2023 arrives in a few short days, and San Francisco will welcome the new year with its annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show on the waterfront. After last year’s fireworks show was canceled, many locals and tourists are awaiting this year’s show with bated breath — but the city officially announced the show’s return recently. Here’s what to know ahead of this year’s rendition, plus some alternative plans in case we get rained out.
Where to watch SF’s NYE fireworks
San Francisco’s NYE fireworks show will start at the stroke of midnight on December 31st and usually lasts about 15-20 minutes. The fireworks are launched from a boat floating between the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.
As such, the best (and most crowded) fireworks viewing spots tend to be along the waterfront between the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge, but you can still catch them from many overlooks in the city with a clear view to the Ferry Building. Some popular ones include Rincon Park, Telegraph Hill, and Corona Heights Park.
For those of us seeking a more unique fireworks viewing experience, there are several boat cruises that take guests out on the water for a front-row seat. Look into the Speakeasy NYE Cruise, Red & White Fleet, Luxe Fireworks Dinner Cruise, and the Under the Fireworks Cruise.
Now, this week’s weather forecast isn’t optimal for fireworks viewing (anyone remember the foggy July 4th show?), so we’re gonna hold tight to see how things pan out with the rain. Stay tuned as we await updates from the City and NWS Bay Area.
Other ways to ring in NYE 2023
Did you know San Francisco was ranked the 4th-best U.S. city for celebrating New Year’s Eve?
Watch the city come alive with exciting concerts and parties, including Kaskade at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Seth MacFarlane with the SF Symphony, a giant party at Emporium, a NYE bar crawl, and a Breakfast of Champions block party on New Year’s Day. Other fun celebrations coming up include the kid-friendly Polar Bear Skate at Union Square Ice Rink and Noon Year’s Eve at Thrive City. See more parties here.
Alternatively, if rising Covid numbers are keeping you home this year, you can check out our 2021 guide for some Covid-safe ways to ring in the new year. It’s an oldie but a goodie with recs for creating a great charcuterie board or picking up some nice local booze.
If you want to start the New Year with a fresh perspective, consider a trip to a local observatory or try to catch the first sunrise of the year at some tried-and-true viewpoints.
Finally, get started on your 2023 bucket list with some ideas for day trips to take from San Francisco and hidden gems to visit in NorCal.
Don’t forget that we can keep the party going with SF’s Chinese Lunar New Year in January and February, which is the oldest and largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia.
For more inspiration, see our ultimate guide to ringing in the new year in San Francisco. Cheers to 2023!