Embrace Indian Summer in San Francisco

10 activities to take advantage of San Francisco’s Indian Summer

Indian Summer San Francisco

While the rest of the country is storing their swimsuits and shorts, Northern California experiences a spurt of warmer days in September and October. (Though I must admit the east side of San Francisco has been enjoying many a sunny day since I moved back.) We may not have the plethora of pool parties that SoCal has, but there are many ways to take advantage of the unparalleled views and fresh air. Here are 10 on my list.

indian summer San Francisco

PHOTO: City of Hope.

Yoga for Hope | September 20, Union Square 

Grab your mat and join some of the top yoga studios (like Satori and OMpower) around the city for yoga, mind, body, and spirit workshops and a good cause in the heart of Downtown. The event benefits City of Hope. Register before tomorrow to take advantage of the $40 “early bird” rate. Can’t make it this Saturday? Show your support by purchasing a studio hopper card: 10 classes at several studios for $59.

PHOTO: Josh Withers.

PHOTO: Josh Withers.

Treasure Island Music Festival | October 18-19, Treasure Island

Outside Lands owns the San Francisco summer music scene, but Treasure Island Music Fest owns San Francisco Indian summer. Head east for this “music festival in the Bay” where you won’t miss an act. There are two main stages that alternate between acts, so you never have to choose which one to see. Highlights this year include Outkast (in case you missed them at every other major festival), Janelle Monae, Banks, Zedd, and Cathedrals.

Bonfire at the Pacific | Ocean Beach

The beach parking lot is open until 10pm, so opt for a bonfire earlier in the evening and you can watch the sun set. Bring at least one extra layer more than you think; even if it’s 80 degrees during the day, evenings are still chilly especially by the Pacific. Remember you’re in San Francisco where the general population is friendly; be nice to your neighbors, pass the marshmallows, and recycle appropriately.

Indian summer San Francisco


Lands End Hike | Point Lobos

Craving some city history? Looking for untapped photo opps? Stop by the Lands End lookout visitor center to learn about the cultural and natural history of the area, then start on the Coastal Trail where you’ll get views of the Pacific as it comes into the Bay and of the Sutro Bath ruins. If you keep walking you can treat yourself to a meal at the historic Cliff House.

Indian Summer San Francisco


Walk the Golden Gate Bridge

This is one attraction that we really don’t take advantage of. There’s something thrilling about driving across it, no matter how many times you’ve done it… but why not make an afternoon of walking (or biking) the Bridge with the tourists. Indian summer is perfect for this activity which is usually met with chilling winds on a regular day. Don’t wanna brave it alone? Looking for another way to meet people? Join a free walking tour!

Indian Summer San Francisco

PHOTO: uis.edu.

Bike through Golden Gate Park

On Sundays, the major entrance of the park is closed to cars so pedestrians and bikers can roam the paths freely. Don’t have a bike in the city? Click through to find convenient rentals.

Indian Summer San Francisco

PHOTO: Fun Cheap SF.

Off the Grid Picnic | Sundays at Presidio

Start the day with a yoga class at 11am or 1pm, or just go straight for the food trucks and bubbly bar. Tote a blanket, don your favorite hat, and enjoy city favorites like Nopalito, Del Popolo, and Three Twins. Looking to save a buck? Pack your own picnic, and join in for the people watching.

An afternoon at Biergarten | Hayes Valley

Having an outdoor patio in the city is as useful as an outdoor swimming pool. Generally speaking, you’ll probably have 3 months total out of the year when you can actually use it. If I’ve learned anything about San Franciscans, though, it’s that they know how to appreciate warm weather. Head to Hayes for a cold beer and delicious gourmet pretzels before you need to wear gloves out.

Indian Summer San Francisco

PHOTO: Groupon.

$1 oysters at Waterbar’s outdoor patio | SoMa

One of the city’s greatest points of pride is probably the Ferry Building. Not too far from it along the Embarcadero is local favorite Waterbar where you can get $1 oysters during happy hour and enjoy them outside overlooking the Bay and the less popular but equally breathtaking eastbound Bay Bridge. The nights are coming earlier, so you’ll probably get lucky and get a light show with your vino via the Bay Lights installation.

Indian Summer San Francisco

PHOTO: Catherine Abalos.

Giants Game | AT&T Park, SoMa

I don’t like baseball; I love Giants baseball. The ability to attend games last minute was one deciding factor in finally coming home. Getting to the ballpark is an experience… and getting there on a nice day or evening when you aren’t freezing your ass off is just about at the top of my list of life’s simple pleasures.

What are your favorite activities during Indian Summer?

Originally posted on The Single Diaries.

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