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21 Things to Do in Spring in San Francisco
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21 Things to Do in Spring in San Francisco

Picture of Deanna Morgado
Updated: 4 January 2018
Say goodbye to the chilly cold of the San Francisco winter and get ready for spring! The city’s colorful flora is once again in bloom, the streets are filling back up, and some really exciting events are popping up just in time to celebrate the season. Here are some must-do springtime things to do in the city.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The SFMOMA is open year round, but there’s nothing like immersing yourself in modern art during the spring. The museum always seems to pull out all the stops with exhibits and collections in the blooming season.

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SF MOMA, Trip to San Francisco, June 2017 Ι | © Daniel X. O’Neil/Flickr

Treasure Island Flea Market

When spring comes back around, the awesome Treasure Island Flea Market does as well. Held on the last weekend of every month, this flea market is absolutely huge. Get your shopping on from all the independent sellers that are lined up by the waterside. And you won’t have to worry about going hungry while wandering the flea market, either; there’s a long line of food trucks and stands, and even bars, at the market for all your hunger and thirst needs!

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SFUSD Arts Festival

This art festival is coordinated by the San Francisco Unified School District and is presented by the Asian Art Museum. The SFUSD Arts Festival showcases both visual and performance art, all beautifully done by students from over 200 different schools. It’s a wonderful art event and the vast array of artworks will inspire you even more in the springtime air.

Stow Lake

Spring means that Golden Gate Park is in full bloom. This means that inside the park, the hidden gem of Stow Park is in bloom as well. So lather on some SPF and rent one of the many paddle or row boats to tour this adorable lake.

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Stow Lake 45 Ι | © Michael Fraley/Flickr

de Young Museum

An incredible art museum, the de Young Museum features amazing collections of art and artifacts from all over the world. The difference of heading to the de Young in the blooming season is that the building itself is a beautiful nod to nature.

Off the Grid

The end of winter marks the comeback of Off the Grid for the season. Off the Grid is a tantalizing and delicious event held on Friday nights that features a vast array of food trucks that will dazzle your taste buds.

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Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center Ι | © Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival

Celebrate the oceans of the world as spring emerges at the Ocean Film Festival. It’s the largest and most unique festival of its kind. The festival is held at the lovely Cowell Theater at the Fort Mason Center. It’s a remarkably unconventional film extravaganza, featuring a variety of film types from children’s animation to riveting documentaries about the ocean’s disturbing epidemic of pollution. The next annual International Ocean Film Festival will be held from March 8-11, 2018 and all ages are encouraged to attend.

Bay to Breakers

‘Tis the season of Bay to Breakers; where marathon enthusiasts, naked bodies, and tortillas run wild! The seven-mile run takes place on May 17 this year. Sign up, dress up, walk, or run – whichever you choose, Bay to Breakers is an absolute springtime blast.

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Before & After Ι | © Tom Hilton/Flickr

California Academy of Sciences

The enticingly unusual California Academy of Sciences always brings in different exhibitions tuned to the current season. In the spring, we can expect the academy to be filled with the striking colors of everything that is bursting into full bloom.

Bay Area Brew Festival

Although the 2018 spring dates for the Bay Area Brew Festival have yet to be released, it’s time to get ready for some amazing beers for the seventh consecutive year. There are dozens upon dozens of international and domestic beers on offer for sampling. San Francisco culture can really be captured at this springtime event, held at Pier 35.

Drink, Eat, Play. #bayareabrewfest #pier70 #sfliving #gopro

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The Conservatory of Flowers

It’s spring. So what better thing to go see is the beautiful flowers, fully in bloom, at the conservatory in Golden Gate Park. It’s the most striking display in the city, bursting with color, making it the perfect time to check out these beauties at the Conservatory of Flowers.

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California-06231 – Conservatory of Flowers Gardens Ι | © Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

Muir Woods Wine Tour

Head just outside the city to see the nature-filled Muir Woods for an amazing springtime wine tour! Muir Woods is one of the most beautiful places in Northern California. And when spring hits, forget about it. Hop on the wine tour and try to capture the blossoming wildflowers and towering trees, all while sipping some next-level wine.

Cherry Blossom Festival

San Francisco is not only lucky enough to have a rich Japanese culture flowing through its streets, it’s also the site of one of the most celebrated Asian traditions at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This spring will mark the 51st annual festival, held over two weekends, that celebrate the enchanting Japanese culture with performance and visual arts, food, crafts, and more. It’s the perfect start to a beautiful spring.

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Cherry Blossom Festival, Japantown in San Francisco Ι | © kennejima/Flickr

Take in a Baseball Game

America’s most beloved pastime seems to get even better in the spring. If you’re in San Francisco in this season, you absolutely need to get a ticket to watch the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The season opens on March 29, allowing you to kick off the season on the perfect note.

AT&T Park Tour

If you want to take your baseball love up another notch, try a guided tour around the infamous AT&T Park!

Uncorked – The San Francisco Wine Festival

San Francisco hasn’t forgotten about you wine lovers, to whom it offers the San Francisco Wine Festival. Lovingly referred to as Uncorked, this festival is held at the amazing Ghirardelli Square and offers dozens and dozens of perfected wines from wineries all over the Bay Area. Grab some wine and explore the festival along the beautiful waterfront.

Go for a Bike Ride

Words can’t describe a bike ride through the city during the spring, as the sun is out and the breeze is kissing your face. It’s an experience everyone should have. Bike rentals are available throughout San Francisco. Bike along Fisherman’s Wharf, around Golden Gate Park, or even across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge!

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Palace of Fine Arts Ι | © Basheer Tome/Flickr

Easter with the Hunky Jesus Contest

Call it sacrilegious but the Hunky Jesus Contest, held every Easter, is a great kickoff to the spring season. Bask in the sun at Dolores Park on the holiday as men try to portray this religious icon in the most San Francisco way possible.

Opening Day on the Bay

Opening Day on the Bay is an annual celebration, marking the beginning of boating season. The festivities go all out with the blessing of the fleet, a huge parade of boats, and just some good ol’ sailing fun. Even if you’re not a water person, it’s still fun to watch from the land as the sails fly in the bay wind. The season kicks off right after spring does on April 23.

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Untitled Ι | © May Wong/Flickr

Winter Alcatraz

Okay, technically this swimming race around Alcatraz Island takes place two days before the first day of spring. But we couldn’t pass up the chance to mention this incredibly challenging and unique swim from Alcatraz to Aquatic Park, limited to less than 40 extremely talented and athletic swimmers. Sit back and watch with a warm drink as the contestants plunge into the bone-chilling bay (the warmth of the season does virtually nothing to the water temperature). Competitors start the race by Alcatraz Island, famous for housing Chicago mobster Al Capone, and finish after reaching the shore of Aquatic Park, about a mile and a quarter stretch. It’s insane to watch and wraps up the cold season perfectly.

Bay Area Dance Week

Over 100 forms of dance are celebrated at this huge springtime celebration. Bay Area Dance Week is a week-long festival with over 400 events including classes, workshops, performances, and open rehearsals. Dance beginners can try a variety of dances and enthusiasts can check out the art form from behind the scenes to see what it’s like to create these dances. Spring is in full swing on the event’s dates, which span from April 27 to May 6. What better way to celebrate the new season than with dance?

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the cuban shows us how it’s done Ι | © Heidi De Vries/Flickr