Top 5 San Francisco Activities & Events for 4th of July

Every year, San Francisco serves up some great fun and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike. Here are the top 5 can’t-miss activities and events.

Note: Since many streets will be closed to vehicles, visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or take public transit to all events. For regional transit information, telephone 510-893-8729, call 511 within the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties or visit For information on public transit within San Francisco, telephone 311 or visit

  1. Fisherman’s Wharf 4th of July Celebration . Fisherman’s Wharf is a fantastic spot to celebrate America’s Independence Day holiday. Enjoy free and fabulous entertainment throughout the Wharf, such as Performances by the band WJM and at 4-7 pm by the ’80s band Tainted Love, followed by the city’s spectacular fireworks display over San Francisco Bay.The party goes from 12:00pm until the fireworks display is over. For more information visit the Fisherman’s Wharf website.
  2. Watch the fireworks. What Fourth of July celebration is complete without a fireworks display? In San Francisco, there are 2 fireworks displays that are synced so they can be viewed from all over. The best spots to see the fireworks are Fisherman’s Wharf (Aquatic Park, PIER 39, or Ghirardelli Square) or at Marine Green or Crissy Field.The display starts as soon as it’s dark enough to start (just before 9:30pm) and takes about 30 minutes. Get there early to get a good view of the display.
  3. Get on a cruise. The best views of the fireworks displays will be from the water. Hop on a fireworks cruise where you can get a great view and enjoy a complimentary beverage From the Red & White Fleet or the Blue & Gold Fleet, or sign up for one of the dinner cruises offered by Hornblower or the San Francisco Spirit.
  4. Watch the Golden Gate Park Band. The Golden Gate Park Band starts playing their All-American patriotic music at 1pm in the Music Concourse of Golden Gate Park. Check out their website for more information.
  5. Take a walking tour. The San Francisco Public Library offers several free walking tours daily, which are guided by volunteers with vast knowledge of the city, and can get you access to many places you would not otherwise be able to see. Most tours will last 1.5 to 2 hours.On the Fourth of July, some of the tours they are offering are:
    • 9:30am: Japanese Tea Garden/Stow Lake
    • 10:00am: City Scapes and Public Spaces
    • 10:00am: South of Market Architecture Stroll
    • 11:00am: Hidden Fisherman’s Wharf History
    • 1:00pm: Japanese Tea Garden (need to pay admission into the gardens)
    • 1:00pm: Presidio: From Earthquake Refugee to National Park
    • 1:30pm: City Scapes and Public Spaces
    • 1:30pm: Gold Rush City

    The tours do start on time, so be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time. Even though the tours are free, donations are appreciated to help keep this great operation running.

    For an updated schedule, tour descriptions and meeting spots for the walking tours, visit the website.