Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Before You Go
Tourist Office
Market St., Lower Level, Hallidie
Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94142-2809
y 415/391-2000, for a visitors infor-
mation kit by mail, or through the
website at
The parade starts at 10am at 24th
and Bryant streets and ends at the
Civic Center. The Bay to Breakers
Foot Race (third Sun of May) runs
from the Embarcadero through
Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach.
More than 60,000 entrants gather—
many dressed in wacky, innovative,
and sometimes X-rated costumes—
for the approximately 7 1 2 -mile (12 km)
run. The San Francisco Examiner
y 415/359-2800; www.examiner.
com sponsors the event. The Mis-
sion District's largest annual event,
Carnaval, is a day of festivities that
culminates in a parade on Mission
Street. More than half a million spec-
tators line the route, and samba musi-
cians and dancers continue to
entertain on 14th Street, near Harri-
son, at the end of the march. It takes
place the Sunday of Memorial Day
(last Monday in May) weekend.
y 415/920-0125.
SUMMER. During the first weekend
each June, the outdoor Union
Street Art Festival celebrates
San Francisco with gourmet -food
booths, music, entertainment, and a
juried art show featuring works by
more than 350 artists. Contact the
Union Street Association . y 415/
441-7055, www.unionstreetfestival.
com. A far cry from the chic Union
Street Fair, the grittier Haight
Street Fair features alternative
crafts, ethnic foods, rock bands, and
a healthy number of hippies and
street kids whooping it up and slam-
ming beers in front of the blaring
rock-'n'-roll stage. y 415/661-8025.
Organizers claim the North Beach
Festival is the oldest urban street
fair in the country. Close to 100,000
city folk meander along Grant Avenue,
between Vallejo and Union streets,
to eat, drink, and enjoy the arts
and crafts booths, poetry readings,
The Best Times to Go
September and October are “Indian
summer” months and are a great
time to visit the city—the weather
is warm and the fog disappears.
The summer months from June to
August are busy with fun fairs and
festivals, but it's cold and foggy.
Winter is beautiful and mild, plus,
the city is decked out between
November and January for Thanks-
giving, Christmas, and the New
Year's holiday. Spring is pleasant but
can be rainy.
Festivals & Special Events
SPRING. Mid- to late April is the time
for the Cherry Blossom Festival in
Japantown. Watch traditional drum-
ming, flower arranging, origami mak-
ing, or a parade celebrating the
cherry blossom and Japanese cul-
ture. y 415/563-2313. Mid-April to
early May is when the San Fran-
cisco International Film Festival
takes place around San Francisco,
with screenings at the AMC Kabuki 8
Cinemas (Fillmore and Post sts.), and
at many other locations. Started in
1957, this is America's oldest film
festival. y 415/931-FILM, www. The Sunday before May 5
brings the Cinco de Mayo Celebra-
tion in the Mission District. This is
when the Latino community cele-
brates the victory of the Mexicans
over the French at Puebla in 1862;
mariachi bands, dancers, food, and a
parade fill the streets of the Mission.
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