The greatest legacy from the 1960s is San Francisco’s continued tradition of live entertainment and music, which explains the great variety of clubs and music here. The hippest dance places are south of Market Street (SoMa), in former warehouses; the artsy bohemian scene centers are in the Mission; and the most popular cafe culture is still in North Beach.
Drinks at most bars, clubs, and cafes follow most big-city prices, ranging from about $7 to $14, unless otherwise noted.
If you want to experience the best of San Francisco’s inclusive, feel-good culture—not to mention take in some awesome music—attend one of our local music festivals, which combine a penchant for quality entertainment, food, and drink with the warmer climes of late summer and early fall, and do-whatcha-like attitude (often shrouded in marijuana clouds). Don your favorite Coachella attire or come as you are. Everyone’s welcome and people-watching is as captivating as the on-stage performances.
- Outside Lands (sfoutsidelands.com) is a 3-day extravaganza held in in Golden Gate Park each August where veteran stadium headliners like Metallica and The Who and more of-the-moment talents like St. Lucia, Lorde, Little Dragon, and a smattering of comedians play on multiple stages. With dozens of bands, an abundance of local food and drink tents, and lots of grassy areas on which to sprawl, it’s part never-ending picnic, people parade, and all-out blast—all backed by outstanding music. Tickets are expensive ($150 per day or $375 for all 3 days in 2017), and totally worth it. They also sell out fast.
- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (hardlystrictlybluegrass.com) has the same venue and happy-go-lucky Golden Gate Park party vibe as Outside Lands, but it’s free to all. Held around the beginning of October each year, it features nearly 100 acts on various stages scattered through the Northwestern part of the park. There is some bluegrass involved, but as the name suggests, there’s a lot more to be seen and heard.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.