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Things to do in San Francisco in August

Book A Guided Walking Tour

This post covers the best things to do in San Francisco in August, including free, family-friendly, as well as things to do at night, all updated for 2022.


TOP TEN EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO

This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in San Francisco throughout August. 

For tips on the most popular activities in San Francisco, check out the following posts:

Also, many of the items listed in our top ten section are included for free with the purchase of several tourist attraction discount passes


1. Take a Walking Tour

Our guided walks are free to join and operate on a pay-what-you-like basis, which means you decide what a tour was worth or what you could afford when the tour is over.

We also have self-guided tours and GPS-enabled audio tours of neighborhoods that you will likely visit as a tourist in the city.

Check out our homepage or look at our schedule to see what we have available when you are here.


2. Enjoy a Concert

As a major U.S. city, San Francisco plays host to major concerts almost daily and we have listed some of the most popular below.

Click here for a complete list of who's playing in August.


3. See a Sporting Event

August is a great time to get out, enjoy the sun, and take in the atmosphere of a game!

During August, baseball season is in full swing and American football is beginning its pre-season games.

Baseball

Most of the baseball games take place in the evening.

Football

For more nighttime activity ideas, check out our things to do at night section.


4. Go to a Live Comedy Show

There are usually a lot of great comedians performing in San Francisco throughout August.

Celeste Barbar will be making an appearing in San Francisco on August 19. Tickets can be purchased here.

On August 10th, the Comedy Bang Bang tour is in town. Tickets can be purchased here.

There's also a Comedy Allstars show at the Punchline Comedy Club, with folks who have often appeared on late night talk shows like Conan and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Tickets can be purchased here.

For even more stand-up, check this list of live comedy shows in San Francisco.


5. Attend SiliCon 2022

Comic-Con is coming to the South Bay with celebrities, indie artists, cosplayers, video games, board games, music, comics, and electronics.

Adam Savage has brought the SiliCon to life at the San Jose McEnry Convention Center, with tickets available for the whole weekend or just individual days.

This year, the event takes place over August 27th and 28th.

Silicon Valley and San Jose are about an hours drive from downtown San Francisco.


6. Pistahan Parade and Festival

Over two days in August, the 13th and 14th, the best of the Philipines is celebrated with the Pistahan Parade and Festival.

Now in it's 29th year, this free event elebrates art, music, food, innovation, sports and much more.

Come and discover "Philippine history, heritage, and traditions". You'll find activities for the whole family.

It takes place in Yerba Beuna Gardens. Click here for more information.


7. Outside Lands

One of the city’s biggest annual events, Outside Lands , comes to Golden Gate Park for multiple days of music, food, beer & wine, and art & comedy.

This year the event takes place from August 5th - 7th.

The 2022 lineup includes Green Day, Post Malone, Sza, Weezer, and many other performers!

Check the website for more information and to purchase festival passes.


8. Nihonmachi Street Fair

Head over to Japantown for the “melting pot of all street fairs” from August 6th - 7th, 2022.

The 48th annual Nihonmachi Street Fair will fill these two days with Asian-Pacific American culture, tradition, dance, art music, and food. 

The event takes place from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm both days and admission is free!

For more fun, free things to do, check out our family-friendly suggestions and free activities below .


9. Jerry Day

San Francisco comes together to celebrate hometown boy, and founding member of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia.

The event takes place in McLaren Park, in the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre.

Doors open at 11:00 AM on Saturday, August 13th, 2022.

This celebrations brings together artists who understand Jerry's spirit and are able to bring his music to the crowd.

The event is free, although they do accept donations. There will also be food and drinks for sale.

Click here for more information about the event.


10. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

Save time and money with a sightseeing pass to San Francisco!

Several of the items above are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist attraction discount pass .

Tourist passes work by combining several popular San Francisco attractions and tours into one discounted price, up to 55%. 

They also can save you time by giving you skip-the-ticket-line privileges to many of these attractions.

Some attractions included with tourist passes:

  • Bay Cruises
  • Historic Cable Car Transportation
  • Alcatraz
  • Muir Woods Tour
  • Tour of Sausalito

Be sure to read our post that compares each option available to you.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO

Luckily, so many of the festivals that happen in San Francisco offer free admission!

For additional suggestios for free activities, see our guide to free things to do in San Francisco.


Golden Gate Bridge Swim

Bring the family to cheer on 50 experienced swimmers as they complete a 1.5 miles (3km) race swim from one end of the Golden Gate Bridge to the other.

The event takes place this year on August 6th. Click here for more information.

It's also free to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.


Festa Coloniale Italiana

This free-to-attend street festival is all about fun and family.

Come to North Beach and celebrate all-things-Italian.

From wine tasting, to Italian music, to a pizza toss, and loads of local vendors selling Italian products, there is much to keep you interested.

There is also a children's corner with crafts, face painting, and a marionette show.

Click here for more information.


Enjoy Washington Square 

Located in the heart of North Beach, Washington Square is an excellent place to take a break and enjoy an afternoon respite while you people watch.

Don’t miss the Benjamin Franklin time capsule in the park, which will be opened in 2979!


Free Museum Days! 

While most museums in San Francisco charge a daily admission fee, there is typically one day a month museums choose to offer free admission. 

Free days can vary by the museum but it’s worth it to check the museum’s calendar to see when admission will be free of charge!

Or, you can check out our post on free museums in San Francisco for more details.

For even more free activities, see our guide to free things to do in San Francisco.


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN AUGUST

Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in August.

For additional suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post, Things to do at Night in San Francisco.


Exploratorium 

The Exploratorium After Dark is a fun, 21+ night out that features exhibits, live music, and a bar.

The space is transformed for the 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm Thursday events, so even if you've already visited, don’t hesitate to come back on a Thursday night.

Get ticket information here.


Asian Art Museum 

The Asian Art Museum is open late (until 9:00 pm) every Thursday for events, talks, and opportunities to meet the artists.

You'll be able to purchase drinks at a cash bar and listen to a live DJ.


Dine at Pier 39

One of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, Pier 39 really comes alive at night!

Filled with specialty stores and restaurants, the attraction also offers a carousel, access to the sea lions who dock here, and a variety of street performers on any given evening.  

TIP: For many more ideas, be sure to take a look at our post Things to do at Night in San Francisco .


FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO

San Francisco is full of family-friendly activities and events in the month of August!

Here are a few more family-friendly activities.


Bridge to Bridge Run

Touted as “America’s Most Beautiful Run,” the Bridge to Bridge Run in San Francisco offers stunning views from the Oakland Bay Bridge to the olden Gate Bridge.

Runners can choose from a 5k or 12k. Check the website to register and for more information.

NOTE: The exact dates for this event have not been announced, but it should take place in August 2021.


Aloha Poly Fest

This annual festival welcomes all with all who share the aloha spirit, one of "affection, peace and compassion".

The festival features live entertainment, arts and crafts, and vendors who share the creations of Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Guam, and Fiji.

This year the event takes place on August 27th.

More information can be found here.


Maritime Museum

Visit the Maritime Museum in the historic Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building.

Built in 1939, this building was occupied by US troops during WWII and was then turned into the country’s first senior living center.

Stop by to see the rotating exhibits and 1930’s WPA murals. The museum is open daily from 10am-4pm.


Check out the Bison Paddock in Golden Gate Park

Located next to Spreckels Lake, the Bison Paddock in Golden Gate Park has hosted American bison since the 1890s.

A nod to the “Wild West” of the 19th Century, the paddock is one of the most loved spots in the park.

TIP: For more ideas of things to do with kids in San Francisco, see our post Things to do in San Francisco with Kids .


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About The Author

Britt

Britt is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has spent 25 years in this magical city. He has traveled to over 30 countries, and has never found a place he loves as much as this one! If you come to San Francisco, you might join one of Britt's tours of the city. A graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Southern California, he has been leading tours for Free Tours by Foot since 2015.
Updated: June 30th, 2022
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