New Years Eve San Francisco: Things to Do and Where to Celebrate

Visit the Golden Gate City on New Year’s Eve for nights more glamorous than a lavish Gatsby party.

Glittering San Francisco is a city known for so many cult favorites, from the sitcom Full House to sourdough bread. This cosmopolitan seaport city loves to put its own unique spin on a San Francisco New Years. Follow along to learn everything you need to know about planning your ultimate San Francisco New Years Eve!

Make this year’s celebration go down as one of the best in history when you make your way to the Golden Gate City for fireworks, festivities, and fun.

Kick off the new year right, with a little help from our handy guide to the Bay Area’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Read on to discover the best San Francisco New Year’s Eve events this year!

San Francisco New Year’s Eve Fireworks

For a jaw-dropping New Year’s Eve San Francisco fireworks display, make your way to the Bay! Arrive early to snag your spot, as an event as noteworthy as this one is bound to be jam-packed.

We recommend showing up around 7 p.m. This fireworks show will commence at 11:59 p.m. and dazzle visitors and locals alike with a vibrant display over the Bay. 

Pro Tip: This 15-20 minute fireworks display is best seen from along the south end of the Ferry Building, including Rincon Park. Do your best to get a spot by the water rather than the street. Additionally, check out Pier 14 as another possible spot to camp out at for New Year’s in San Francisco.

fireworks over bay next to Golden Gate Bridge with cityscape in background in San Francisco, California, USANew Year’s Eve Cruises on the San Francisco Bay

The best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Bay area is, well, the Bay! Reserve your spot on one of these epic party cruises for a night of dancing, food, and entertainment on the waves and under the stars. This will be a New Year in San Francisco to remember!

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise

One swaggering NYE option is the City Experience’s San Francisco New Year’s Eve Premier Dinner Cruise. Soak in sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, and Treasure Island from your stately vessel.

Related Post: A Weekend in San Francisco: How to Plan the Perfect Trip

Mix and mingle as you enjoy a festive atmosphere, live DJ entertainment, and a sumptuous plated dinner menu. Tempt your palate with their signature seafood chowder and filet mignon, before you sample their litany of creative cocktails.

Please note that City Cruises is not affiliated with the fireworks show and cannot guarantee that the show will occur.

Boarding begins at 8:30 pm and the cruise will run from 9 p.m. on December 31st to 1 a.m. on January 1st.

Speakeasy San Francisco New Year’s Eve Cruise

The 12th annual speakeasy cruise will transport New Year’s Eve revelers decades back to the 1920s. This party rivals those thrown by Jay Gatsby himself!

Dance the night away thanks to two of San Francisco’s best DJs. A dessert bar will satisfy your sweet tooth throughout the evening. Additionally, all the fun is set against a backdrop of some of San Francisco’s finest sights! The party is spread across three different decks.

Photo Alert: Cocktail attire is a requirement, but flapper attire is encouraged! Take the opportunity to snap a few photos while you’re dressed to the nines.

A women in a flapper costume facing away from the camera leaning on the wall with bright lights in front of her at the New Year’s Eve Roaring 20s Speakeasy at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California, USA
photo credit: Hotel del Coronado (1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA) via Facebook

Other popular New Years Eve San Francisco cruises include:

NYE San Francisco Performances

If you’d prefer to stay on dry ground and catch a show, San Francisco offers exceptional entertainment options. The city is home to many concerts, stand-up comedy shows, and more on New Year’s Eve! Reserve your seat to watch some of the best performers, including:

Don’t risk letting the tickets slip through your fingers. Remember to purchase them ahead of time in case they sell out!

Pro Tip: Another way to ring in the new year? Pub crawls! Be on the lookout for San Francisco pub crawls so you can spend the exciting evening going from place to place.

Gold and black graphic for Gatsby's Penthouse NYE Party in Los Angeles, California, USA
photo credit: via Facebook

San Francisco NYE Parties

If you’re looking to mix and mingle this New Year’s Eve, the San Francisco New Year Eve party scene will light up for the night. We’ve scouted out some of the biggest and best parties just for you. With so many great options, the problem will be narrowing it down to just one!

Dancing Queen: ABBA Glitter Disco NYE Extravaganza

Head to The Great Northern to relive the good ol’ days on the dance floor with all of the old-school hits. We’re talking ABBA, the Bee Gees, the Grease soundtrack, and so many other favorites. It all ends with a giant balloon drop!

Photo Alert: Come dressed in your best 70s getup to take full advantage of the photo ops! 

Black & White NYE Masquerade Ball

Hours of pure masquerade magic? Get down in style when you treat yourself to a sumptuous evening of cocktails, costumes, and dancing at the International Arts Museum.

An upscale affair, partygoers will be mesmerized by two levels of entertainment, a hosted open bar, and fabulous decorations. Break out your best black and white attire, as suits and cocktail dresses are required!

The Black & White NYE Masquerade Ball is perfect for those who want to celebrate New Year Eve with over-the-top elegance. Ring in the new year with 80s, 90s, House, Electro, and Top 40 hits and an over-the-top midnight countdown.

MOANY San Francisco

For those who want to end the year with a bang, the Mother of All New Year’s party is known for its unbeatable New Years San Francisco countdown experience.

Dance throughout the various venue rooms in your fanciest cocktail or semi-formal attire as you anticipate the finale of the night — a massive confetti and balloon drop! This event is located close to many top hotels, which makes for easy partying.

Several people cheering champagne flutes together for NYE at Pier 39 in San Francisco, California, USA
photo credit: PIER 39 via Facebook

Attractions Open on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco

While the Bay Area comes alive with special parties, cruises, and fireworks on New Year’s Eve, several of San Francisco’s renowned attractions also get in on the fun. Many fan-favorite museums and attractions are open on New Year’s Eve, perfect for filling the daytime hours! 

Related Post: 12 San Francisco Hidden Gems You Don’t Want to Miss

Make sure to call before you go on New Year’s Eve in case there are any schedule changes. 

Here are a few of the best things to do on New Years Eve in San Francisco:

The Best San Francisco Eats on New Year’s Eve

To truly experience the culture of the city, trying the local fare is a must. Few do crab or sourdough bread better than the City by the Bay.

Before your San Francisco New Years Eve events, grab dinner at some of San Francisco’s best restaurants to start off your New Year’s Eve right! Here are some of our top restaurant picks for the evening.

Pro Tip: Be sure to call ahead to make reservations. These popular New Year’s Eve spots are usually cramped, for good reason!

Looking at the exterior of Waterbar with people sitting in their out door dining area under large umbrellas and a beautiful view of the water and bridge behind it with lights on in San Francisco, California, USA
photo credit: Ryan Beck via Facebook

Here’s where to go if you’re craving…

Classic Crab

Grab a waterside table at the Franciscan Crab Restaurant.

Terrific Tapas

Get ready to chow down at Canela.

More Meat Than You Can Eat

Select your steak at Izzy’s Steakhouse.

Irresistible Italian

There’s plenty of pasta waiting for you at Penny Roma.

Unbeatable San Francisco Pizza

Get a slice at Del Popolo.

How Will You Celebrate San Francisco New Years Eve?

If you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve experience for the books, this eclectic metropolis on the Pacific Ocean promises to deliver. Book your San Francisco hotel room, reserve your spot on a fireworks cruise or at a party, and get ready for your best year yet in the Golden Gate City!

Did We Miss Anything?

Leave a comment below, and tell us which New Years in San Francisco events we skipped!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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