Discover fun things to do in San Francisco to make this summer the best one yet
After spending last year dealing with the pandemic, everyone is ready to enjoy the summer months. If you’re looking for a place to do it, San Fran is one of your best bets. The San Francisco Bay Area is commonly known for having tons of great ways to relax and have fun. From the beaches and natural beauty to the restaurants and museums, there’s no shortage of activities to do in San Francisco throughout the summer.
To help you make the most of this city in the summer, we’ve created a guide that lists all the fun things to do in San Francisco. You’ll find something to do, no matter what you’re interested in. Whether you’re moving to San Francisco or live there already, try out the following activities in the warm months and make your itinerary for summer fun.
1. See famous sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz Island
San Francisco is full of iconic landmarks. The sight that most people think of is the Golden Gate Bridge. After all, it’s arguably one of the most famous bridges in the world, and it’s also one of the most photographed landmarks on the planet.
The bridge spans 1.7 miles and sees 120,000 vehicles that drive across it every day. The good news is that it also includes a walkway for pedestrians and allows bikes on the western side of the bridge. Just be sure to bring your camera or smartphone to capture all the amazing views.
Alcatraz is another famous landmark in the Bay Area that is worth a day trip. This former prison sits on an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. It closed in the 1960s, but it once housed some of the most notorious criminals. Alcatraz is also called “The Rock” because no one ever successfully escaped from it, despite the best efforts of those incarcerated there.
Today, you can go to Alcatraz Island using Alcatraz Cruises and visit “The Rock.” Once you’re there, you can take a self-guided walking tour of this tourist attraction. The pre-recorded tours will help you learn more about the prison and its history as you explore the grounds.
You’ll also want to visit Fisherman’s Wharf, which is home to PIER 39. There, you can enjoy exploring this waterfront marketplace and the nearby popular San Francisco attractions, including Madame Tussauds and The San Francisco Dungeon. The Dungeon is especially popular, as it recreates historical events using immersive sets and live actors.
Animal lovers will also love this area because its docks are home to a group of California sea lions. You can peek over the railings that line the waterfront to watch and snap pictures of the sea lions’ adorable antics.
2. Check out popular attractions that include San Francisco museums, gardens and a zoo
This Northern California city is full of museums and attractions that can help you learn more about art, science, and nature. Best of all, you can visit many of these highly rated attractions when you get San Francisco CityPASS. For one fee, you can visit multiple attractions, including the California Academy of Science, the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, and the Aquarium of the Bay, within a nine-day period. This typically ends up saving people 44%.
Aquarium of the Bay is located on PIER 39, near the famous Fisherman’s Wharf and those sea lions. This facility includes 300 feet of clear tunnels that hold 700,000 gallons of water straight from the San Francisco Bay. You can check out different species of aquatic animals and even touch some of them in the touch tide pool.
California Academy of Sciences is a tourist attraction located in Golden Gate Park. There, you’ll find an aquarium, planetarium, and a national history museum. This San Francisco museum is unlike any other, as you can see everything from a four-story rainforest and a coral reef ecosystem all in one place. You’ll also discover that the building has a 2.5-acre living roof with beautiful wildflowers.
San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is the home of over 1,000 animals from more than 250 species. Animal lovers can see everything from grizzly bears and gorillas to red pandas and rhinoceros. You can also enjoy animal talks and watch the keepers feed certain animals throughout the day.
3. Enjoy a night out in Downtown San Francisco, aka the Financial District (FiDi)
You might not think that the Financial District would be a place to find fun things to do in San Francisco. While the many offices and high-rise buildings that make up the San Francisco skyline are clustered in this area, there’s more to do than just work. In fact, you can find Michelin-starred restaurants and happy hour bars that serve up delicious cocktails to help you unwind. This makes the area perfect if you’re looking for great food, amazing views, and romantic things to do.
In addition to these restaurants and bars that make great date night spots, you can also find gems like the Museum of Ice Cream and Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. People with a sweet tooth will love these fun things to do in San Francisco in the summer.
While you’re in the area, you can also easily get to other popular neighborhoods that are nearby. There’s SoMa, which is known as the city’s tech hub, and Union Square, which is a great place to do some shopping.
Finally, we can’t forget about San Francisco’s Chinatown. This Chinatown is the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and it also holds the title of the oldest Chinatown in North America. This means you can find delicious and authentic dishes like dim sum, pork buns, and egg tarts.
4. Explore the many parks and gardens that are beloved by San Franciscans
You might not think of nature when a city comes to mind. However, there are plenty of fun things to do in San Francisco that involve the great outdoors. One such urban oasis is Yerba Buena Gardens. This park is comprised of two blocks of public parks in Downtown San Francisco, and it includes five acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, trees, flowers, water features, and public art. During the summer months, you can also enjoy the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, which consists of cultural activities, food, and shopping.
Near the Golden Gate Bridge, you can find the Japanese Tea Garden. Originally built as part of the World’s Fair in 1894, this park has grown from one acre to five and is one of the most popular San Francisco attractions. You can relax by stone lanterns, cherry trees, koi ponds, and a Zen garden.
Once you’ve enjoyed this beautiful garden, you’ll want to make your way to the San Francisco Botanical Garden to see plants from the rest of the world’s countries. This urban oasis of 55 acres contains more than 8,000 plants from all corners of the globe. It’s like traveling the world without leaving San Fran.
5. Don’t forget to hit the beach as one of the fun things to do in San Francisco
San Francisco’s location by the ocean means that you can enjoy some sand and surf this summer. This Northern California city is home to several incredible beaches that you won’t want to miss visiting as the temperatures heat up.
First, there’s Baker Beach, which is a San Francisco attraction featuring one mile of sandy beach and breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also find hiking trails on the nearby California Coastal Trail. Keep in mind that this area has strong currents and riptides, so swimming and wading aren’t recommended at Baker Beach.
If you’d like to visit a beach that allows you to enjoy the waves, Stinson Beach is for you. It’s a little bit of a drive, making it good for a day trip, but the destination is worth it. Because of the beach’s sheltered location and on-duty lifeguards during the summer, both swimming and surfing are typically safe. You can also enjoy beach volleyball, fishing, hiking, and picnicking on the 3.5-mile stretch of white-sand beach. This location truly has the feel of a “beach town.”
Move to this city to enjoy all the fun things to do in San Francisco
As you can see, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in San Francisco in the summer. You can enjoy it all by renting a space in one of our San Francisco homes. From SoMa to Point Richmond, Common offers beautiful living spaces that allow you to enjoy city living for an attainable price. You can rent a private room in a shared suite in popular cities around the United States. Check out our homes and apartments in San Francisco to find your dream home today!