Celebrate 40 Years of Sexual Liberation at This Only-in-SF Fair

Put on your finest leather (or nothing at all) and head to the Folsom Street Fair.

Photo courtesy of Folsom Street Fair
Photo courtesy of Folsom Street Fair

Welcome to fall, San Francisco’s most delightful season, thanks to mild temps and sunshine-filled skies. Now is the time to take advantage of all the best things to do in San Francisco, from checking out excellent neighborhoods, heading out on outdoor adventures, drinking great coffee, grabbing a drink at fabulous bars with excellent cocktails, listening to live music, attending fun festivals, and more—because while the rest of the country is beginning to pull out their pumpkin spice, plaid flannels, and cozy sweaters, our “real” summer is just getting started.

Food & Drink in San Francisco

Saturday, September 23
SF Ferry Building, Free
Celebrate Black-owned businesses at this harvest kickoff at the Embarcadero Ferry Terminal Plaza (south of the Ferry Building) and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market from 9 am to 2 pm.

Saturday, September 23
Sausalito, $25
Find out who makes the best chili in Sausalito at this outdoor event at Dunphy Park. Your wristband gets you unlimited tastings, plus access to live music, beer, wine, and margaritas for purchase, and more. Dogs are welcome, and wristbands will also be available to buy on-site.

Friday, September 22–Sunday, September 24
Various bars and restaurants, Prices vary
Celebrate the iconic Negroni by drinking them all weekend to raise money for Slow Food, “a global movement of local communities and activists across more than 160 countries seeking to change the world through food and beverage.” Bars all over SF are participating, but a few highlights include Elixir, Rye, Blackbird, Kona’s Street Market, and Rickhouse. Find a full list here.

Friday, September 22 and Sunday, September 24
San Francisco (Friday), San Jose (Sunday), $125 and $175
Meet distillers worldwide at this event for “whisky enthusiasts and the whisky curious,” where you can sample hundreds of whiskies, enjoy light bites, take a masterclass, or kick back and enjoy a glass of whisky and a cigar.

Festivals & Block Parties in San Francisco

Friday, September 22
Golden Gate Park, $48
Park Chalet’s restaurant and outdoor lawn are transforming into “an old world village buzzing with authentic German music by Alpine Sound” on Friday from 6 pm to 9 pm. Admission includes a 1-liter stein for you to take home, and specialty brews and German food will also be available for purchase.

Saturday, September 23
SF Ferry Building, $98
Taste cheese from all over California at this cheese festival, where you’ll also meet the cheesemakers, enjoy unlimited local wine and beer, listen to music, and more.

Saturday, September 23
Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McLaren Park, Free
Spend the day in the park enjoying the sunshine, live music, local art, food, beer, wine, and more. Performers include The Philharmonik, The Hot Takes, The Helltones, and more.

Saturday, September 23 –Sunday, September 24
Pacifica, Free
Head down to Pacifica for a weekend that is actually typically fog-free (yes, even in Pacifica). This festival will have it all: arts and crafts booths, live music, food, beer, wine, and even a sea-life-themed parade on Saturday at 10 am.

Saturday, September 23–Sunday, September 24
Mill Valley, $15 and up
Art, community, and music converge beneath the redwoods in Mill Valley for this two-day festival with curated handmade art from 135 juried artists, 10 musical acts, a children’s grove, refreshments, and more.

Saturday, September 23–Sunday, September 24
Chinatown, Free
Watch lions dance in the streets, snack on mooncakes, see demonstrations, and support local businesses at this two-day Grant Avenue festival from 11 am to 5 pm.

Saturday, September 23
Half Moon Bay, Free
Spend the day in Half Moon Bay at this free festival along Main Street with live music, tons of activities for kids, free henna tattoos, cornhole, food, drinks, and more. The festival supports the Half Moon Bay Library and the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastside, just in case you also enjoy feeling good about having fun.

Other fun things to do in San Francisco

Friday, September 22–Sunday, September 24
Union Square, $65 and up
Calling all Niners fans. Okay, technically, this event doesn’t happen until Wednesday, September 27, but we didn’t want you to miss this all-new original series from Broadway SF that will join luminaries and innovators on stage together—and is kicking off by bringing San Francisco 49ers legends Harris Barton, Dwight Hicks, Brent Jones, Ronnie Lott, and Steve Young together to have a conversation with Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi. A portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold will go to Champion Charities, a nonprofit that helps fight brain cancer and brain disease.

Saturday, September 23
Cupid’s Arrow, Free
If you want to be naked all weekend, you can hit up this clothing-optional bike ride on Saturday and the Folsom Stree Fair on Sunday! This naked (or as naked as you want to be) ride starts at 11 am by the Cupid’s Arrow on the Embarcadero before everyone starts riding around at 12 pm to protest oil dependency and celebrate the human body’s power.

Sunday, September 24
SoMa, $10 to $20 donation requested
Celebrate 40 years of sexual liberation at this annual kink fair with a drag stage, the playground stage and area (a space for women of every kind and all trans and non-binary folks), the DJ and gogo stage, the wrestling stage, BDSM demos, and more. Put on your finest leather (or nothing at all) at this famous only-in-SF festival.

Sunday, September 24
Cole Valley, Free
If you’re looking for a block party that’s a little more family-friendly, head to Cole Valley for an afternoon of art, food, live music, vintage cars, and more.

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Daisy Barringer is an SF-based freelance writer who enjoys roaming SF with her giant Saint Benard. Follow her on Instagram to see what she’s up to (and, most importantly, for pics of her pup).