Signaling the end of springtime and the summer season to come, Memorial Day weekend approaches. Glorious. In addition to a calmer city (many folks leave the for three-day weekend), there remains plenty to do in San Francisco over the next three days—below, you’ll find five great options, most of which will get you outside to enjoy the crisp, foggy weather.
Speaking of which, yes, the weather this weekend will be on the chilly side. Bundle up with layers. You know the drill.
Check out one of the city’s oldest parades
The Presidio Memorial Day Commemoration started since Memorial Day’s inception as a national observance. The annual event at the Presidio's National Cemetery, which dates back to the late 1880s, is now the largest Memorial Day commemoration event on the west coast. At this event, you will find a 21-gun salute, history walks, picnic with live music, family activities, and more. It happens May Memorial Day commemoration on Monday, May 28.
Visit one of San Francisco’s underrated memorials
San Francisco is home to many memorials that commemorate events and individuals who helped to shape history in this country and abroad. And what better day than Memorial Day to check out a few you haven’t seen before? Among the military memorials, there are also one dedicated to the Holocaust and those who fought the AIDS crisis in its nascent stages.
Dance at Carnval
Founded by a group of artists in 1979, Carnaval, which turns 40 this year, was initially held in Precita Park and later Dolores Park before centering in the heart of the Mission on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets. The neighborhood transforms into a massive celebration with dancing, drumming, live music, parade, vibrant costumes, and food. Expect traditions from Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, Haiti, and West Africa.
The entire party spans eight blocks and goes all day on May 26 and May 27. An estimated 400,000 attend this event each year. Festival runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Parade is on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
Go on an urban hike in an undiscovered neighborhood
Life doesn’t get much better than an afternoon hike in a neighborhood you rarely visit. If you haven’t been to Diamond Heights to peek at the Eichlers, you’re missing out. And can you really call yourself a true San Franciscan if you haven’t strolled along Napier Lane? Even Billionaires Row provides a dark fantasy voyage into the netherworld of the one percent.
Feel grass or sand between your toes
There’s more to the great outdoors in San Francisco than Dolores Park. Why not pack a picnic at one of these fine BBQ/picnic spots in the city. Better yet, head west and feel the oceanic breeze at one of several SF beaches, many of them with views of the Golden Gate Bridge.