10 Things to Do in San Francisco in June

While any month of the year is a good time to visit San Francisco, join me in discovering all that June has to offer.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

9 min read

10 Things to Do in San Francisco in June

Golden Gate, San Francisco | ©Bernard Spragg. NZ

There is no doubt that there is plenty to see and do in San Francisco at any time of the year. However, when summer begins, the offer of festivals and outdoor activities in San Francisco increases considerably. A good option for your vacation is to take into account this type of events, which will bring you closer to the culture and will also provide you with guaranteed fun.

Festivals of all kinds of music, local fairs and events in the different districts of the city are just some of the cultural proposals in which you can participate in the city of San Francisco in June. Read on to find out everything you need to plan the perfect itinerary around the city.

1. Don't miss the North Beach Festival

North Beach Festival| ©advencap
North Beach Festival| ©advencap

The North Beach Festival is the most important cultural festival in San Francisco's North Beach district. If you're traveling to the city in June, don't hesitate to be a part of this well-known event, and popular with locals and visitors alike.

North Beach is known as San Francisco's Little Italy and home to the legendary Beat Generation. From here, incomparable figures such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg have emerged.

This festival, which takes place the third weekend of June, is a street fair whose particularity is that it is dedicated to Italian culture and gastronomy, in the middle of the United States. Here, you will find music and good food, classes and performances of Italian street art with chalk, an Italian classic.

This festival has already accumulated about 60 editions, and gained popularity for being, at the time, the first outdoor street festival in the country.

It also encompasses numerous streets, which are filled with color and a lively atmosphere in the heart of the district. Your tour should include Grant Avenue, Green Street, Vallejo Street and Columbus Avenue, where you can capture the essence and spirit of the North Beach Festival at its finest.

Facts of interest:

  • Where: Columbus and Grant Avenues, San Francisco
  • Price: free
  • Date: June 18 and 19.

Book a food tour of North Beach

2. Be part of the march for LGBT rights in San Francisco

LGBT San Francisco| ©David Yu
LGBT San Francisco| ©David Yu

This event is one of the most massive events of the year for the city of San Francisco. More than a million people arrive every year during this weekend to participate in this celebration of LGBT heritage and culture.

During these days, the population doubles in size and the streets fill with people of all nationalities. It is quite a challenge to get around the city, as everything becomes a parade of color, dance and music.

The massive Pride parade takes place the last weekend of June, with Market Street being the central area of the whole spectacle.

The parade consists of some 200 jaw-dropping floats, all designed to represent different themes of social causes. If you're not in San Francisco for the weekend, keep in mind that gay-friendly events are held throughout the month.

Book a tour of San Francisco's Gay District

3. Train for the curious Alcatraz Triathlon

Alcatraz Triathlon| ©Thomas Kriese
Alcatraz Triathlon| ©Thomas Kriese

San Francisco is home to one of the strangest and most impressive sporting events: the Alcatraz Triathlon. While many tourists want to visit Alcatraz each year, these athletes simulate an escape from this notorious maximum security prison in the United States.

In total, it's a 2.4 kilometer swim, followed by a 29 kilometer bike ride and a 12.8 kilometer run. No prisoner ever escaped from Alcatraz, but this is what they should have done if they had tried.

Around 1,700 triathletes from forty countries participate in the Alcatraz Triathlon.

The origin dates back to 1979, when athlete Joe Oakes was returning from Hawaii. He had participated in a competition and thought it would be a good idea to organize something similar in San Francisco. The event was then held in a unique setting in the world, the Alcatraz prison, and began as a private event, until it was later opened to the public and became as popular as it is today.

Book the tour bus and tickets to Alcatraz

4. Feel like a local at the Haight Ashbury Fair near Golden Gate Park

Haight Ashbury| ©Chris Clogg
Haight Ashbury| ©Chris Clogg

In the late 1960s, Haight-Ashbury wasone of the neighborhoods where a bohemian movement was born that would forever revolutionize history: the idealistic hippies. This way of life sought to prioritize the harmony of humans with nature and peace in society.

Every year in June, this popular San Francisco neighborhood celebrates its own festival: the Haight Ashbury Fair. During these days, in addition to the characteristic charm of its streets with multicolored facades and its relaxed atmosphere, you will find hundreds of craft stalls, food stalls, music stages and family activities to enjoy an unforgettable day.

Haight-Ashbury is also located near Golden Gate Park, so it is a good idea to combine both activities for a single day in the itinerary of your tour of the city.

Book a Golden Gate Bike Tour

5. Discover the Frameline Film Festival

Frameline Film Festival| ©Mitch Altman
Frameline Film Festival| ©Mitch Altman

Since 1977, the Frameline Film Festival is one of the most important events in the world, as it consists of a complete exhibition of LGBTQ+ cinema. Here you can enjoy old movies, and important and recognized films of the world in the framework of this wonderful festival.

It is carried out by Frameline, a non-profit organization whose mission is to change the world through the power of cinema. Every year, this date gathers around 60000 people, the most attended LGBTQ+ arts event in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, other screenings and special events are organized with prestigious directors and actors.

The particularity of this festival is that its last night coincides with the celebration of the Gay Pride Day March, which we will talk about later.

6. Don't stop dancing at the Country Summer Festival

Festival| ©Eva Rinaldi
Festival| ©Eva Rinaldi

If you are looking for an opportunity to have fun and enjoy good music, don't miss the Country Summer Festival. This country music party is the largest in Northern California and attracts thousands of fans every year.

The Country Summer Festival has evolved each year, and its staging is truly incredible. The festival stages are covered with spectacular video walls, and the sound system is state-of-the-art.

But it's not all about music, you can also participate in different interactive activities inside the festival grounds. Of course, there are also sectors with local gastronomic proposals, where you can taste a variety of local delicacies and beverages. The region is a great producer of beer, wines and spirits, so do not miss this opportunity.

If you're traveling through San Francisco the second weekend in June, book your tickets in advance and be part of this great country music party.

7. Learn a little history at Juneteenth

Juneteenth Festival| ©Fibonacci Blue
Juneteenth Festival| ©Fibonacci Blue

On June 19, 1865, 2,000 Army soldiers landed in Texas, with the news that enslaved people were now free, and the ordinary bonds between slave and master were changed to a relationship of employer and salaried employee.

Beyond this historical fact, it was not until 2 years later that Abraham Lincoln finally marked the end of this era.

The Juneteenth festival has a very emotional and important meaning for the history of the United States. Every June 19th, the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the country is celebrated and a series of events are held to educate the community. There are also fun activities and popular festivities.

In addition to enjoying the best music, you'll find a street fair with several blocks of city stalls. Each one pays homage to the history, food, art and culture of the native peoples. And if that wasn't enough of an event for you, you'll find a health and wellness pavilion, a car show and even an interesting job fair.

The festival takes place in San Francisco's Harlem, more specifically on Fillmore Street between Post and Turk Streets.

8. Continue celebrating at the Union Festival Street

Union Festival| ©Monoram
Union Festival| ©Monoram

The Union Street Festivalsone of San Francisco's premier outdoor neighborhood fairs. Each year, the first weekend in June is the largest family-friendly event in the city.

In the Marina district, there are two large stages with live music throughout the day, a wine tasting pavilion and a carnival area, something to do in San Francisco with the kids. You can also witness a fashion show where different exclusive designs will be displayed and then purchased at the booths.

If you want to see art, photography and other unique items, you can explore more than 100 boutique booths where you will surely find what you are looking for. All of the activities I mentioned above are located on Union Street between Gough and Fillmore Streets.

9. Enjoy the best films at SF DocFest

Films at SF DocFest| ©Steve Rhodes
Films at SF DocFest| ©Steve Rhodes

The San Francisco Documentary Festival is a film festival that you can enjoy the first 10 days of June every year.

It's devoted entirely to documentary film, so you'll get to see a range of titles on all sorts of interesting topics ranging from politics, music and social issues.

The films are screened at the Roxie Cinema, the oldest auteur cinema west of the Mississippi, making it a very special location.

They also run streaming sessions of the festival, so if you're reading this article, but not traveling to the city in June, you can see what it's all about via the broadcasts on their website.

10. Be amazed by the SF Jazz Festival

SF Jazz Festival| ©Yolanda Cotton-Turner
SF Jazz Festival| ©Yolanda Cotton-Turner

SF Jazz Center is a non-profit organization recognized worldwide for its dedication to jazz and jazz education. Their shows delight the ears and eyes of their audiences, and in June, they host the San Francisco Jazz Festival.

This festival consists of three weeks of incredible performances, where you can enjoy some of the best jazz music in the world. You will be able to witness concerts by legendary artists and emerging singers of the new era, world-renowned performers and new explorers of the jazz genre. Undoubtedly, it is a festival that brings together artists from every corner of the world.

Remember to buy your ticket in advance, as it is a highly anticipated event and attended by a large number of people. To give you an idea, it has been going on since 1995 without interruption.

As always, proceeds from the festival benefit the organization's music education programs in all of its schools.

Temperatures in San Francisco in June

Fog in San Francisco| ©Jay Huang
Fog in San Francisco| ©Jay Huang

San Francisco's summer does not live up to the stereotypical sunny weather of the California region. Instead, the days tend to be foggy, as the heat and geography of its landscape cause it to attract a lot of moisture from the ocean. The maximum temperatures are around 20 degrees and the minimum around 12, so you can enjoy quite mild days.

June is a month where rain is not likely, so it could be something very advantageous when touring the city and its attractions. Keep in mind that this month starts the high season of visitors, so you will find many tourists in the city in June.

What to pack to visit San Francisco in June

Ready to go| ©Martijn van Exel
Ready to go| ©Martijn van Exel

When packing your luggage, keep in mind that foggy days can get a bit chilly, so pack some warm clothes.

I also recommend that you pack a rain jacket for any rainy days you may encounter, as this will give you the chance to continue your day of sightseeing without getting wet. You will be comfortable when wearing layers to easily adapt to temperature transitions.

San Francisco's tourist flow and prices in June

San Francisco at night| ©Seth Lemmons
San Francisco at night| ©Seth Lemmons

The peak season in San Francisco coincides with the summer season, from June through August. During this period you will find the largest crowds looking to take advantage of the pleasant temperatures.

If you are thinking of traveling to the city, remember to book your accommodations early, as demand increases considerably and lodging rates peak.

Prices also increase for this time of year, as it is the busiest tourist period.

If these conditions are not what you were looking for, keep in mind that pleasant temperatures continue until November in San Francisco, so you may consider visiting the city in one of the less crowded and massive months, if your plans allow it.