San Francisco 4th of July Weekend 2017 – 10+ Fun Things to Do in July

Spending the 4th of July in San Francisco is one of the best times to visit the city.

From bay cruises to bus tours and scavenger hunts, there are lots of fun and festive activities in the City by the Bay.

If you’re looking for San Francisco 4th of July Weekend 2017 ideas, check out some of these local activities and fun things do in San Francisco in July, including…

  • Fireworks from Fisherman’s Wharf
  • SoMA & the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
  • Golden Gate Park Events
  • PIER 39 Activities
  • Sightseeing Cruises
  • and more…

Save on Admission to Popular Attractions

Regular admission to a number of these attractions are included on the Go San Francisco Card.

Choose as you go from dozens of San Francisco attractions & activities and save up to 55% off combined admission vs paying at the gate.

See all available passes and San Francisco attractions – Learn more.

Please note, some of these special July and 4th of July weekend events may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go San Francisco Card.

Note: the below ads are not affiliated with SmartDestinations.com

San Francisco Fireworks
July 4, 2017

By Jay Huang from Pleasanton, USA (Happy New Year 2016) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jay Huang from Pleasanton, USA (Happy New Year 2016) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone’s favorite 4th of July activity is watching the fireworks. San Francisco will be setting off fireworks from two locations: from the foot of the Municipal Pier and from the barges north of Pier 39. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:00 pm.

You’ll be able to see both sets of fireworks from most central locations, and the synched performance is an impressive sight, but for the best views of the firework display, head to one of the following areas (be sure to go early in the day to secure a good spot!):

  • Aquatic Park
  • Ghiradelli Square
  • The Cannery
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Coit Tower
  • Angel Island

Insider tip: Consider taking public transportation to the area, as surrounding streets will be closed to cars for several hours in advance of the fireworks.

Getting In: San Francisco Fireworks are free to watch. If you’re opting to use public transit, a 1-Day MUNI Pass is included as an option with the San Francisco Explorer Pass.

Fireworks from Angel Island
July 4, 2017

Angel-Island-Ferry-and-Visit-4Head over to Angel Island for live music, dancing, delicious food, beer and wine, and unbeatable views of the fireworks over the bay.

Book your ferry tickets in advance online (this event sells out!) for round trip transportation plus, a round trip Tram ride from the Cover to Battery Ledyard for the best views of the fireworks.

Insider Tip: Be sure to make your ferry reservations in advance, as this is a very popular spot for locals to watch the fireworks from.

Getting In: Angel Island fireworks are free to watch. Angel Island Roundtrip Ferry tickets are included with the Go San Francisco Card.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

2. SFMOMA expansion _ Henrik Kam 2015 1600x800If you’re looking for some artistic inspiration this July, stop by the immensely popular SFMOMA, a truly delightful artistic and architectural experience all around.

Special exhibits abound during July, so you can check out everything from the fun and quirky Alexander Calder Motion Lab to the British Sculptors collection.

Their permanent collections are also quite impressive, with particular strengths in modern and contemporary art.

Getting In: SFMOMA tickets are included with the Go San Francisco Card.

Explore Golden Gate Park

Image credit:Douglas Atmore / National Park Service.

Image credit:Douglas Atmore / National Park Service.

Make a day of it in Golden Gate Park.

In addition to the number of beautiful biking and walking trails, you can browse through American art at the world-class de Young Museum or check out one of the ‘New Wonders of the World’, according to Conde Nast Traveler, the California Academy of Sciences.

They also usually have musical performances and fireworks on July 4th itself, so you can also celebrate our nation’s birthday in this delightful park.

Getting In: de Young Museum tickets and California Academy of Sciences tickets are included with the Go San Francisco Card.

4th of July Celebration at PIER 39

Pier 39; photograph by J. O'Neill

Pier 39; photograph by J. O’Neill

Head to PIER 39 for Independence Day fun for the whole family featuring musical entertainment and activities in the PIER 39 Entrance Plaza. Events commence at 11:00 am.

There are plenty of restaurants and shops to explore, and people-watching is always a great option at Pier 39, too.

Enjoy hours of waterfront fun and expand your explorations to Fisherman’s Wharf. See what’s new and weird at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! or explore San Francisco history and culture at Madame Tussauds.

Be sure to stay for the dazzling fireworks display over the San Francisco Bay at 9:30 pm.

Getting In: Ripley’s Believe it or Not! tickets and Madame Tussauds tickets are both included with the Go San Francisco Card.

San Francisco Cruises

Bridge-2-Bridge-Cruise-1What better way to enjoy the potentially sunny skies and warmer weather of July in San Francisco than with a cruise?

These delightful water activities are the perfect summer event. Choose from several top options, including the Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise, which sails beneath both the Bay Bridge and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Or, choose for a more expansive tour of the Bay with a Golden Gate Bay Cruise. There are also a number of speciality fireworks cruises available during the 4th of July holidays, so keep an eye out for those.

Getting In: Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise tickets and Golden Gay Bay Cruise tickets are both included with the Go San Francisco Card. Fireworks cruises are separately ticketed and are not included with the pass.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival & SoMA
July 2017

Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco

Photo credit: San Francisco Travel Association/ Scott Chernis

Enjoy an entire summer of fun with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. They have a wide variety of free events like dance performances, kids shows, choral performances, art installations, and much more.

This July 2, enjoy performances by the AXIS Dance Company, for example.

You could also spend the day exploring the SoMa neighborhood (South of Market), a trendy, artsy space with lots to explore.

Getting In: Yerba Buena Garden Fest events are free to attend.

Fillmore Jazz Festival
July 1-2, 2017

If you love music, then you won’t want to miss this iconic local event. The Fillmore Jazz Festival is held in Pacific Heights each year, and celebrates San Francisco’s long and storied musical heritage. It’s also the largest festival of its kind on the west coast – so you know it’s a must-see!

Enjoy world-class music, sumptuous food, and tasty beverages. The festival runs from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm both days, with performers varying on each day.

Getting In: The Fillmore Jazz Festival is free to attend.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

There you go – plenty of fun ideas for things to do in San Francisco in July to help you plan your 4th of July weekend itinerary.

Remember, many of these great ideas are included on the Go San Francisco Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

We really hope you consider adding a few of these popular options to your upcoming plans. Enjoy!

Go San Francisco Explorer Pass

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