including Golden Gate Fields.
- Yerba Buena Gardens Festival – Over 90 different events (music & shows) held various days of each week. (5/7/16-10/30/16)
- Off The Grid at Fort Mason Center – Friday Nights through October, This is the largest food truck event in the U.S. with over 30 independent food vendors, music and considerable action. See details.
- Picnic at the Presidio, Main Parade Ground – Sundays, 11 am-4 pm. Off the Grid’s food vendors gather in this great venue. April 3, 2016 – October. See details.
- Stern Grove Concerts – Sundays, 2 pm. Free weekly world-class concerts. (starts 6/19/16-8/21/16)
- Golden Gate Park Band – Sundays, 1 pm-2:45 pm. Located at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. See more details.
- Swing Dancing in the Park – Sundays, 11 am-2 pm. Free dancing & beginners lesson in Golden Gate Park. (year round)
- Bicycle Sundays – Sundays. Main roads are closed to cars on Sundays at both Golden Gate Park and Canada Road (off Hwys 280 & 92, Belmont) for bicyclists & skaters of all levels to enjoy (open year round subject to weather).
- Free Summer Concerts on the Peninsula including at Foster City, Burlingame, Redwood City and Belmont.
Month of July – Other
- Pro Sports: See Golden State Warriors NBA championship playoffs and the San Francisco Giants.
- College Sports: In the Bay Area you can see a variety of interesting collegiate sports up close and at low cost. E.g., the sunken diamond at Stanford is one of the best places to watch college baseball in the country. Check Stanford’s schedules for baseball or all sports. Also see the Cal Berkeley, San Jose State and San Mateo Jr. College event schedules.
- FREE Monthly Museum Days:
Typically the first Tue/Wed/Thu, every month at many Bay Area locations
Many San Francisco Bay Area museums have free admission days once a month. See dates & links. Often these events are quite crowded but if you arrive early enough this is a way to see the best museums for free.
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!