Summer is here, and we’re ready to have a great time!
Somehow, we’re already at the beginning of a new month, which means plenty of new things to do in and around San Francisco. June will bring us some exciting new museum exhibitions and highly-anticipated store openings that you don’t want to miss.
Whether you’re a foodie looking to try out a new spot, or an outdoorsy type with a hankering for fresh air, these ideas will definitely get the ball rolling as you plan your month.
1. This Stranger Things experience brings the Upside-Down to San Francisco
An immersive Stranger Things experience will transport you straight into the world of the suspenseful show this June! Meet us at Skylight at The Armory (1800 Mission Street), but only if you’re ready to hunt some Demogorgons and Mind Flayers.
2. See larger-than-life LEGO® sculptures at SF’s The Art of the Brick
The Art of the Brick is the world’s most popular display of LEGO® art, and it’s on display in San Francisco through September 4. Artist Nathan Sawaya’s collection showcases over 70 unbelievably intricate sculptures made from more than a million of the famous tiny bricks. One of the largest is a 20-foot T. rex skeleton made from over 80,000 bricks, a showstopper in itself. Other favorites include life-size replicas of famous art like Michelangelo’s David and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the famous sculpture Yellow, which once featured in a Lady Gaga music video.
3. The sensual circus-style cabaret and aerial show is happening in SF through June 12
AirOtic Soirée: A Circus-Style Cabaret features a talented cast of world-class acrobats that will be performing every weekend. Experience a night of immersive burlesque entertainment while enjoying decadent cocktails.
3. Magical upcoming Candlelight concerts include anime themes, tributes to Adele and Queen
The extremely popular concert series known simply as Candlelight is turning heads right now in San Francisco! You’ll enjoy both contemporary and classical works played by a talented string quartet, in an intimate environment surrounded by hundreds of luminous candles. Venues include St. Ignatius Church, Grace Cathedral, and SPARK Social SF.
4. This next-level holographic art gallery is open in SF through June
Imagine stepping into a digital gallery where you can walk around and browse artwork from the most reputable digital artists out there. Verse: The Art of The Future – NFT Exhibit has arrived in San Francisco and it’s here to change your perspective on how we will experience art in the future.
5. Get motivated at the largest fitness expo on the west coast
A massive health and fitness convention will descend on the Santa Clara Convention Center in San Jose this June, and we can’t think of a better way to get inspired to meet your fitness goals. FitExpo has been a leader in consumer fitness events for over 20 years, and the event is known as the largest fitness expo on the West Coast. This inspiring weekend has a slew of action-packed activities to thrill and inspire.
6. World-famous Italian food hall Eataly to open first Bay Area location June 16
On June 16, the immensely popular Italian food hall known as Eataly will open its first Bay Area location, named Eataly Silicon Valley, at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara. The news comes after two years of planning and construction, and we can be sure that its opening will cause a major stir for Bay Area foodies.
7. Stern Grove Festival kicks off June 12 with Tower of Power and Too $hort
Who’s ready to see some live music?! Stern Grove Festival, a FREE outdoor concert series featuring a wide variety of genres, has just released its summer lineup. Here’s what’s on for June:
- June 12: Tower of Power, Too $hort
- June 19: Toro Y Moi, Hello Yello
- June 26: Liz Phair, Madi Diaz
8. Don’t miss this free outdoor screening of The Rock at the Presidio June 17
Who’s ready for an epic summer?! San Francisco Parks Alliance and Do The Bay have brought back the popular Sundown Cinema series, which presents awesome FREE movies on a giant screen in various parks around the city. On June 17, they’ll screen The Rock at the Presidio’s Civil War Parade Ground.
9. 27th annual Pink Triangle will shine down from Twin Peaks throughout Pride Month
One of the most iconic parts of Pride in San Francisco is the famous glowing Pink Triangle, which rests high above the City at Twin Peaks as a symbol of pride for many in the LGBTQIA+ community. It will be illuminated nightly all month with thousands of LED lights courtesy of Illuminate SF.
10. Gear up for SF Pride’s epic in-person return June 25-26
San Francisco Pride has announced its in-person return for 2022, with the theme “Love Will Keep Us Togehter.” The celebration and rally will happen on Saturday 6/25 from 12-6pm and Sunday 6/26 from 11am-6pm, with home base at Civic Center Plaza. The parade and march will happen on Sunday in Downtown SF beginning at 10:30am.
11. ‘America’s best rose garden’ is in bloom now in San Jose
Did you know that ‘America’s Best Rose Garden’ is here in the Bay Area? Thousands of visitors are flocking to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which has exploded into a vibrant spectrum of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows. The expansive 5.5-acre garden has over 3,500 plantings in 189 different varieties, and it’s completely free to visit.
12. Upcoming SF museum exhibitions include the Obama Portraits Tour, Bouquets to Art, and more
As we enter a new season in San Francisco, many local museums are refreshing and replacing their temporary exhibitions. Now’s a great time to take stock and plan ahead to see some of these wonderful displays before they’re gone.
- Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy at the Legion of Honor
- Bouquets to Art 2022 at the de Young Museum
- The Obama Portraits Tour at the de Young Museum
- Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book: Making a Masterpiece at the Walt Disney Family Museum
- And more!
13. SF Jazz Festival will take over the city June 8-19
SFJAZZ is gearing up for an epic summer season! Make sure you mark your calendar for the 39th annual SF Jazz Festival, happening June 8-19. It will showcase 44 concerts across 4 different Bay Area venues, and tickets are now on sale.
14. The world’s largest marine mammal hospital will reopen June 3 in Sausalito
Did you know that the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito is the world’s largest marine mammal hospital? The massive former military base currently cares for over 130 injured and sick marine mammals at any given time, and it will finally reopen to the public on Friday, June 3. The 2,700-square-foot visitor center has been completely remodeled and now features interactive touch screens, a new art exhibit, and more. And on top of that, it’s free to visit!
15. Celebrate Juneteenth at the Museum of the African Diaspora with free admission and more
Juneteenth is coming up, and SF’s own Museum of the African Diaspora is preparing for a special day with free admission, several virtual talks, multiple musical performances, and more.
Although Juneteenth is observed on June 19th, the museum will be closed that day to give staff a day of rest in the spirit of the holiday. The museum’s celebration will take place on Saturday, June 18 from 11am-6pm. Be sure to register for your free ticket ahead of time.
17. Fort Mason Center’s upcoming events include a food truck market and crystal fair
When’s the last time you paid a visit to San Francisco’s amazing Fort Mason Center? The popular art center hosts numerous exhibitions and events throughout the year, and there are some special ones coming up.
- Off the Grid Friday night food truck parties (recurring Fridays): These free events bring dozens of gourmet food trucks to the Fort Mason Center parking lot on Friday evenings from 5pm-10pm, now through November 11.
- BATS In-Person Improv Shows 2022 (May 27-June 25): Fort Mason Center organization BATS Improv presents a series of in-person improv shows with audience participation.
- San Francisco Crystal Fair (June 4-5): Shop for crystals, orbs, wands, healing tools, jewelry, and more. Vendors acquire their items from around the world as far as the Himalayas and Madagascar.
- West Coast Craft (June 11-12): Over 275 artisans present their West Coast-inspired ceramics, sculpture, fiber arts, textiles, home furnishings, paper goods, wood crafts, bath and body products.
- Tomorrow’s Memories: A Little Manila Diary (June 22-25): The San Francisco Girls Chorus presents a choral-opera performance based on the writings of Filipina immigrant Angeles Monrayo.
- 27 Tribute Band: The Ultimate Concert (June 25): A Entertainment Inc. performs a tribute to 6 musicians who died prematurely at the age of 27: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, and Robert Johnson.
18. Check out live music and an artisan market 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. It’s a center for events, pop-ups, a farmers’ market, and countless excellent merchants who sell their wares daily in the building’s many stalls.
- Farmers Market Fresh cookie decorating class (June 9, 5:30-7pm): Cookie decorating class with Painted Ladies Pastry.
- Head West Makers Market (First Sundays, 11am-5pm): An artisan market with free entry spotlighting local businesses, happening on the Ferry Building Back Plaza.
- Ferry Fridays (3-6pm, recurring Fridays): Bay Area musicians perform live music on the Ferry Building’s back plaza.
- Boombox Boot Camp (recurring Sundays, 10am-11am): Boombox Studio hosts constantly-changing outdoor bootcamps every Sunday on the Ferry Building Back Plaza.
- Gardeneur Plant Market (recurring Sundays, 10am-4pm): Indoor and outdoor plants for sale on Ferry Building front plazas. Includes plant raffle.
- Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market (recurring 10am-2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8am-2pm on Saturdays): This popular market is regarded as one of the finest farmers’ markets in the country, and is frequented by high-profile chefs and farmers alike.
19. June at the Bandshell: Free concerts include Reggae Sundays, Singer/Songwriter Wednesdays, and Jazzteenth
The San Francisco live music scene is on another level! The Lift Every Voice series is bringing dozens of free concerts courtesy of Illuminate, SF Rec & Parks, and the SF Parks Alliance. All performances are free and family-friendly, with the impressive Golden Gate Bandshell as the backdrop.
20. Enjoy Pride-themed ‘After Dark’ events at the Exploratorium this June
These 18+ After Dark events are a must for some epic kid-free fun at the Exploratorium. After Dark happens each Thursday from 6-10pm with a different theme every week, featuring guest speakers, films, great music, and more.
Here’s what’s currently on the calendar for June:
- June 2 – After Dark: Discover Wonder. With rainbow lights and a DJ.
- June 9 – After Dark: Pride – Unheard Stories. A storytelling celebration of LGBTQ+ heritage and culture.
- June 16 – After Dark: See for Yourself. With a DJ from Hip Hop for Change.
- June 23 – After Dark: Pride in our Work. Pride-themed event with stories from LGBTQ+ community members.
21. The Academy’s June ‘NightLife’ themes include Pride and adult prom
NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences is one of our favorite ongoing events. The popular Thursday night festivities feature live DJs, outdoor bars, ambience lighting, and more alongside the Academy’s nearly 40,000 animal residents. Here’s what’s on the docket for June:
- June 2 – NightLife: Buggin’ Out – Explore the Academy’s newest bug exhibit.
- June 9 – NightLife: Under The Sea Prom – An adult prom with musical performances from La Doña.
- June 16 – NightLife – No set theme.
- June 23 – Pride NightLife – Pride-themed NightLife with performance from SF’s only all-Black drag show, Reparations.
- June 30 – NightLife – No set theme.
22. The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is the place to be this summer
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is now hosting fantastic free programming multiple days a week, and their upcoming schedule is worth putting on your radar. Highlights include the ever-popular weekend session flagship series, which presents unique multicultural concerts on Saturdays at lunchtime. Bay Area bands headline a Thursday lunchtime concert series, and Poetic Tuesdays bring the best local poets and spoken word artists to the stage.
23. Check out SoFar Sounds and Pangalay dance at Kapwa Gardens
Have you paid a visit to the Filipino-inspired oasis that is Kapwa Gardens? This vibrant outdoor garden space hosts dozens of events for the community, and this month is shaping up to be a good one.
Here’s what you should put on your June calendar:
- June 5 – SoFar Sounds – Enjoy 2 or 3 sets from mystery musical performers from all genres.
- June 26 – Pangalay with Peter de Guzman – Indigenous culture bearer Peter de Guzman hosts virtual and in-person traditional dance circle.
- June 26 – Philippine Independence Crawl – Kapwa Gardens will be one of 5 venues in SoMa Pilipinas hosting activities, music, and more to celebrate 124 years of decolonization.
- Free Covid-19 testing & vaccinations (1:30pm-7pm Wednesdays)
24. 8 wonderful museums and gardens offering free admission days
We love San Francisco for its vibrant culture, history, and resources, but it’s no secret that living here costs a pretty penny. This list shows museums and gardens currently offering free admission days.
- SFMOMA: Thursday, June 2
- de Young Museum and Legion of Honor: Tuesday, June 7
- Asian Art Museum: Sunday, June 5
- GLBT History Museum: Every Saturday
- Museum of Craft and Design: “Pay what you can” Wednesdays every Wednesday.
- SF Botanical Garden: Free general admission daily from 7:30-9am and Tuesday, June 14. Free admission every day for SF residents.
- Conservatory of Flowers: Free general admission Tuesday, June 7. Free admission every day for SF residents.
- Japanese Tea Garden: Free general admission Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays before 10am. Free admission every day for SF residents.
25. A free outdoor circus will pop up in SF and Oakland this summer
When’s the last time you went to the circus? Well, Circus Bella is coming to you for their 13th annual summer series. This year’s show is Flip * Flop * Fly, an exciting new series of pop-up performances for children due to happen at Bay Area parks. This one-ring outdoor show takes place from June 16 to July 17 and will feature jugglers, clowns, and more accompanied by live music.
26. Travel back in time to solve a murder mystery on the Napa Valley Wine Train
Beware, passengers, there’s a murderer in your midst! Don your finest period attire and take a trip aboard the vintage Napa Valley Wine Train, whose antique Pullman cars date back to 1864. It’s the perfect setting for the train’s massively popular Murder Mystery dinner theater series, which has just added new dates through October. This month’s themes and dates are “Death of a Gangster” (20’s attire) on June 2 and 30 and “Til Death Do Us Part” (wedding attire) on June 16.
27. SF’s newly-renovated Ghirardelli chocolate store is now open
The enormous and newly renovated Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience Store is now open in San Francisco! Ghirardelli has been working to create a new, streamlined experience in collaboration with Eight Inc., the design firm behind Apple’s retail stores. The 5,985-square-foot Woolen Mill Building, which dates back to 1864, has been transformed into an open-concept experience. The new space unveils the chocolate-making process for the public to observe in real time, like roasting nuts and creating hot fudge from milk, vanilla, and pure Ghirardelli chocolate.
28. Watch Italian street painting at the North Beach Festival on June 18-19
One of the nation’s longest-running street festivals is coming back for its 66th rendition! The historic North Beach Festival will take over the North Beach neighborhood from 10am-6pm on June 18 and 19. It’s an opportunity to enjoy live music at multiple stages, dozens of vendors selling gourmet food and arts and crafts, and gorgeous Italian street paintings called Madonnari.
29. Add goat yoga in Half Moon Bay to your self-care routine
Yes, you read that right – Goat Yoga classes are on at Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, and that’s our cue to become extreme fitness enthusiasts! Take a deep breath and work your way through some relaxing yoga poses while these adorable baby goats keep you company. They’re known to perch on your back during Cat-Cow, keep your Downward Dog in tip-top shape by licking your toes, and snuggling up during Child’s Pose.
30. Pier 70 has opened its massive 5-story RH (Restoration Hardware) Gallery
San Francisco’s Pier 70 is an emerging arts and culture center in the Dogpatch, transformed from a collection of old WWII shipbuilding sites. RH (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) is the latest retail giant to establish its presence, having taken over all 5 stories of the historic and newly renovated Bethlehem Steel Building. It includes a beautiful atrium restaurant, several rooftops with firepits, and countless showrooms displaying the industry’s most luxurious and upscale home furnishings.
31. These sky-high soufflé pancakes in SF are a must
The internet has been obsessed with these gorgeous fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes for a while now, and this is your cue to give them a try! Gram Cafe is the Bay Area’s authority on these gorgeous pillowy treats, which are made by whipping egg whites into a meringue and folding them into the batter. The result is a picture-perfect tower of jiggly pancakes which look fantastic and taste unbelievable, especially with house-made butter, maple syrup, and fresh whipped cream.
32. 10 gorgeous waterfront restaurants in SF with amazing views
San Francisco has a fantastic collection of restaurants, bars, and cafes with ocean views. It’s hard not to enjoy a weekend brunch on the water or a cocktail with an ocean sunset background, and that’s why we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite waterfront eateries around the city. Read on to discover your new favorite spot.
33. Here’s everything you never knew about the Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts was built as a temporary exhibition space for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, which gave the city a chance to celebrate the construction of the Panama Canal as well as SF’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake. Architect Bernard R. Maybeck designed it as a decaying Roman ruin situated in a semicircle around a manmade lagoon. When the fair ended, prominent philanthropist Phoebe Hearst helped to preserve the beloved Palace structure and saved it from demolition. It continues to be an enduring landmark in SF to this day!
34. Discover real Egyptian mummies and a walk-in tomb at this Bay Area museum
If you grew up in the Bay Area, there’s a good chance that you took a 6th grade field trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. This lesser-known museum in San Jose houses over 4,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts, making it the largest such collection on public display in western North America. Items include real human and animal mummies, ancient jewelry and sculptures, fascinating tools, and much more. Not only is the museum’s collection impressive, but it also has several beautiful gardens, a labyrinth, and a walk-in tomb.
35. Anyone can change the color of this San Jose light art with a phone call
Show Your Stripes is a series of glowing vertical stripes arranged on the side of a building, created by artist Jim Conti. Few locals know that this light art installation in San Jose is completely interactive, and anyone walking by can participate. All you need to do is wait for it to activate at sundown, call a phone number and enter a 3 digit code to change the colors.
36. Discover these enchanting fairy tale cottages in Carmel-by-the-Sea
One of California’s most whimsical hidden gems is the small beach city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, known for its collection of quaint fairy tale cottages. Peek into these neighborhoods for a world that’s not quite our own, where storybook illustrations are rendered into reality among breezy seaside surroundings.
37. 24 hours in SF’s Mission District: Where to eat, drink, and explore
San Francisco’s Mission District is one of the oldest and most famous neighborhoods in the city, with strong Latino roots and an eclectic hipster vibe. Whether you’re a tourist looking to maximize your time there, or a local seeking some new activities, this list will help inspire you to make the most of your day.
38. Pay a visit to one of these queer-owned businesses recommended by San Franciscans, for San Franciscans
We asked our Instagram followers for recommendations about queer-owned businesses that they love supporting in the Bay Area. Y’all didn’t disappoint, and here you’ll find a variety of businesses that proudly represent the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ community, all while providing stellar service and products.
39. Sip on a drink and enjoy the views from a marvelous rooftop bar
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, you’ll find something on this list for every sensibility.
40. These fascinating outdoor spots are perfect for history lovers
If you’re a history lover living in the Bay Area, you’ll know that it’s full of amazing stories that have fallen through the cracks over time. Although many historic sites have been built over or otherwise erased from the city’s landscape, some of these gems are still around, and you can visit them today!
41. Volcanic eruptions created this magnificent national park just 2 hours south of SF
Pinnacles National Park is a must-see, whether or not you’re a geology enthusiast. Pinnacles is a beautiful rocky landscape that was born from fire – from volcanoes, to be exact! Keep in mind that some parts of the park, including the caves, visitor centers, and shuttle services, are closed due to Covid. The campground, parking lots, and trails remain open. Visitors can enjoy hiking, climbing, camping, bird-watching, and more!
42. Hearst Castle is back open after 2 years and $13.7M renovation
California State Parks has reopened Hearst Castle as of May 11, after 2 years of closures due to the pandemic and rainstorm damage. The famous estate in San Simeon has been a cornerstone of California history since 1919, and its reopening is sure to bring visitors from far and wide to once again marvel at its stunning landscape, glistening pools, and ornate interior décor.
43. Here’s the scoop on SF’s must-try ice cream shops
The weather is warming up, summer is just around the corner, and we’re stoked to round up our favorite ice cream shops around the City! Listen, for a true ice cream fan, it doesn’t matter what season it is. But summertime sure gives us a good excuse to try out a new spot. Did your favorite ice cream shop make the list?
44. 5 gorgeous spots to ride a bike in San Francisco
When thinking about bikeable cities, San Francisco isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind… but it turns out that there are some very beautiful spots to take your bike for a spin, and the city has some stellar infrastructure for cyclists! Especially if you’re a first-time cyclist in the city, consider planning your next outing at these beautiful routes.
- Golden Gate Park
- The Wiggle
- Fort Funston
- And more!
45. Check out this beautiful Harry Potter door near Lombard Street
The Chamber of Secrets has been opened… and it’s in San Francisco! Sculptor Steve Penetti created this 8-foot tall door inspired by the famous door from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” It’s free to visit, but keep in mind this is a private residence! While you’re at it, be sure to check out the enormous welded dragon on the other side of the garage, and the gorilla waving a flag from the roof.
46. 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 have a variety of spaces you may ren, 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.
47. 8 of San Francisco’s most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants
Now, we all love a good, cheap burrito or a slice of pizza, but SF’s high-class culinary scene has some awesome gems as well. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a Michelin-starred meal, we’ve put together a list of the most affordable restaurants in San Francisco that have made it into the coveted Michelin Guide. For the best experience, remember to reserve a table at all of these amazing restaurants in advance!
48. Scout out a spectacular day trip from San Francisco
We love San Francisco for its countless activities to enjoy everywhere you go. But anytime there’s a long weekend or a free day, we’re quite well-located to check out some neighboring California gems. Here are 11 spots to put on your list!
49. Enjoy a meal at one of these charming picnic spots recommended by locals
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.
50. Sip your way through SF’s best margaritas
We rounded up our favorite margarita spots for Cinco de Mayo last month, but you don’t need to wait until next year to indulge in this zesty drink!
Featured Image: @anetfotos via Instagram]