San Francisco doesn’t receive any snowfall during the winter months. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the cheer of the December holidays. The City by the Bay, where the fog envelops the bustling city throughout the year, has a magical and charming atmosphere during December. The weather doesn’t disappoint either; San Francisco has a Mediterranean-like climate so you might only need a lightweight sweater or a thin jacket to stay warm. With its perfect weather and the city’s many attractions on its best display, visiting San Francisco in December is a delightful experience, indeed. Are you planning to visit San Francisco during the winter months? Here are some wonderful and fun things to do when you are visiting San Francisco in December.
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Watch a Christmas show
Along with its rich history and stunning architecture, the War Memorial Opera House also comes with brimming talent and beautiful stories. It has been hosting performances for more than 85 years and is home to many diverse arts and culture projects in San Francisco. During December, catch Christmas-themed plays to brighten up your holidays or marvel at its opulent interior
Go on a walking tour
San Francisco is a beautiful city that can be easily discovered on foot. So, it’s no wonder that walking tours cover iconic spots and monuments. As there are many walking tours scheduled every day, you should be able to find one that suits your timings. If you’re brave enough to follow a map, you can also find hidden gems in pockets of the city by yourself. Wear good walking shoes and carry a water bottle before you head out.
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Visit Alcatraz Island
This infamous prison island has to be on any tourist’s to-do list. Alcatraz looks even more scarier and creepier during the colder months. Some famous former inmates of this prison were notorious mobsters like Al Capone and Arthur Barker. There have been many claims which indicates that Alcatraz prison is haunted. So, to get your spook on, make sure to book night tickets as there are many guided evening Alcatraz tours available. While you’re there, watch out for any signs of the paranormal!
Attend festivals and carnivals
Festivals and carnivals showcase unique concepts, themes, and ideas. Since many of them are free to visit, the crowds will swell a lot during those days in the market roads. Some note-worthy festivals you should attend are Illuminate SF for its gorgeous light art and Great Dickens Christmas Fair for a wholesome and fun day out. Remember to reach early to avoid the crowds.
During the holiday season, branded outlets in Union Square usually hold massive sales. However, if you’d rather support smaller businesses while keeping your wallet happy, walk around to find small and niche shops that sell unique items at affordable prices. You can also visit street fairs to purchase handcrafted artisan goods. Hayes Valley, Fillmore Street, Marina District, and Haight Street are some places that are worth checking out.
Cheer for your team
As there are many stadiums and arenas in this city, matches take place throughout the year and sports fans visit San Francisco to cheer for their team. Venues like Levi’s Stadium, AT&T Park, Oakland Alameda Coliseum, and Oracle Arena are some of the best stadiums that attract heavy crowds. So, this December, book your tickets in advance, enjoy your snacks, and join the crowds to cheer your team as loudly and energetically as possible.
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San Francisco is well-known for its high-quality food choices. The diversity in the city’s community reflects on its palette – the City by the Bay is a cauldron of various cuisines from around the world. Whether it’s ethnic or exotic, you can find it all in San Francisco. It’s worth checking out neighborhoods like Chinatown, Japantown, The Fillmore, Russian Hill, The Mission, and Pacific Heights for some of the best meals.
Become a Santa at SantaCon
Created in San Francisco, SantaCon is an annual event with the purpose of spreading the holiday cheer. It starts at Union Square where ‘Santas’ collect toys and give them away to children in need. After doing the good deed, Santa groups are formed and the bar crawling across the city begins. The event is all about doing good and having fun. So, dress up in your Santa best, bring your camera with you, and enjoy the drinks and the holidays!
Do a museum crawl
If you enjoy history, you have to do a museum crawl. San Francisco is blessed with countless museums that shed light on many different aspects of history. The museum choices are really varied and includes unique places like the Asian Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Legion of Honor, Museum of the African Diaspora, Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Haas-Lilienthal House. If you want something a little quirkier, places like the Beat Museum, Cable Car Museum, Children’s Creativity Museum, and the Cartoon Art Museum will be the right choice for you.
It’s time to party!
San Francisco has no shortage of nightlife spots. Next to the world-famous Chinatown, North Beach has many cool clubs and bars to dance the night away. Whether you like your watering holes to be wild or classy, intimate or busy, North Beach has it all. You would find everything from jazz clubs, sports bars, tiki bars, resto bars, dance clubs, live-music clubs, and a lot more. Top choices here are The Saloon, Church Key, Monroe, 15 Romolo, Bamboo Hut, Vesuvio Café, and The Boardroom.
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Enjoy the New Year Eve’s fireworks
Bring in the New Year in San Francisco with festive fireworks. The magnificent fireworks display takes place near Ferry Building at 11:59pm on 31st December of every year. The best part is that there is no entry fee to enjoy one of the biggest events that takes place in this city. Since there will a lot of people present for this annual celebration, make sure to find your spot and settle down as early as possible to enjoy a good view.
Have you visited – or plan to visit – San Francisco in December?
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