Happy Friday! Below are some of our favorite things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend. We put out awesome new SF weekend plans for you every week, so you’ll always have something to do on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
1. Go to the massive Chinese New Year Parade
Every year, the Chinese New Year Parade is a massive event to celebrate the holiday. It started over 150 years ago and is a treasured tradition in San Francisco. This year’s parade will be led by Hollywood star Awkwafina and will include the usual festivities that have delighted crowds for years. The parade will take place on Market, Geary, Post, and Kearny Streets on Feb. 24, 2024 at 5:15 pm
2. Enjoy live music at Noise Pop Festival
Noise Pop Festival is back in San Francisco for its 31st year. The independent arts and music festival makes the whole city their festival grounds, utilizing beloved venues across the city all week long. The festival is more than just music; you can go to various events like happy hours and movie screenings. Noise Pop Festival is February 22 through March 3.
The magnolias at the Botanical Garden are officially blooming, and you don’t want to miss it. The massive trees throughout the manicured gardens are filled with flowers, and it’s a great reminder that spring isn’t that far away. Plus, the gardens are free if you’re a resident of San Francisco, so it’s perfect for a free activity.
Entwined: Elder Mother is a 30-foot-tall tree illuminated with LED lights that change colors. The stunning installation is on JFK Promenade, near the park entrance from the Panhandle. You can enjoy the glow of the tree from one of the many benches, and make sure to check out the small holes with hidden surprises on the tree.
5. Check out a lovely local Famers’ Market
SF has plenty of weekly farmers’ markets to find local fresh produce for your weekly shopping. Many occur during the weekend, so it’s the perfect time to stroll around and support local businesses. Plus, it’s a great way to explore your neighborhood more.
6. Try out one of these SF martinis that are some of the best in the U.S.
Esquire recently compiled a list of all their favorite Martinis in the United States, and three SF bars and restaurants made the list. If you’re a fan of martinis or just want to see what the hype is about, this weekend is the perfect time to try them out. Aphotic, The Progress, and Martuni’s all made the list. Each has its own take on the classic drink, so find out for yourself which is your favorite.
7. See the annual Hearts in SF display at the Ferry Building
The annual Hearts in SF display is currently on view at the Ferry Building. You can see this year’s selection of 21 beautiful heart sculptures made by various artists. The iconic heart sculptures have been auctioned for charity to benefit the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center for 20 years. This is one of the last weeks you can see the hearts on display, so you won’t want to miss it.
8. Check out these must-see museum exhibitions
San Francisco boasts many wonderful museum exhibitions, and you definitely want to visit these before they close. Check out these exhibitions that are closing soon:
- Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style
- Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love
- Wolfgang Tillmans: To look without fear
9. Try SF locals’ favorite restaurants
The weekend is the perfect time to try a new place to eat, but it can be hard to know where to go. We asked our readers what their favorite restaurants are, and they had some pretty great suggestions. From fine dining to the best pizza in town, check out the full list here.
10. Cuddle up with a good book from one of these SF bookstores
The weather has been cold and rainy lately, so now’s the perfect time to get cozy with a good book. Plus, browsing through a cute local bookshop is an ideal way to romanticize a gloomy day in San Francisco, so make sure to check out these neighborhood bookstores.
SF is expensive, so it’s always nice to find fun, free activities when possible. From checking out one of the many beautiful public parks and beaches to the ICA, which offers free admission every day, there are still plenty of ways to have a great day in SF while still staying within budget.
One of the best parts of living in SF is the amazing views and the many great lookouts to watch the sunset. There are many beautiful spots right here in the city, but if you want to venture out, we recommend checking out Mt. Tamalpais and Mori Point.