Our Favorite Festivals Around San Francisco, CA

San Francisco. This city needs no introduction, across storied and unique neighborhoods, charming corners, cool weather, and the center of the Bay Area, it comes as no surprise that there is always something happening here. Whether you’ve made San Francisco your autumn travel destination, visiting friends and family, or a local who’s curious to see what’s around home, read on for some of our favorite festivals and events, and get ready to explore!

Castro Street Fair

One of San Francisco’s most famous neighborhoods shines in the annual Castro Street Fair, where the creative and eclectic activities of the city come together in this welcoming display of the arts. Street performers, magicians, vendors, craftsmen, musicians, and DJs team up with the small businesses and artisans of the Castro neighborhood in a street festival of pure fun. Visitors of all backgrounds are very welcome to join in the festivities with the Castro, including delicious eats (Hot Cookie!), areas of the street literally dedicated to just dancing, costumes, and plenty to do! All visitors will enjoy the festive character of the city here in the Castro during the Castro Street Fair. 

https://castrostreetfair.org

Leap’s Sandcastle Classic

Ocean Beach and its gorgeous views are already reasons to visit this end of San Francisco, but Leap’s Sandcastle Classic really brings a sense of community to this beautiful beach. Each year, schools, companies, teams of architects and engineers, friends, family, and neighbors come together to craft outlandish and jaw-dropping sandcastles! These creations are not strictly sandcastles, however, and visitors can see the full range of sand art from imposing sand sculptures of Jabba the Hut to giant turtles, octopi, and virtually anything else that can be imagined. The open nature of this event means it is welcoming of participants of all backgrounds and skill levels, so don’t hesitate to join your group even if you may not be an engineer. Come out to Ocean Beach and enjoy the wonders of sand sculptures with the city!

Wharf Fest

If the famous Fisherman’s Wharf didn’t already have enough going on a regular day, the action dials up to eleven during the annual Wharf Fest! Among the charming Musee Mecanique, numerous stalls, and eateries, a fierce chowder cook-off competition comes to the Wharf, as well as live music and games. If there wasn’t enough to do at this end of San Francisco, this is easily a day’s worth of activity for groups, families, couples, and solo travelers alike. No matter who ultimately claims the crown for best chowder, we all win. Aside from the various landmarks in this area, the walkability and public transport to other waterside destinations of San Francisco also make this a great addition to any itinerary. We recommend taking a leisurely ride on the streetcars if you can to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market as a delicious way to wind down after the excitement of this event. 

https://sfport.com/event/wharf-fest-0

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