May is a great month to be San Francisco (but then again, we say that every month about this city!) with plenty to celebrate — including Cinco de Mayo and the Carnaval Festival held in the Mission district. The San Francisco Symphony also has a busy month with performances by Yo-Yo Ma and Strauss' Don Juan.
May is also an ideal month for whale watching as our large mammal friends start their migration. And if you're around on Memorial Weekend (May 28) be sure to head to the National Cemetery at the Presidio.
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|Our Fave Wine Country Day Trips||Delicious Food & Wine Events||Festivals & Happenings|
The Best Ways to Visit Alcatraz – Read Our Guide…
This early-bird ferry and priority access to Alcatraz is exclusive and not sold elsewhere. The day starts bright & early from Union Square aboard a converted cable car bus. Explore Chinatown and North Beach then take the ferry to Alcatraz. In the afternoon, see the best of SF on a guided tour. Includes a packed gourmet lunch from Boudin Bakery.
• VIP Access to Alcatraz + Cable Car Tour – Information & Booking…
See more sights on a Segway than you could ever cover on foot! The small-group tour is limited to 8 people, to ensure you get proper training before zooming off. See the best of the city including Fisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, National Maritime Museum and sensational views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. You'll get the chance to visit Fisherman's Chapel, the WWII Liberty ship, and the submarine Pampanito.
• Waterfront Segway Tour – Information & Booking…
On this two-and-a-half adventure you get a chance to experience the beauty and majesty of the Pacific Ocean along the California coast. The tours start in May and run through the summer months. You're in search of the great humpback whale!
• Whale Watching & Wildlife Eco-Tour…
Catch fourteen home games this month at AT&T park in San Francisco. During May, the SF Giants play the Colorado Rockies, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Chicago Cubs, and the San Diego Padre.
• Giants Baseball – Search for Tickets…
This popular city pass is our first choice for San Francisco. Millions have been sold — with 99% of users recommending it. Those kind of figures give us confidence.
The CityPASS gives you free access to five favorite activities, including a 7-day cable car and bus pass. You also get into the California Academy of Sciences, Aquarium of the Bay, the amazing Exploratorium, plus a cruise of the bay that sails beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
You save money, about 44%, but the best part for us is that you get to skip the ticket lines, saving your valuable vacation time for something more fun!
Highlights in May include Yo-Yo Ma in concert, Strauss' Don Juan, the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and Bernstein's On the Town. Book your tickets well in advance as they do sell out.
• Davies Symphony Hall
• Symphony Performances in May – Ticket Booking…
Science + Cocktails = Fun. Arrive at the museum after hours for your express entry to this adults-only event. Enjoy cocktails, meet new people, and get a behind-the-scenes one-hour tour. Upgrade to the VIP status and have unlimited cocktails before the tour begins.
• Thursday Nights
• Cocktails at the California Academy of Sciences – Book Your Tickets…
Splurge! Design your own itinerary as you visit high-end and boutique wineries in Napa Valley. Your driver meets you at your SF address in a private limousine drives to Wine Country for a VIP vineyard tour. After a few winery tours and tastings, stop for a picnic lunch overlooking the scenic vineyards. Of course there'll be plenty of tastings!
• VIP Private Limousine Tour of Napa Valley – Information & Booking…
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a day in the Wine Country. Leave the driving and organizing to the professionals as you are taken to three exclusive estate tours. There's no rush, at each winery there's a leisurely one-hour tour and tasting. Sample as much as you like because at the end of the day you are driven back over the Golden Gate Bridge to your San Francisco address.
Wine Lovers Day Trip to Napa or Sonoma – More Information…
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Take a VIP culinary journey through the bounty of local, seasonally grown food products at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market held two times per week. Your epicurean guide will take you to the best places to sample seasonal specialties from local vendors.
• Ferry Building Farmers Market Food Tour – Information & Booking…
The 11th Annual Uncorked Wine Festival is at Ghirardelli Square. Enjoy top tier wines, delicious local food, and live music and entertainment throughout the square and spilling onto Beach Street.
• Ghirardelli Square
• May 7
• Uncorked Wine Festival – Website…
The biggest Memorial Day event is held at the Presidio's National Cemetery. The service starts at 10:30 AM, honoring those who died for their country. In the afternoon head to the Mission for Carnaval.
• National Cemetery, The Presidio
• May 28 to 29
It's the oldest consecutively-run footrace in the world and a San Francisco staple since May 1912. Part race, part mad dash in funny costumes, the 7.5 mile race starts at the Ferry Building and ends at Ocean Beach.
• May 15
Celebrate Mexican culture with a carnival held in the Civic Center with more special events in the Mission district. Events include a Kid's Zone with petting zoo, Mexican and Latino foods, music, dance and artistry.
• Civic Center
• May 5
Celebrating Latin American and Caribbean culture with music, a Grand Parade, and two-day festival, Carnaval kicks of the summer season in the city. It's the largest multi-cultural celebration on the West Coast. Activities take place in the Mission District.
• Mission District
• May 28 & 29
Check with Booking.com to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every neighborhood of SF. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!
This SF luxury icon is located at the top of luxe Nob Hill, at the intersection of three cable car lines. It's named for one of the city's railroad magnates. The historic hotel is famous for the Top Of The Mark Lounge, world-renowned for its sparkling vistas of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge…as well as for the 100 Martinis menu.
• The Mark Hopkins Hotel – Rates & Reviews…
Located in Yountville on a 23-acre estate, this French country style inn get raves reviews from travelers. It's an AAA Four Diamond award-winner (that means it's fabulous!) that's great for adults but also perfect for the whole family. Sunset Magazine says it is "an inn that's more like a French chateau", and we concur. Swimming pool, secluded location, lovely rooms with fireplaces…perfect.
• The Vintage Inn – Reviews & Rates…
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