Autumn continues to bring nice weather to the Bay Area, and October is a great month to be San Francisco. There's a lot to celebrate with the popular Castro Street Fair, Fleet Week, and the Columbus Day Parade. If you're in town on October 22, head to the Fisherman's Wharf Fest where activities include a chowder cook-off competition and live entertainment.
Cultural events get into full swing with the SF Opera performing two popular works — The Makropulos Case and Donizetti's Pasquale. And of course, October is an ideal time to visit the Wine Country of Sonoma & Napa with a riot of colors on the leaves and vines, and the harvest in full swing.
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Glide effortlessly past the best of the city. Roll by the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building, the cable car turnaround, Ghirardelli Square, the Maritime National Historic Park, and the ships sailing from Hyde Street Pier. Before the tour begins, there's a thorough Segway training session to make sure you feel comfortable.
Explore Chinatown and North Beach on this dynamic nighttime walking tour. In Chinatown there's a dim sum tasting at one of the oldest bakeries. Learn about Chinese mysticism and culture before you head to North Beach to discover another cultural neighborhood — taste authentic Italian coffee and admire Italian pottery in North Beach and learn how the two neighborhoods coexist.
Put away your guidebook and tattered map and see San Francisco the 21st Century way. What's not to love about these ingenious cars? As you drive, the GPS computer tells you where to turn and relates fun stories, making history come alive. You're free to stop when you want, and the tour picks up where it left off. Best of all, GoCars are easy to operate and fun to drive.
Catch one of the last games of the regular season. Watch the Giants face the LA Dodgers at AT&T Park.
• October 1 & 2
See the Tony Award-Winning musical about a transgender singer in a rock & roll band.
• Orpheum Theater
• October 4 to 30, 2016
San Francisco boasts not only a great food scene, but one of the best and most varied bar scenes in the West. There's everything form the sophisticated speakeasy atmosphere at Bix to the eclectic, alternative feeling at places like Tosca and Vesuvio to the luxurious view from The Starlight Room. Read our guide.
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!
October brings a chance to see Donizetti's uber-popular opera buffa (comic opera). Don Pasquale was an instant hit when it was first performed in Milan in 1843 and it's just as popular today!. Performed in Italian with English supertitles.
• War Memorial Opera House
• October 4 to 15, 2016
Or, you can experience Czech composer Leos Janacek's grim thriller. Performed in Czech with English supertitles.
• War Memorial Opera House
• October 14 to 29, 2016
Nestled in the foothills of Sonoma Valley, you visit Nicholson Ranch Winery, where the climate is ideal for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. It's a short drive to Napa Valley to Madonna Estate to taste their organic wines, have lunch in Yountville, and visit Sutter Home winey. The tour includes luxury coach transpor, wine tours and tastings.
It's a full day of wine tasting in the Sonoma Valley wine plus a trip to Alcatraz. Taste award-winning wines at two family-owned wineries in Sonoma. You're then driven back to Fisherman's Wharf to catch the ferry to Alcatraz and listen to the narrated audio guide. Take your time on the island before taking the ferry back to the city. Includes tastings, round-trip ferry, audio guide.
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Take a wander down Union Street with wine glass in hand. Sample wine & hor d'oeuvres from 4 pm until the final pour at 7:45 pm.
• Union Street
• October 6, 2016
We also like this culinary walk through Japantown with an epicurean concierge. Taste Japanese specialties such as mochi, onigiri, and Osaka-style okonomiyaki (that's a kind of Japanese pizza). Tasting your way around the neighborhood, you'll also discover the rich history and culture of this unique area of San Francisco.
You not only get to explore the best of San Francisco's hills and neighborhoods in an open-air vehicle. You also get the chance to drink some of the city's most popular brews and taste perfect food bites. This 5-hour adventure with a knowledgeable guide is limited to 12 people to really show you a side of San Francisco that tourists rarely see.
Founded by Harvey Milk in 1974, this festival celebrates diversity! It's one of SF's largest and longest-running street fairs with celebrations always held the first Sunday in October in the heart of the Castro District.
• Sunday, October 4, 2016
Founded in 1981 to celebrate the USA's sea services. Honor the US Navy as vessels gather near Golden Gate Bridge. This popular annual event features an airshow, military ship tours, and plenty of activities centered around Fisherman's Wharf.
• Marina Green
• October 3 to 10, 2016
Another holiday, another great SF parade! This is San Francisco's oldest civic event and Italian-American parade. Follow the parade as it wends its way from Fisherman's Wharf to North Beach with hundreds of floats, marching bands, and a special appearance by "Christopher Columbus". Enjoy the festive open-air dining and Italian wine and food specials.
• October 9, 2016
It seems that hardly a week goes by in San Francisco without at least one fantastic event. How about this one — a free festival in Golden Gate Park featuring 100+ musicians. This year's lineup includes Boz Skaggs, Joe Jackson, the Waco Brothers, Steve Earle & Gillian Welch. Unbelievable!
• Sept 30 to October 2, 2016
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