Here we’ve rounded up our favorite San Francisco birthday plans, restaurants, and bars to get you inspired to celebrate your special day. Whether you’re planning a celebration for yourself or someone else, it can be difficult thinking of something new and unique to try. We’re confident that these food spots, drink spots, and fun activities in SF and the Bay Area will keep you busy the next time your birthday shows up on the calendar. Whether you want a low-key picnic with a sunset view, or a high tea under a canopy of flowers, read on for some inspiration.
Table Of Contents
San Francisco birthday plans
1. Enjoy a picnic in one of SF’s charming parks and meadows
San Francisco is home to some of the best parks and gardens in the world, so there’s no shortage of awesome picnic spots for you to enjoy a meal with friends. Whether you want to support a local cafe and get some amazing food to go, or you prefer to pack your own delicious recipe to enjoy out in the sunshine, you’ll love all of these great options. Some are SF staples, and some are a little less well-known.
- Conservatory of Flowers lawn
- Crissy Field
- Dolores Park
- And more
San Francisco Mexican restaurant Copas is hosting the ultimate bucket list dining experience this October. Don a blindfold and sit down to a mysterious ninety-minute meal where you can appreciate three carefully-prepared dishes using only your senses of taste, touch, and smell. Tickets are limited for the experience on October 7 and 28, so make sure you get a spot soon.
3. Take a spectacular day trip to a nearby nature spot or attraction
4. You can rent a tipi, fire pit, and more at this massive food truck park in Mission Bay
We love this spot for the great environment and food options, but what’s really caught our eye are the giant tipis available to rent by the hour, complete with comfy couches and TVs! Parklab Gardens and SPARK Social SF are 2 different parks that have joined forces, just across the street from each other.
There’s a variety of spaces you may rent at this enormous park, including lawn areas, fire pits, Adirondack chairs, cabanas, and bungalows. There are also prices for renting larger sections of the park (i.e. 1 bungalow and 2 cabanas), or even the whole park in its entirety.
5. Experience a memorable evening at these classical concerts by Candlelight
The Candlelight concerts in San Francisco invite everyone to listen to talented and classically-trained musicians perform works by iconic singers and composers. Experience your favorite songs in a new light at these unforgettable Candlelight concert in venues including the International Art Museum of America and the Great Star Theater.
6. Get a breath of fresh air on one of these stunning local hikes
In the Bay Area, a beautiful view is always right around the corner. Whether you’re looking for a quick stroll in the city or a more strenuous day hike in Marin, you’ll love these incredible hikes for a chance to stretch your legs.
7. Enjoy a guided tour of Oracle Park
Giants fans will love the opportunity to see Oracle Park up close and personal in this exclusive look behind the scenes. The daily 90-minute tours happen at 10:30am and 12:30pm, giving you a peek into some iconic parts of the stadium including the legendary dugout and clubhouse. Keep the energy going with our guide to drinking and eating near Oracle Park.
8. Catch a Bay Area sunset at one of these essential spots
There’s truly no shortage of excellent places to see a sunset in the Bay, but we wanted to get to the bottom of where locals love to watch the sky light up. That’s why we posted an Instagram poll asking for our followers’ best recommendations! They didn’t disappoint, and here we’ve chosen 10 essential spots to check out a sunset! Grab your best friends, bring a picnic or a bottle of wine, and toast to your birthday before an incredible view.
9. Take a pottery class with a group of your closest friends
These wonderful pottery studios in San Francisco are great for taking all-levels classes, perfecting your technique, or dropping into open studio hours. Some of them offer one-time group class options for hand-building and wheel-throwing, which are perfect for a unique birthday celebration.
10. Take a charming boat trip to a beautiful nearby town
One of the perks of living in SF is the abundant waterfront and the opportunity to hop on a boat wherever you want. From SF’s historic Ferry Building, you can explore exciting ports from Treasure Island to Tiburon all for under $20 round-trip.
- Treasure Island
- And more
11. Gather around a cozy bonfire at Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach’s 16 public fire pits are available for use from March through October. The National Park Service manages the beach’s fire pits, which are first-come, first-serve and located between Stairwells 15-20. Your best bet to nab one is to arrive before noon and make a beach day of it. Groups of 25 or more must acquire a permit for $60, and you can’t use the fire pits after 9:30pm.
12. Get competitive at these awesome local arcade bars
There’s something for everyone at these awesome arcade bars in the Bay Area. Sip on cocktails and beat some noobs at pinball, Frogger, shuffleboard, and a host of fun video games.
13. Try a unique new activity or sport in Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park (GGP) in San Francisco contains a multitude of areas that cater to unique sports, activities, and hobbies. Here are a few unique things to try out.
14. See what’s going on at the Ferry Building
San Francisco’s Ferry Building is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, serving as a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. You’re likely to find special pop-ups, a farmers market, movie nights, wine tastings, live music, and countless excellent merchants who sell their wares daily in the building’s many stalls. See what events are coming up at the Ferry Building here.
15. Attend a film soundtrack concert by SF Symphony
San Francisco Symphony has an absolutely stellar lineup of concerts all year long, but one of our favorites will always be the Film Series. Watch screenings of classic movies to the music of a live orchestra at these unforgettable performances.
16. Catch the next big flick at a local movie theater
Here we’ve rounded up our favorite San Francisco movie theaters, from large chains like AMC and Regal to smaller indie theaters like the Roxie. Some of them even allow for private rentals if you want to run the show yourself.
17. Treat yourself to a big ol’ birthday shopping spree
San Francisco has some excellent spots to do some shopping, and we’ve rounded up our favorites in a few different lists depending on what you’re looking for. Here are a few to get you started:
- Best neighborhoods for shopping in SF
- Vintage clothing stores in SF
- Open-air farmers markets and craft markets in SF
18. Spend the day at one of SF’s famous museums
Here in the Bay Area we’re undeniably lucky to have a wealth of resources in the worlds of art, culture, science, and technology. We’ve rounded up the most essential San Francisco museums that you’ve got to visit at least once, from SFMOMA to the Academy of Sciences. See a breakdown of our favorite museums here and a full list of temporary museum exhibitions here.
San Francisco birthday meals
19. Make a reservation at one of these awesome brunch spots
Some would argue that brunch is the most important meal of the day. Be sure to get your recommended daily allowance of crispy bacon, fluffy pancakes, mimosas, and egg scrambles at these 10 spectacular brunch spots around the city.
20. Celebrate your big day at one of the best restaurants in SF, according to locals
It’s damn near impossible to round up the best restaurants in San Francisco, but thought we’d give it a shot by asking our followers: “If you could only eat at one San Francisco restaurant for the rest of your life, which one would it be?” After receiving hundreds of impassioned responses, we’re a bit closer to knowing which SF restaurants locals absolutely swear by. If you’ve got something to celebrate, it’s worth taking a peek at these tried-and-true institutions.
21. Enjoy an intimate evening at one of these 10 romantic restaurants with outdoor patios
The perfect romantic date spot can take a variety of forms, but a night of upscale dining al fresco is a classic go-to. These 10 restaurants have magical outdoor patios to enjoy a variety of delicious food options, creative cocktails, and much more.
22. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a birthday treat
Don’t forget to enjoy a sweet treat to celebrate another turn around the sun. Check out our below roundups to get you started, whether you’re looking for a cake from a local bakery or an ice cream cone on your way home from dinner.
- 10 delightful spots to find the best cookies in SF
- 10 must-try SF ice cream shops
- 20 superb bakeries recommended by San Franciscans
- 12 essential places for decadent hot chocolate in San Francisco
- 9 SF chocolate shops where you can snag something sweet
23. Book a table at one of SF’s most beautiful restaurants
These beautiful restaurants in San Francisco didn’t skimp when it came to the design of their dining rooms, and the results are absolutely phenomenal. Here’s a list of some of the most beautiful restaurants in the city, compiled with a little help from our Instagram followers.
San Francisco birthday drinks
24. Enjoy drinks with a view at these beautiful rooftop bars
Everyone knows that rooftops in San Francisco are few and far between, but we managed to round up some stellar spots to try out when you’re looking to grab dinner or drinks with a view. Whether you prefer a swanky environment with craft cocktails, or a laid-back terrace to enjoy a cold beer, we’re sure you’ll find something on this list that caters to your sensibility. All of these bars offer excellent food menus in addition to the drinks.
25. Find your new favorite bottle at one of these superb wine bars in the city
An excellent glass of wine can turn a bad day into a good day, or a good day into a better day! We’re lucky to live right near wine country, meaning that Bay Area wine bars have their pick of some of the best wineries in the world. Whether you’re looking for a classy ambience with a highly curated selection, or a laid-back environment where you can find a perfect bottle to take home, we’ve got you covered! Here are 10 wine bars you’ve got to visit, listed in no particular order.
26. Host a lively crowd at one of these bustling beer gardens
The Bay Area is home to some of the best craft beer in the country, meaning that it’s cultivated an entire generation of beer lovers and aficionados. When it comes to breweries, we’re hard to beat, but SF’s beer gardens are also excellent places to kick back and try out a flight or sip on your favorite pils and watch the game.
27. Sip your way through SF’s best cocktail bars
It’s never a bad time to discover an amazing new bar in the city, whether it has excellent craft cocktails, a unique ambience, stellar service, or an awesome view. We wanted to discover the best cocktail bars in San Francisco, so we posted a poll on our Instagram asking for suggestions. Our followers never disappoint, and here are some of the best ones, in no particular order.
28. Get lost in SF’s most eclectic tiki bars
Tiki bars take us out of our foggy city, to a far-flung tropical paradise–for the simple cost of a Mai Tai or Piña Colada. Tiki originated in 1930s California, built on a romanticized notion of an island oasis by a bunch of white guys who longed for a little tropical escapism. The Bay Area was home to some of the earliest tiki bars in the US, and the genre has both evolved and endured in SF. Here are a few of our favorites to check out.