San Francisco events in September 2019 include Labor Day Weekend activities, the Sausalito Arts Festival, and the Fringe Theater Festival. You can also enjoy one of several outdoor festivals including the Festa Coloniale Italiana, Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park, and the Polk Street Blues Festival.
If you’re a sports fan, catch a baseball game with the SF Giants or the Oakland A’s. Read on for details on these and other top things to do this month in SF.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
Labor Day Weekend
Dates: 8/30 – 9/2
The best way to say goodbye to summer in SF is by enjoying the warm weather and variety of activities over the long Labor Day weekend. Highlights include the Sausalito Arts Festival, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, a Midnight Party Cruise, and so much more.
This year, Labor Day Weekend runs from Friday, August 30 – Monday, September 2.
You will find some of the best San Francisco events in September all weekend long!
Sausalito Arts Festival
This Labor Day weekend, head over to Sausalito, the lovely waterfront town just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, for their annual arts festival. For over 60 years, the community has held this three-day event featuring a wonderful selection of art, music, food and drink.
Enjoy live performances by both well known and local bands as you peruse the booths of over 270 artists selling everything from sculptures and paintings to glass, fiber, and wood works.
Where to Stay in Sausalito
If you plan to stay the weekend in Sausalito, you will find plenty of great places to stay. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa: Located in the heart of Sausalito is the Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa. This 4-star hotel is full of amenities and has wonderful views from many of its rooms. 801 Bridgeway, check room availability on Booking.com
Hotel Sausalito: Another centrally located lodging option is the Hotel Sausalito. This one is also located right in the heart of downtown Sausalito with easy access to the festival, restaurants, shops and the ferry. It’s a 3-star hotel with breakfast, air conditioning and breakfast. 16 El Portal, check for room availability on TripAdvisor
Dates: 9/1, 9/9, 9/10, 9/11, 9/12, 9/13, 9/14, 9/15, 9/24, 9/25, 9/26, 9/27, 9/28, & 9/29
Location: Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) in the South of Market District
Watch the SF Giants baseball team play their last full month of the regular season. This September, you have 14 opportunities to watch the Giants in full swing as they take on the Marlins, Rockies, Pirates, and the Dodgers at home in Oracle Park.
There’s no better way to enjoy the warm weather than at a ball game by the water.
Additional Bay Area Baseball in September
In addition to the SF Giants, you will also find a second MLB team here in the SF Bay Area. The Oakland A’s play just over the bay. This American League team plays host to teams such as the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and the Texas Rangers this month.
San Francisco Cruises
One of the top San Francisco events in September is a cruise around the SF Bay. You will find more than a dozen options almost every day of the week.
Our evening cruises are also popular. You can watch the sunset on a relaxing, casual cruise or dress up a bit for one of our dinner cruises. Our happy hour cruises are also popular and offer a few hours of cocktails on the water.
Here are the top picks for September.
60-Minute Bay Cruise: The 60-minute cruise leaves from Fisherman’s Wharf and takes you around the SF Bay. You will ride under the Golden Gate Bridge, near Sausalito, around Alcatraz, and return to Fisherman’s Wharf. The narration along the way will tell you more about SF and our top attractions. Check for ticket availability.
Sunset Sailing Cruise: In September, the Sunset Sailing Cruise leaves Fisherman’s Wharf at 6pm in September. It includes two complimentary beverages, light appetizers, and 1.5 hours on the water. Check for tickets in September.
Rocketboat Cruise: This 30-minute high speed adventure offers a fun ride for thrill seekers. Spin around the SF Bay while listening to Rock and Roll music. You will also get the chance for some amazing views. Find tickets for September.
Additional SF Bay Cruises You Might Enjoy
Where to Stay in Fisherman’s Wharf
If you plan to spend lots of time in Fisherman’s Wharf enjoying these San Francisco events in September, you will find several great places to stay. Here are a few of my top picks in this district.
at The Wharf
What to Wear in September
September is one of the best times to visit San Francisco. It’s warm and usually sunny during the day. It then cools off at night making it the perfect weather for a night out on the town.
Make sure to bring along layers for your stay in SF as you will find that the temperature can swing up to 10 degrees during the day from one district to the next. You will also find it’s even chillier on the water and along the shoreline.
Read my September weather page for more tips on what to pack, what to wear, and a few other fun things to know before you visit.
Best Half-Priced Tickets for San Francisco Events in September
The best way to save on your San Francisco events in September is by checking out the great deals on Goldstar. Here are just a few of their half-priced tickets for this month.
- 60-Minute Bay Cruise: Cruises around the bay, leaves from Fisherman’s Wharf, several cruises a day, Full price $33, Goldstar price $20*
- California Sunset Cruise: 2-hour evening cruise on the SF Bay, includes light appetizers and one drink per ticket, Full price $80, Goldstar $55*
- North Beach Food Tour: 3-hour walking tour, offers a variety of samples in this Italian district, Full price $69, Goldstar $48*
- Chinatown Food Tour: Sample traditional dishes in the popular Chinatown district as you learn about its history, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am, Full price $69, Goldstar $48*
- Golden Gate Bridge Biking Tour: Cruise along the waterfront, over the bridge and onto Sausalito, Full price $55, Goldstar $27.50*
*Small service fee at checkout.
Hamilton at the Orpheum Theater
Dates: 2/12 – 1/5
Head over to the Orpheum Theater to see Hamilton. This award winning Broadway musical is the story of one of our founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.
Learn more about his life growing up on an island in the Caribbean Sea and how he made his way to the US. You will also learn more about that fateful night when he agreed to a duel with then vice president Aaron Burr.
This Broadway production is one of the top San Francisco events in September.
Additional Theater Shows in September
Cabaret (7/19 – 9/14) at the San Francisco Playhouse, tickets at a discount on Goldstar
Anastasia (9/3 – 9/29) at the Golden Gate
Dance Nation (9/24 – 11/9) at the SF Playhouse
This Side of Crazy (9/20 – 10/20) at the New Conservatory, tickets at a discount on Goldstar
Free Museum Admission Days
Dates: Several in early September
It’s easy to visit multiple San Francisco museums without spending a ton of money—if you know when to go! This month, take advantage of the free admission days at some of SF’s favorites, including the Asian Art Museum, de Young, Legion of Honor, and Conservatory of Flowers.
Usually, the free admission ticket will only get you into the general exhibits and permanent collections, but you can just pay an extra fee to see the special galleries. These San Francisco events in September are popular, so make sure to arrive early for your spot in line.
Top Festivals & Street Fairs in SF this September
Festa Coloniale Italiana (9/7): Held right in the heart of the North Beach neighborhood (SF’s Little Italy), this free street festival is a great family and cultural event. Head over to Stockton Street, just across from the famed Washington Square Park, to enjoy delicious Italian food, a pizza toss, specialty Italian handicrafts, wine tasting, and live performances featuring Moreno Fruzzetti. Visit the festival’s website for more details
Craft Spirits Carnival (9/21 & 9/22): Sample some of the best craft spirits at this year’s event. The Craft Spirits Carnaval features a weekend of trying the best whiskey, bourbon, vodka, tequila, grappa, and more. The event runs for two days on Saturday, September 21 (1pm to 5pm) and Sunday, September 22 (1pm to 5pm). Find out additional information for this year’s event. Find tickets at up to 50% off on Goldstar.
California Vegetarian Food Festival & Symposium (9/21): This year’s festival will be held at the Palace of Fine Arts and features 100% vegan and green products. This one day event features plant based foods, chefs, entertainers, and lifestyle vendors. You will also find speakers, panelists, kids activities, and so much more. The event runs from 11 am to 6 pm. Find tickets at a discount on Goldstar.
San Francisco Improv Fest (9/18-9/21): If you enjoy watching and laughing along with improv performances, get ready for 10 days of awesome shows at the Eureka Theatre at Jackson Street and Battery. This festival is in its 15th year of celebrating improvisational theater. It will feature work by both local and visiting ensembles, as well as workshops and other events to help educate the public and strengthen the improv community in the SF Bay Area. Visit the event website for more details
Oktoberfest (9/20 – 9/22): It’s that time of year again for you lovers of beer and all things German! Head over to Pier 35 for the annual three-day Oktoberfest by the Bay, including nonstop music, singing, dancing, and the best of German food and drink. This year’s entertainment features the 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band. Cheers! Find out how to get tickets, how to get there, and more
Union Square Live: September is the last month of Union Square Live 2019, an ongoing summer event that presents weekly free, live outdoor performances of dance, music, circus, and theater. You can often learn how to dance salsa or tango with the presenters. These fun shows always encourage the audience to get involved. So go on, enjoy the end of summer and get out on the square! Get the Union Square Live Festival details and schedule
California Rum Festival (9/7): Taste some of the best rums around at the California Rum Festival in the SOMArts Cultural Center. You’ll get to try a wonderful variety from large, micro, and boutique distilleries. In addition, attend seminars by rum producers and aficionados, and mingle with other rum lovers. Find tickets at a discount on Groupon.
SF Fringe Festival (9/5 – 9/14): If you love theater, this month you are really in luck because September offers a 14-day grassroots theater festival, featuring over a hundred unique performances by dozens of indie companies. All performances will take place at the EXIT Theater in downtown SF at very accessible prices. Find out more about this unique theater festival
Architecture and the City Festival (9/1-9/30): This month, all month long, San Francisco invites you to engage with its design and architecture in ways you haven’t experienced before. These San Francisco events in September include behind-the-scenes and walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures, and more. Explore and appreciate the city’s true structural backbone under the 2018 theme, “Future City.” Visit the festival’s website for more details
Sunday Streets (9/8 & 9/22): The 2019 edition of Sunday Streets this year takes place on September 8 in the Tenderlion and on September 22 in the Western Addition neighborhoods of San Francisco. This monthly street fair rotates among the city’s distinct districts, where each local community comes together to enjoy free family activities, live music, and closed traffic so people can play safely in the streets. These San Francisco events in September are free. Find out more about Sunday Streets and get the full schedule
SF Cheese Fest (9/14 & 9/15): The annual SF Cheese Fest features samples of amazing craft cheeses from more than two dozen California cheesemakers. If you love food, you’ll want to attend this event celebrating local food pioneers in the art of preservation, which also includes cured meat, jams, pickles, and more. Enjoy your delicious bites with your favorite beverages from local brewers and winemakers, and dance along to the live 1930s jazz band. Don’t miss out on one of the tastiest San Francisco events in September. Find additional details on their website
The Bloody Mary Festival (9/14): Looking to put a little kick in your Saturday afternoon? Head over to the SOMArts Cultural Center for one of two sessions to sample the tastiest, most innovative bloody mary concoctions crafted by 12 outstanding Bay Area bars and restaurants. You’ll vote on the best one, enjoy live entertainment, and even learn how to shake up your own version of this beloved cocktail. Additional info on their website
Folsom Street Fair (9/29): Unlike most of the family-friendly neighborhood street fairs you’ll find in SF, this raucous all-day festival is for adults only, who don’t mind a lot of nudity and erotic paraphernalia. The Folsom Street Fair is one of those “only in San Francisco” events, featuring 13 city blocks of leather and fetish players and dance floors with indie, electronic, and alternative music. Leave the kids at home and head on over to Folsom Street between 10am and 4pm for an experience you will never forget! The parade starts at 2:30pm. See the website for more details
San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival (9/7 & 9/8): Head over to colorful Grant Avenue in the heart of SF’s Chinatown for two full days of entertainment, food, shopping, parades, children’s activities, and more. Some of the highlights are the lion dancers and dragon parades. Maybe you’ll even try a traditional mooncake to celebrate the full moon and Chinese culture! Get the full festival schedule
A Taste of Greece (9/20 – 9/22): This annual event showcases the cultural and culinary diversity of SF’s Mission District. Get your fill of delicious Greek treats such as spanakopita, mousaka, kotopoulo, and gyros. And of course, the festival wouldn’t be complete without Greek wine, Greek pastries, and live Greek music and dance! Find out more about this fun festival
Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Country Day Trips
These tours take you to three to five wineries and offer you the chance to take a sneak peak behind the scenes at the wine making process. You will also meet with those in the business and learn all about their wines and the history of these regions.
You can head up on your own, but the best thing about these guided tour is you don’t have to worry about who is driving you back to SF. You will be picked up from your hotel, driven throughout one or both of these wine regions, and dropped off where you started.
Most of them are about 8 to 9 hours. If you are short on time, you will also find some great half-day tours too.
These are just a few of my top recommendations.
Napa & Sonoma Full Day Tour: Includes stops at 3 wineries. You will stop at a large winery and a smaller boutique winery, so you can get a feel for how they each create their wines. You will also have a free hour for lunch where you can grab a meal on your own at any place in the historic Sonoma Square or in the heart of Napa Valley. Tasting fees included for all three stops. Additional tastings and lunch not included. Runs daily. Check for availability for September.
Half-Day Tour: This tour will take you to the Carneros region in Sonoma County. It includes a stop at two wineries. You will also have about an hour to explore downtown Sonoma. The tour leaves SF at Noon and is about 5 hours long. Tasting fees at the first place are included and you will need to pay for your tasting at the second location. Check for availability this month.
Full Day Bike Tour of Wine Country: Want to see even more of our gorgeous Northern California Wine Country? Head out on this fun bike ride. You will stop at around 5 wineries and you will bike in between. It’s about 3 to 7 miles between wineries and the shuttle will follow you along the way. You can take the shuttle at anytime and/or leave your purchased goodies in the shuttle as you bike between stops. Wine tasting fees are not included. You will be picked up from your San Francisco hotel and will arrive back at the same location at the end of the day. Find out more about this fun bike trip in wine country.
Additional Wine Country Tours
Free Shakespeare in the Park
Dates: Saturdays & Sundays all month
This year’s free Shakespeare in the Park production is As You Like It. Find these annual free shows by SF Shakes on Saturdays and Sundays throughout September, plus Labor Day Monday.
You will find these San Francisco events in September on the main lawn in the Presidio and at the amphitheater at McLaren Park. You will also find other events around the SF Bay Area.
The Giant Race
Location: Ends at Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park)
Baseball fans and sports fans, there may not be a game this Sunday morning, but you still have a great excuse to visit Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Starting and ending at the ballpark, there will be a half marathon, 10K, 5K, kids race, and family relay. Celebrate fitness at the home of the Giants with this fun, outdoor, family-friendly event.
This is one of the San Francisco events in September that sells out every year, so make sure to register today!
Find the Perfect Hotel for Your Stay
Find the perfect spot to stay as you enjoy these top San Francisco events in September. Click the links below for details.
Golden Gate Bridge Free Walking Tour
Dates: Every Thursday and Sunday at 11am
One of the best San Francisco events in September is the free walking tour of the Golden Gate Bridge. This massive structure connects the city with its northern neighbor, Marin County.
On the tour, you will find out more about this iconic orange bridge, including its construction and history, and get the chance to walk across it.
You will also find dozens of other walks around SF for free. They include tours of Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and North Beach. You will also find walks for some of our top attractions such as the Palace of Fine Arts and Coit Tower.
Segway Tours Around SF
Have you always wondered what it would be like to explore on a Segway? If so, then now is your chance!
San Francisco offers several fun Segway tours. Whether it’s your first time or a seasoned pro, you will find an amazing tour option for you and your travel partners.
You can cruise along the flat streets of Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. You can also head out on a VIP Segway Tour that takes you down the crooked and step hill on Lombard Street.
It’s a fun way to experience the best of SF. Here are just a few of my favorites.
Waterfront & North Beach Segway Tour: This 2.5 hour tour will take you around the streets of both Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. You will see the sites as you cruise around on your Segway. The tour includes a 40 minute training session, so you are completely comfortable on your tour before you leave. Runs from Fisherman’s Wharf three times a day in September. Learn more and check for tickets for this tour.
Nighttime Segway Tour: Our most popular tour is this fun nighttime tour around Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown and North Beach. This is also a 2.5 hour tour that includes a training session in the beginning. You will cruise through these streets in the evening as the lights on our top attractions are starting to shine. Learn more about this tour and check for ticket availability.
SF Hills & Crooked Street Segway Tour: If you have already been on a Segway and want to get the thrill of SF’s hills, then head out on this guided tour. For experience riders only, this tour takes you down Lombard Street and around to some of Russian Hill’s Hidden Gems. This two hour and 45 minute tour includes a very short training period at the beginning. You will then set off on one of the most challenging Segway courses in SF. Find out more and check for tickets in September.
Other Top SF Tours
Location: War Memorial Opera House
The SF Opera opens its 2019-2020 season with Romeo and Juliet on September 6. It runs throughout the month until October 1.
Later on in the month, catch performances of Billy Budd at the elegant War Memorial Opera House. This one runs from September 7-22.
If you love the opera, you will love catching one of these San Francisco events in September.
SF Green Film Festival
Locations: Castro Theatre, Cowell Theater at Fort Mason, and Koret Auditorium at SF Public Library
The Green Film Festival aims to spark the next great environmental ideas by bringing together people from all over the globe to view and discuss insightful, innovative films that tell the stories of dozens of countries and their ecological situation.
This year’s theme is More Than Movies. A Movement. This film festival is one of the top San Francisco events in September.
More Film Festivals in September
Iranian Film Festival (9/28 & 9/29): This film festival showcases dozens of features and short stories all about Iran and its people. Head over to the San Francisco Art Institute to catch the film screenings and learn more about this culture. Visit the Iranian Film Festival page
Latino Film Festival (9/13-9/30): This film festival features unique works from filmmakers from the US, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Films will be screened at several venues around the city, including the Brava Theater Center, the Opera Plaza Cinema, and Galeria de la Raza. Tickets are available for purchase for individual screenings, for five films, or for the entire festival. Get details about this film festival
Three-Day Itinerary of SF
Dates: Any day you visit
If you’ve only got 72 hours on your visit to SF, but want to make sure you cover the city’s top attractions and districts, check out my three-day itinerary so you can fit it all in without having to backtrack.
In addition to famous sites like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts, you’ll get to know different neighborhoods like Chinatown and North Beach, museums like the California Academy of Sciences, great places to dine, and more.
Are you staying for just a day or two? Are you looking for ways to explore every inch of some of our top districts? If so, then check out some of these additional suggested itineraries. They will make planning a snap!
Save Money with the SF CityPASS
Don’t throw your money away on cable car rides, other public transport, a bay cruise, or admission to SF’s top museums!
This discount pass is a great addition to all of these San Francisco events in September.
Live Music in SF
Dates: Several in September
Throughout the year, you can enjoy live music concerts almost every evening in San Francisco. The city attracts some big names, but also has many great venues for independent and up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent. Find a show you’ll love at the Chase Center, Warfield, the Fillmore, or the Independent, among many others.
Here are more details on the top shows this month around San Francisco. Click the links for tickets to each of these San Francisco events in September.
SF Bay Area
In addition to San Francisco, you will also find dozens of fun concerts this month around the SF Bay Area. My calendar includes top shows in Oakland, San Jose, Mountain View and Saratoga.
Muir Woods Tours from SF
Heading up to Muir Woods on a guided tour is another one of the top San Francisco events in September. These tours include transportation to and from your hotel to Muir Woods. You will often get about an hour to cruise around Muir Woods.
Muir Woods is a national park with beautiful Coastal Redwood Trees. Many of them are between 400 and 600 years old. It’s often cool from the coastal fog, so make sure to bring along a jacket.
Most tours are around 4 to 5 hours and don’t include the entrance fee to Muir Woods.
Here are a couple of popular options.
Muir Woods & Sausalito: This is a popular option. It includes stops in both Muir Woods and Sausalito. You will get about an hour in each location and can opt to take the Sausalito ferry or the shuttle back to SF. This half day tour leaves daily from SF at around 9am and 1:30pm. Find tickets for this tour.
Muir Woods & Wine Country Tour: This combo tour includes stops in Muir Woods and Northern California Wine Country. After an hour in Muir Woods, you will continue north to both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. In total, you will stop at 3 wineries. Muir Woods entrance fees are not included. Wine tasting fees are included. This tour is about 11 hours. Find ticket availability for September.
More Top SF Day Trips
Live Comedy in SF
Dates: Several this month
San Francisco is a great place to catch stand-up shows, improv performances, and other hilariously entertaining plays and musicals.
Some of the best comedians in the business, including have been featured at the Punch Line Comedy Club and Cobb’s Comedy Club in the city. In addition, this month you can enjoy the annual free Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park.
Location: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara
The SF 49ers kick off their regular season home games this month at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The 49ers take on the Pittsburg Steelers at home on the 22nd.
This is their only home game this September. You will find these San Francisco events in September about an hour south of SF.
SF Museum Exhibits
Dates: Throughout September
Take some time to check out the fantastic exhibits currently on display at SF’s world-renowned museums. The Legion of Honor is currently showing Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters.
Click the link below to find out what else you can see at the Conservatory of Flowers, Walt Disney Museum, the SF Museum of Modern Art, and more.
Don’t miss out on these highly anticipated San Francisco events in September.
This month brings us a whole day of laughter and fun as more than 40 great comedians come together to offer the city a free comedy show in Golden Gate Park.
There will be several hilarious sets throughout the afternoon, and of course there will be food and drinks on hand, including Lagunitas Brewing, the Slider Shack, and much more.
The festival runs from noon to 5pm in Robin Williams Meadow. It’s one of the top free San Francisco events in September.
Urban Air Market
Urban Air Market is the biggest outdoor design festival in the US, with events all over the country.
At each event, the marketplace focuses on sustainable design, building community, promoting independent artists, and supporting the local economy.
For the fall SF market, head over to Hayes Valley and check out the unique fashion design, accessories, body products, home decor, and other types of art.
This is one of the San Francisco events in September that runs from 11am to 6pm.
Waves to Wine Ride
Dates: 9/21 – 9/22
Bike MS: Waves to Wine is a totally different way to see the gorgeous landscapes around Sonoma wine country.
It involves one or two days of cycling along with thousands of other passionate individuals, on routes that range from 20 – 100 miles each. The ride starts and ends at SOMO Village: 1400 Valley House Dr in Rohnert Park. The fund-raising minimum is $350 per rider.
This event raises money for a great cause, the National MS Society.
Dates: Several performances in September
September marks the opening of a new season at the SF Symphony. Enjoy an elegant Opening Gala Night to help kick off the season in style on September 4. Later in the month, catch stunning performances throughout the month at Davies Symphony Hall.
This month’s top shows include MTT & Mahler: MTT & Mahler 6 (9/12 – 9/15), MTT & Trifonov: Rachmaninoff & John Adams (9/19 – 9/22), and MTT, Stravinsky, & Haydn (9/26 – 9/28).
Even More Things to Do in SF This Month
In addition to the fun San Francisco events in September listed above, there is so much to do this month in the City by the Bay! Take a tour or boat cruise, attend a show, check out the nightlife, and get outside to enjoy SF’s beautiful summer weather!