Travelers to San Francisco will find that the city has plenty of free or low-cost alternatives. If a tourist needs to travel on a budget, a great website to check out is FunCheapSF.com. Now, in its ninth year, the site is put on by three people who started it as a labor of love and because they did not have the money to spend on going out each night. Each event is carefully scrutinized to be one of the top free San Francisco events in the city. Submissions to the site come from the site’s readers, but the three owners must like the event to include it on the list.
For those who love to eat (and who doesn’t?) check out all the San Francisco restaurant news. All listings are from regular contributors to the San Francisco Chronicle, the local newspaper. Michael Bauer, Paolo Lucchesi, Jon Bonne and Carey Sweet blog regularly on this site.
If you are looking for some nightlife or some great music, then check out this site. The popular SF Weekly newspaper maintains this site. At a glance, you can see events divided into many different categories including music, nightlife, free events, LGBT events, arts, museum events and a smattering of events from neighboring communities.
If you enjoy nature or scholarly lectures, then check out their events. If you are interested in finding a particular organization’s events calendar, there is a strong possibility that this site has linked to the complete listing. Listings on the site are divided into live music club calendars, San Francisco community events, San Francisco lectures and readings, San Francisco family events, San Francisco LGBT events, San Francisco park events, nature and animal events in San Francisco and Bay area events.
If you want to know what is happening within a particular community, then make sure to check out this website. This site will also allow you to search by the type of event that you are interested in attending. Categories include special events, free events, family events, music, museums, dance, theater, sports, LGBT and food. If you know the name of the event, you can also search on this site by name. More than 1,600 businesses have banded together to make this site work.
San Francisco Art Festivals
Art lovers will always find something exciting to do at the various San Francisco events. The city is host to several important art festivals each year.
The Sausalito Art Festival occurs on Labor Day weekend each year, and brings thousands to the area. Featured artists work in a variety of mediums including ceramics, drawing, fiber arts, fashion, glass, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture. The event occurs in Marinship Park.
The North Beach Art Festival is one of the largest art festivals in San Francisco. Each year the event is bigger than the year before and it has been that way for over 50 years. Visitors can enjoy seeing handmade crafts from over 150 vendors, enjoy gourmet foods and drinks from numerous vendors and enjoy the music on three stages. A highlight of this event is the Italian street painting. The North Beach Art Festival happens the third weekend of June each year.
Another great art festival in San Francisco is the Marin Art Festival, held each year at the Marin Civic Center. Visitors can view the work from over 250 artists at this event, which features many local artists. Located nearby is the Great Marin Oyster Feast. The event is held the third weekend in June each year. Many artists are at the event doing live demonstrations.
The Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival features a variety of artists from the San Francisco area and beyond. While the festival has a definite focus on various forms of music, many artists set up booths at this event, including film, dance, visual arts, literature, and multimedia performances. The event is held annually during September.
Like the Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival, the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival has a musical focus, complimented by artists of various medium. Several artists will feature live painting demonstrations and sculptures will be set up near the main musical stage. The event happens during August.
The artMRKT Contemporary Art Fair occurs each year in May with 70 galleries around the world bringing contemporary works of art to the Concourse Exhibition Center in SoMa.
Other popular art festivals in San Francisco include:
Renegade Craft Fair – July
Connoisseur’s Marketplace – July
Bodega Seafood Art and Wine Festival – August
San Francisco Parades
San Francisco has several large parades each year. Here is a list of the largest ones and their approximate location. If you are coming to San Francisco for a parade, the best month to come is April.
Chinese New Year Parade – February – Chinatown
San Francisco Saint Patrick’s Day Parade – Saturday prior to Saint Patrick’s Day – Downtown
San Francisco’s Annual Union Street Easter Parade & Spring Celebration – March or April – Union Street between Gough & Fillmore
Cesar E. Chavez Parade – April – Mission District
Cinco de Mayo Festival & Parade – May 5 – Mission District
Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival – April – Japantown
Carnival – Memorial Day Weekend – Mission District
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender (LGBT) Parade – June-Market Street
Opening Day on the Bay – April – Fisherman’s Wharf
Italian Heritage Parade – First Saturday of October – Fisherman’s Wharf
Fleet Week – October – San Francisco Bay
Holiday Lights Boat Parade – December – San Francisco Bay