Architecture and the City
Sponsored by AIA San Francisco, the largest architectural and design festival in the U.S. includes a series of architectural tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures, home shows and more.
Sausalito Art Festival
Sausalito’s yearly art festival has been showcasing stars from the contemporary art world since 1952. Browse fine art and crafts along the beautiful bay shore.
JLVelo Giro di San Francisco
Levi Strauss Plaza
Featuring more than 800 amateur and pro racers on a course covering northeast San Francisco, Il Giro (Italian for tour) begins at Levi Strauss Plaza and includes a day-long expo and a series of races for all levels and concludes with a pro race at 3 p.m.
San Francisco Opera Opening Gala
War Memorial Opera House, 415-864-3330
The season begins with the annual opening night gala.
San Francisco Fringe Festival
Exit Theatre and other downtown venues,
415-931-1094 (info), 800-965-4827 or 415-673-3847 (tickets)
This annual festival is a marathon of 150 performances by 35-plus theater companies with low price tickets and a wide variety of alternative, classical, comedy, cabaret and new theater open to all performers on a non-curated basis.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
Ghirardelli Square, 415-775-5500
Discover unique chocolate desserts and delicacies from Ghirardelli and beyond at this annual chocolate celebration.
San Francisco Opera in the Park
Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 415-864-3330
Enjoy this outdoor venue and free admission to an opera concert featuring arias and ensembles by the stars of the San Francisco Opera and the Opera Orchestra.
San Francisco Symphony’s 106th Season Opening Night Gala
Davies Symphony Hall, 415-864-6000 (subscriptions available in March; individual tickets for concerts go on sale in July)
The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas open the orchestra’s regular season with an opening gala concert.
Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, 415-820-1570
Laugh out loud … it’s the free comedy “concert” featuring 30+ of the U.S.’s and Bay Area’s best comedians.
Big Book Sale
Fort Mason Center
Held at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, the Annual Big Book Sale will feature over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories.
Oktoberfest By The Bay
Pier 48 near AT&T Park, 888-746-7522
Bringing Munich’s autumn beer festival to the Bay, Oktoberfest features non-stop singing, dancing, music, German food and beverages.
San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival
Lake Merritt, Oakland
Nearly 100 dragon boat teams and 2,500 paddlers from across North America will race the 500-meter course; festival also features entertainment and children’s activities.
Bay Area Blues Festival
Two main stages, a merchant marketplace, arts and crafts, gourmet food booths and much more are all a part of this annual homage to San Francisco’s blues roots.
Folsom Street Fair
Folsom Street between Seventh and 12th Streets, 415-777-3247
The “daddy of all leather celebrations,” the Folsom Street Fair is the largest leather, alternative and fetish street fair in the world drawing some 400,000 attendees annually, dressed in leather, rubber, uniforms, drag or very little at all.
Sausalito Floating Homes Tour
Self-guided tours include access to dozens of the most unique homes in the world; docents are onboard to describe Sausalito’s incredible waterfront style and to answer questions.
SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 1
Autumn Moon Festival
Grant Ave. between California and Pacific Streets, 415-982-6306
This event features multicultural entertainment, traditional lion and dragon dances, arts and crafts, lantern village.
Castro Street Fair
Castro Street, 415-841-1824
Arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, dancing and music are all part of the fun at this gay-friendly street festival.
Fleet Week San Francisco
Aquatic Park and Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf
Fleet Week is the Bay Area’s opportunity to honor the nation’s men and women of the Navy and marine services. Navy ship tours and air show. Reserved seating and corporate packages available.
Mill Valley Film Festival
CineArts@Sequoia and 142 Throckmorton (Mill Valley), Century Cinema (Corte Madera) and Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), 415-383-5256
Presented by the California Film Institute, the Mill Valley Film Festival celebrates the best in independent and world cinema; founded in 1978 it has established an impressive track record for launching new films and filmmakers.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park
This free celebration of music in the park includes a who’s who of blues, bluegrass and indie rock music.
A San Francisco literary festival showcases hundreds of the Bay Area’s finest writers for a week of readings, discussions, films, cross-media happenings and more.
OCTOBER 12-NOVEMBER 12
ArtSpan/SF Open Studios
Various locations, 415-861-9838
San Francisco’s most exciting artists open their doors to the public and reveal their latest projects, how they work and what’s for sale.
OCTOBER 13-14, 20-21
Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Stock Show
Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., 415-404-4111,
Bareback riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, saddle bronco riding, team and tie-down roping and bull riding are among the competitive events.
Various locations, 415-820-1403
San Francisco’s annual Country Western weekend for the LGBT community and friends. Join hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls as they dance their feet off with three days of workshops and three nights of open dancing.
San Francisco Dance Film Festival
Brava Theater Center
A four-day event featuring the best dance films from around the world — and San Francisco’s own backyard. From feature documentaries on choreographic luminaries to innovative experimental shorts, the festival offers something for dance aficionados and newcomers alike.
Potrero Hill Festival
Potrero Hill, 22nd Street between Missouri and Arkansas Streets
The Potrero Hill Festival returns with a full day of fun, food, music and community activities. There will be special activities for the kids, including a puppet show and a petting zoo.
San Francisco Trolley Dances
Site-specific performances parallel major Muni routes; artists and ensembles are matched with specific sites to create 8- to 15-minute pieces in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area.
San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
Fort Mason Center, 415-989-9019
The oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast. The show includes 60 distinguished antiques dealers from America and Europe selling a broad range of antiques.