Across America, fall means colorful leaves, dropping temperatures and stowing away summer dresses and shorts. In The City, fall means finally getting our summer. For a few short weeks a year, usually from the end of August until mid-October we can count on generally sunny skies, warm days and even the occasional warm night. The light becomes golden, and the afternoon clouds that plague SF during the calendar's summer stay away. Sure, Karl the Fog blows in most nights, but his absence during the day makes us appreciate his nightly arrival.
Usually, the days are warm, almost ridiculously warm. They make us ditch work and head to the beach. They make us crave ice cream. They make us want a beer--badly. And they make us want to sit outside. The nights though, unless we're suffering through one of the crushing heat waves that have so far marked 2015, are crisp and cool and provide that 'fall is in the air' feeling.
The season is packed with golden days that just need a patio or blanket in the park. The City also offers up some of its best festivals, may of which are free! Check out 10 of my favorites below.
Chinatown on Grant Ave. between California and Pacific Streets
Try a Moon Cake, pop in all the kitschy stores, and buy some fire crackers! Grab some steamed BBQ Pork Buns and take it all in.
Folsom Street in SF's SOMA
This internationally recognized leather and BDSM fest is pretty unique experience. Be prepared to see things you've never seen before, and come with an open mind. Might not be the best place to bring Mom and Pop--or is it?
October 2, 3, & 4
Golden Gate Park
Three free days of music in the park! Over 100 acts on seven stages! Check out the line up, grab some friends, some beer and a blanket and relax. We like to stake out a sunny spot and hang out all day in front of one of the stages.
Enjoy everything the Castro has to offer and support small, local businesses. Proceeds support local endeavors and give back to the community. Plus, The Castro offers some of the best weather in The City!
City-wide. Keep a look out for sailors in uniform swarming the Embarcadro, North Beach, and Union Square. They'll be swarming bars, restaurants and the local strip clubs. If you know someone with a roof with a bay view, now is the time to hit them up! The airshow is pretty cool to watch, and the Blue Angels usually make an appearance. #Merica
Marina/Cow Hollow on Union Street
Who doesn't like wine? Drink some wine, shop and break out your fave pastel--the Marina is calling, and it's not that bad.
City-wide and across the Bay Area
Support Bay Area authors or attend one of the many seminars or classes. Check out their schedule for an in-depth look at all the events.
Architects, designers, contractors, engineers and artists create one-of-a-kind temporary creations on the far western edge of The City. Bring a jacket, Ocean Beach's weather is notorious and can change in an instant. The contest supports local arts in education.
Enjoy this neighborhood tradition complete with parade, then grab some gelato or a glass of wine. Explore the local shops on Grant Ave., or grab some dinner at Original Joe's, Tony's Pizza, Mario's, The Square or Park Tavern. The bar scene is strong too.
Bernal Heights on Courtland Ave. between Bocana and Folsom Streets
Bernal Heights is one of the cutest tucked away neighborhoods in The City. It really does feel like a village. Perched on a hill, The City and Bay Area spread out before you for that postcard effect.