When you're in San Francisco you may have had a full morning and afternoon, but are not sure precisely what to do in the evening and during the night--you know, that time from 5 PM to Midnight when you've maybe already had dinner and are looking for something enjoyable to end the day.
Whether its tours like the $5 Golden Gate Bridge walking tour, nautical-themed drinks at Smuggler's Cove, or other random fun like the 7D Experience at Pier 39, there is so much great stuff to choose to do in San Francisco as the sun sets and the nighttime stars come-out! Read on for information on tours, drinks, and other random fun activities!
Don't feel pressured to try all of these out, decide what you might be in the mood for and keep in mind that no matter what on this list you choose to do, you're most likely going to have a stellar evening or night!
The $5 Golden Gate Bridge Walking Tour is a reasonably-priced way to see the bridge and learn its history from the 1848 Gold Rush to present-day while stopping by five perfect spots for pictures. This hour-long tour is a beautiful way to cap off a fine day as the sun starts to set and get some fantastic images of the Golden Gate Bridge while having a wonderful time with the accessible tour guide, CJ.
Alcatraz is the infamous island-prison which held some well-known criminals — already intimidating during the day due to the violent history it holds night tours as well, which are as educational as they are spooky! As the tour advertises, at night, you can practice, "Hear the Echos," of the convicts who used to (unwillingly) call Alcatraz home.
The walking tour of Chinatown and North Beach (also known as Little Italy) provides information about a wide range of cultures! Whether you're learning about how fortune cookies are made at a bakery or sampling Italian coffee at a cafe you will discover the rich history of the demographics that have called San Francisco home--plus just to end things on an impressive note the tour wraps-up at a Western-style saloon only to provide that extra wild zing to the tour!
If you have ever wanted to ride on a double-decker bus, then the Double Decker Night Tour is a great choice! You can take in all the city's lights as you feel the evening air and drive-past an assortment of famous San Francisco sights. Two hours long total, you'll be amazed at how much you manage to see while sitting in comfort.
The Downtown Craft Cocktails Tour is like a combination of bar-hopping and a history lesson combined into one! The tour begins at Pacific Cocktail Haven in Union Square, where those taking the tour get a lesson about bitters, Then with stops at other bars and more experiences about mixology anyone on this tour will not only gain knowledge, they'll get a nice buzz as well!
Should you want to learn more about San Francisco's counter-culture AKA, "Hippie," past, then the Love Night Tour is what you are after! You get to cruise around in vintage 1970's VW vans while stopping-by locations famous for such past-icons as the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix. Plus, the whole time, the van will be blasting catchy tunes from the 60's so as to really complete the throwback vibe.
When it comes to being able to see some great locations later in the day with lots of speed the Night Segway Tour allows those doing the tour to see Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, and Little Italy at a great pace that only takes about 2-and-a-half hours total.
SF Ghost Hunt is a stellar tour for someone who likes the idea of hopefully seeing spirits in old abandoned mansions while listening to the eerie history of San Francisco. It is a walking tour that can take around 2-and-a-half to 3 hours and is full of historical information as it is potentially scary ghosts!
The Twilight Cruise has you cruising along the bay-area while enjoying a light buffet of appetizers. It is perfect for some nighttime sight-seeing while having a late-night snack! You will float under the Golden Gate bridge by an assortment of notable islands, and should you want a drink to go with the sights, there is a bar on this river-cruise as well!
You don't always need fancy decor or a long drink-list to have a great spot to enjoy a round of libations, and the Biergarten is proof of that. It is essentially a bunch of fenced-in picnic tables where you can be served--what else--beer, and its outdoor atmosphere is perfect for those nice evenings when you may be thirsty for a drink but want to enjoy the gorgeous weather!
Charmaine's Rooftop Bar and Lounge provide a gorgeous view of the city from its rooftop location (one which looks even more amazing at night) as well snazzy drinks to sip at this lounge on top of the Proper Hotel that overlooks Market Street.
Sports Bars tend to be full of people cheering on their favorite team while having some brews, and Green's Sports Bar fits that mold perfectly. The whole place is proudly covered in images celebrating the San Francisco Giants, and it is precisely the kind of location you'll feel at home if you're the idea of a good night is yelling with glee when your favorite team scores.
Should you want to feel like you're in a secret location loaded with tasty drinks, Li Po Cocktail Lounge is a good choice as it also includes a nighttime only underground area some folk refers to as, "the Dungeon," thanks to how removed from the World it feels.
Maggie McGarry's has a reputation as being one of the loudest bars around between the wide-range of exciting bands who blare their jams there and because of just how packed the place can get thanks to its great drinks! Should you not mind that your ears will most likely be ringing by the time you leave, Maggie McGarry's is a breathtaking spot for some cocktails and live music.
Southern Pacific Brewing doesn't just serve drinks; it brews them right on location! A massive space that can fit quite a crowd, it has a steady supply of cheap beer and will never feel cramped or crowded--a problem some popular bars have at times.
Smuggler's Cove is the place to go for Carribean-themed drinks--which of course, includes a good deal of rum! Often given rave reviews, it has been rated one of the top 50 bars in America by the "Times of London" and awarded, "Best Cocktail Bar," by SF Weekly. Smuggler's Cove is clearly a fantastic location and will impress anyone looking for a high-quality drink--especially one filled with rum.
Some of these places to get drinks to have special themes, but sometimes you don't want special decor, you want a nice bar with some quality spirits. Trick Dog fits that bill as an excellent bar where the most over-the-top thing is how they sometimes have specialty drinks with cute themes--besides that; however, it is just a lovely and chill bar.
Verjus is a wine bar for those who would rather sit and relax in a quiet and urbane setting as opposed to knocking-back shots at a loud bar. The wine list is quite long, and the employees are beneficial when it comes to picking out what you want a glass of. Verjus is a nice and relaxing place to visit whether you're a wine snob or someone who doesn't know a Pinot Noir from a Chardonnay.
The 7D Experience at Pier 39 is like riding a roller-coaster mixed with the fun of a laser-blasting game at the themed, "Dark Ride," or you can have a great time or you can do the "Laser Maze Challenge," which involves jumping, crawling, and laughing from how wild a time you're having while trying to achieve the top score.
It may sound like a strange idea, but ax throwing has taken off as a fun activity to do with a group, as a couple, or if you're solo and feel like doing something zany! AxeVentures Axe Throwing and Bad Axe Throwing are both trendy spots to engage in this new and wild trend, plus you can knock-back a couple of drinks while tossing-out some axes too!
It sounds religious, but the Church of 8 Wheels is a retro-inspired roller-rink that opens Friday and Saturday nights where you can roller-boogie to all kinds of old funk hits as if you were actually at a roller-rink back decades ago! It is, in fact, the only roller-rink in San Francisco, so if you're hoping to do some skating, then the Church of 8 Wheels is where you need to visit!
The very popular Circus Center has certain Friday nights when they are open late so that anyone who is 21-and-over who wants to catch a show can attend! Between the clowns, flying trapeze artists, and drinks for purchase as well, you can enjoy all the fun of the circus with other grown-ups who know you're never too old to enjoy high-flying acrobatics or the shenanigans of clowns.
Sometimes you don't just want to go out for drinks (as discussed above), you want to dance too. Well, should you be looking for dance clubs where you can bust-a-move, there are several options! El Rio is known as a famous dive to go and dance, and Comet Club is well-known for people enjoying early-2000's rap songs by twerking about! Mayes Oyster House serves oysters during the day, but at night it spins the hits, and people hit the dance-floor with gusto. Also, if you like your dance clubs with funny names. The Make-Out Room is a great spot to boogie.
While it is often geared towards families during the day, the Exploratorium is also known for its occasional nighttime events geared toward grown-ups. Whether you're 5 or 35, it is always fun to explore the World, and the nights for adults feature guest speakers, specialty films, and access to all of the fun exhibits without worrying about tripping over a small child!
If you're into late-night flicks, then you can catch some midnight movies at Clay Theater. They have all kinds of popular fare such as cult-classic films ("Rocky Horror," screens often during the Halloween season) and other zany favorites like, "Wayne's World," to give just two examples. You'll be up pretty late considering the flicks start screening right around midnight, but the fun you'll have makes-up for how tired you might feel the next day!
When it comes to plays or performances by well-known talents, Theaters such as the Orpheum Theater or the Golden Gate Theater host a variety of incredible shows such as Broadway hit and Tony award-wining productions in addition to incredible shows by big-name singers and bands. With plenty of evening productions, you're sure to find something that appeals.
Urban Putt is stellar for if you want to do some indoor mini-gold in a relaxed and informal setting. With its incredibly gorgeous course-design and a fully-stocked bar, it is an excellent way to putt and sip at the same time!
When it is evening and night in San Francisco, there is no shortage of fun stuff to do! Whether taking tours, having some drinks, playing mini-golf, or trying-out throwing an ax, San Francisco is just so much fun in the evening and at night you'll wish morning didn't have to come the next day! As we said at the start of the article,
however, don't feel pressured to try and accomplish stopping-by all of these tours, bars, or fun locations on a single visit to San Francisco.
Instead, remember to relax and do whatever sounds the most fun to you, making sure to savor every moment in this amazing city filled to the brim with fantastic options for the evening and night!
After all, you can always come back for another visit and check more fun options off your "To Do," list on another trip--you know you'll want to come back, after all!