This post covers the top ten things to do in San Francisco in September 2023, including concerts, free events, nighttime, as well as family-friendly activities.
You can find a few honorable mentions at the bottom of the post as well.
Check out our master post, Things to Do in San Francisco for even more ideas.
This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in San Francisco throughout September.
Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
1. Attend a Concert
San Francisco is one of the most popular destinations for music lovers, and there are always musical artists performing in and around the city.
- Lionel Richie/Earth, Wind & Fire | September 8th
- Kool and The Gang | September 9th | Saratoga
- Pixies/Modest Mouse | September 15th
- Ed Sheeran | September 16th, 17th
- Steve Miller Band | September 22nd
- Arctic Monkeys | September 26th
- Natalie Merchant | September 26th, 27th
- Down in the Valley | September 2nd-3rd | Oxbow RiverStage: Featuring: The Head and the Heart, Waxahatchee, Dawes, and more
Click here for a complete list of who’s playing in September.
2. Go to a Sporting Event
September is a great time for sports in San Francisco - you can catch the end of baseball season and see the beginning of football's regular season.
- Monster Jam | September 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Click here for a complete list of who’s playing in September.
3. Attend a Theatre or Comedy Show
If you'd like to see something on the stage, whether that be a theatrical performance or a stand-up comedy show, you'll be able to find it in and around the San Francisco area.
Theatre or Musicals
- TINA - The Tina Turner Musical | September 1st-3rd | San Jose
- Hadestown | September 12th-17th | San Francisco
- Hadestown | September 26th-29th | San Jose
- Steve Trevino | September 7th-10th | San Jose
- Jelly Roll | September 14th | Concord
- Neal Brennan | September 15th | San Francisco
- Gary Gulman | September 27th | San Francisco
- Bert Kreischer | September 29th | San Jose
Also, keep an eye out for the annual Comedy Day which usually takes place in Robin Williams Meadow and is free to attend.
- KIDZ BOP | September 9th | Mountain View
For even more comedy shows in September, check the Stubhub website.
4. Sightseeing Tours
One of the best ways to see a city is by taking a tour - that way you won’t miss any important information. And we have quite a few San Francisco tours to offer this September!
If walking tours aren’t your style, we recommend taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour as a convenient mode of transportation with live commentary about San Francisco.
Since San Francisco is right on the water, taking boat tours and dinner cruises are also quite popular.
Check out our schedule to see what we have available when you are here.
TIP: If you need somewhere to keep your bags while sightseeing, check out our posts on luggage storage in San Francisco.
5. Free National Park Day
To commemorate National Public Lands Day on September 23rd, all National Parks will offer free entry!
The world-renowned Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, and Lassen Volcanic are within a day’s drive from San Francisco.
For more family-friendly activities, check out our full San Francisco with Kids post.
6. Attend the Symphony or an Opera
The 2023 symphony season kicks off in September.
On September 29th, you can see Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen conduct an Alpine Symphony.
Also in September you can attend Il Trovatore which is running from September 12th-October 1st, or The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, which runas September 22nd-October 7th at the San Francisco Opera.
Check here for tickets to all San Francisco Opera events.
Note, if you would like to become a contributor to the San Francisco Opera, they have an Opera Ball fundraiser on September 8th.
7. Top Attractions in San Francisco
San Francisco is home to popular historic and cultural attractions, like the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
September is the perfect time to visit them thanks to fewer crowds and comfortable temperatures.
If you’re a fan of true crime stories and interested in the prison that held Al Capone, we recommend taking an Alcatraz tour.
There’s also a free museum for almost everything in the city, from cable cars and maritime history to art.
If you’re looking for some hiking, Muir Woods is a popular nearby national monument park.
8. Portolo Music Festival
This two-day live music festival brings pop and electronic music artists together on September 30th through October 1st.
Activities take place in a 400,000 square foot warehouse on Pier 80.
Food, wine, beer, and cocktails will be on offer, although bring your cards because the event is cashless. Access is only for those aged 21 or older.
For tickets, visit the Portolo Festival Website.
9. Go to the Autumn Moon Festival
This free annual festival takes place in Chinatown on Grant Avenue.
There is a parade, arts and crafts, live entertainment, kid activities, food and drink, and more.
The festival runs from September 23rd-24th.
You can find the schedule and other visitor information on the Autumn Moon Festival website.
10. Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
Tourist passes save you money by combining multiple San Francisco attractions and tours into one discounted price. Sometimes the price can be reduced by up to 55%.
They also can save you time by giving you skip-the-ticket-line privileges on select attractions.
Some attractions included with tourist passes:
- Bay Cruises
- Historic Cable Car Transportation
- Muir Woods Tour
- Tour of Sausalito
Walk, Run, or Swim in San Francisco
There are a few activities taking place that get you out and about in San Francisco.
The Giant Race takes place in Oracle Park on September 3rd. There is a 10K, a 5K, and a kids race.
There's also Peak2 Peak, "the ultimate urban walking adventure". A 10-mile route takes you to 10 peaks in the area that often give you stunning views.
This year's walk takes place September 9th, and the Peak2Peak website can provide details about the day.
And finally, there's the Golden Gate Bridge Swim where 50 experienced swimmers complete a 1.5-mile race from one end of the Golden Gate Bridge to the Other.
Even if you can't swim it, you can cheer the swimmers along on September 2nd. Find more info on the Golden Gate Bridge Swim website.
Note that it's free to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Sundown Cinema: Film Night in the Park
Grab a lawn blanket and take an evening to enjoy a free movie screening in parks around San Francisco.
There are 8 films shown from June to October, with two film nights in September.
You can find more budget-friendly things to do in our post What to Do for Free in San Franciso.
Free Shakespeare in The Park.
This is the 41st anniversary of Shakespeare in the Park in San Francisco.
They will be a showing of Cymbeline, a romance with "a dazzling mix of comedy, tragedy, and fairy tale".
The performances take place at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre in McLaren Park on September 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, and 10th.
Attend a Golden Gate Park Band Concert
From the middle of spring to the beginning of fall, the Golden Gate Park Band holds a concert series in Golden Gate Park which covers a variety of both classical and modern music.
This event is entirely free to attend, but they do accept donations if you feel so inclined.
The concerts run from 1 pm - 2:45 pm.
For a list of concert dates, please visit the Golden Gate Park Band concert list .
- Weather in San Francisco in September
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- Luggage Storage in San Francisco
- Top Things to Do in San Francisco