New Year's Eve in San Francisco: Things to Do and Where to Celebrate

December 16, 2021

Visit the Golden Gate City on New Year’s Eve for a night full of more glitz and glamour than a Gatsby party.

San Francisco is a city known for so many of our favorites, from the sitcom Full House to sourdough bread. The cosmopolitan seaport city itself has to make the list of our favorites, too -- especially when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve. 

Make this year’s celebration go down as one of the best ever when you head to San Francisco to get the party started. To plan out your night (and day!), use this handy guide to the Bay Area’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. 

San Francisco New Year’s Eve Fireworks

For a jaw-dropping 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 is sure to start the new year off on the right foot.

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.

Related Post: San Francisco on a Budget: How to Save BIG With a Go City Pass

Keep in mind the city is still deciding whether or not to allow fireworks this year due to COVID-19, as fireworks attract large crowds.

Wide shot of several boats in the water with fireworks above them with the Golden Gate Bridge and city in the back ground in San Francisco, California, USANew Year’s Eve Cruises in 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.

New Year’s Eve Yacht Party

The San Francisco Spirit sets sail across the Bay starting at 9 p.m. On-board a luxury yacht, you’ll enjoy three levels filled with food, fun, and music. The yacht features a large dance floor, live DJ, taco bar dinner, and a fantastic scenic deck to gaze at the San Francisco skyline. Note that this event is for guests 21 and older.

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The yacht boards at 8:30 p.m., sets sail at 9 p.m., and returns at 1 a.m. Since this cruise has sold out all prior years, buy your tickets ASAP! Tickets start at $239.

2022 New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise

Another great option is the Cabernet Sauvignon Yacht’s New Year’s Eve party. Soak in the views aboard the yacht, like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Treasure Island. Foodies will be raving about the dinner on this cruise, which features a hand-carved New York strip steak and ends with delectable tiramisu. Afterwards, the grand finale of the night is a fireworks show!

Boarding begins at 8:30 p.m. in Alameda. The cruise lasts from 9 p.m. to 1:15 a.m., with tickets ranging from $259 to $315.

New Year’s Eve on the Boardwalk Party Cruise

Ringing in the new year while dancing on the party deck of the San Francisco Belle will be a night to remember! Complimentary appetizers are included with a general admission ticket, but opt for a VIP ticket to enjoy a four-course dinner during the cruise. In addition to dancing, play a game of Roulette or Blackjack to pass the time as you await the midnight fireworks!

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

The gate closes at 9:25 p.m. for the 9:30 p.m. takeoff, so don’t be late! Ticket prices vary from $209 to $389. 

Photo Alert: Upscale cocktail or semi-formal attire is required for this event, so snap some pictures while you’re dressed to the nines to impress your followers!

Related Post: 21 Absolutely Free Things to Do in San Francisco

Other popular cruises include:

New Year’s Eve Performances in San Francisco

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:

New Years Eve with Mark Farina, The Sponges, divaDanielle & Michio

December 31, 2022 at 9 p.m.

Public Works

Peggy Gou: GOU YEAR’S EVE

December 31, 2022 at 10 p.m.

1015 Folsom

FRESH START 2021

December 31, 2022 at 5 p.m.

The Midway

Kaskade San Francisco

December 31, 2022 at 9 p.m.

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Cheaper Than Therapy, Stand-up Comedy: New Year's Eve 2022 Late Show

December 31, 2022 at 10:30 p.m.

Cheaper Than Therapy

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

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Gold and black graphic for Gatsby's Penthouse NYE Party in Los Angeles, California, USA

photo credit: clubZone.com via Facebook

San Francisco New Year’s Eve Parties

If you’re looking to mix and mingle this New Year’s Eve, the San Francisco party scene will be lighting up for the night. We’ve scouted out some of the biggest and best parties just for you:

Dancing Queen: ABBA 70s Glitter Disco NYE Extravaganza

Head to The Great Northern to relive the good ol’ days 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! Tickets run from $20 to $60.

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

Gatsby’s House 2022 San Francisco

Grab your flapper dress or tuxedo to travel to the roaring 20s at this glamorous Gatsby party. Gatsby's House will feature ten top DJ acts, five rooms of music, a four-hour hosted bar, three levels, two VIP areas with premium perks… and a partridge in a pear tree (kidding!). This party is for those that want to celebrate 2022 with over-the-top elegance.

Tickets begin at $129 per person and run up to $3,495 for upscale, VIP ticket packages and amenities.

M.O.A.N.Y San Francisco 2022

For those who want to end the year on a bang, the Mother of All New Years party is known for its unbeatable 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!

Tickets begin at $45 and go up to $2,022 for various VIP packages.

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. Hours of operation for San Francisco attractions are as follows:

Alcatraz Island

Tours available from 8:45 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Aquarium of the Bay 

Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Botanical Gardens

Open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

California Academy of Sciences

Open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Conservatory of Flowers

Open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Exploratorium

Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pier 39

Restaurant and store hours subject to the discretion of management

Grab tickets online before you go to ensure entrance to your attractions of choice!

Related Post: 21 Fun Things to Do with Kids 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. 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.

Related Post: 9 Stunning Day Trips from San Francisco

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

Exterior view of the Franciscan Crab Restaurant with a bright neon sign on the side of their building in San Francisco, California, USA

photo credit: Franciscan Crab Restaurant via Facebook

Here’s where to go if you’re craving… 

Classic Crab

The Franciscan Crab Restaurant is open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Terrific Tapas

Visit Canela from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 

More Meat Than You Can Eat

Izzy’s Steakhouse is the place to be from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Irresistible Italian

Head to Penny Roma from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Unbeatable San Francisco Pizza

Del Popolo is open from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

How Will You Celebrate New Year’s Eve in San Francisco?

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! 

What Did We Miss?

What New Year’s Eve events in San Francisco did we miss? Share in the comments below!


michaela smiling holding magazine with body of water in background

Written By Michaela

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people. She is based in the Midwest ...

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