Things to do in San Fransisco in November

Ali Sullivan
ITH Photos (4)

Events & Things to Do in San Francisco in November 

Explore the vibrant fall scene with this guide to the best things to do in San Francisco in November.

It’s fall, ya’ll! 


As the leaves start to change colors and a crisp autumn breeze sweeps through the city, the fall brings a unique charm and loads of things to do in  San Francisco in November. 


This vibrant and diverse metropolis offers a wealth of exciting events and experiences to savor during the fall season. From cultural celebrations and art festivals to scenic outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


Join us as we uncover the best things to do in San Francisco this November, and learn how you can enhance your visit by staying with ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel in this bustling and eclectic urban hub.

Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink

Easily landing a spot on our list, the Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink is one of the best things to do in San Francisco in November. As the holiday season kicks off, this iconic ice rink transforms into a winter wonderland right in the heart of the city. This rink is not just about skating; it’s a place to savor the season’s magic. With the Ferry Building Marketplace nearby, you can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or sample delectable treats from artisanal food vendors. Plus, the rink often hosts special events and themed nights, adding an extra layer of fun and festivity.

Catch a Game in San Francisco in November 

Attending a game in San Francisco in November is an exciting addition to the list of the best things to do in the city. While baseball season might be winding down, November brings other sporting events to the city that locals and visitors can enjoy. One of the main highlights is catching a San Francisco 49ers game at Levi’s Stadium. Football season is in full swing in November, and the atmosphere at the stadium is electrifying. In addition to football, San Francisco also hosts various basketball games and other sporting events in November, including the Golden State Warriors across the bay in Oakland. These matchups provide an opportunity to witness top-notch athletic talent and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow sports enthusiasts.

Hike in Marin Headlands

Exploring the Marin Headlands through a scenic hike is undeniably one of the best things to do in San Francisco in November. This iconic destination offers an extraordinary natural escape just across the Golden Gate Bridge from the city. In November, the Marin Headlands are beautifully adorned with the vibrant colors of autumn foliage. The season’s moderate temperatures and clear skies make it an ideal time for outdoor activities. Aside from the stunning natural scenery, the Marin Headlands also offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history, with historic military bunkers and fortifications dotting the landscape. 

 Marin Headlands in November in San Francisco

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is undeniably one of the best things to do in San Francisco in November. This iconic event combines the spirit of free-spirited music, community, and the beautiful outdoors in a way that captures the essence of the city. In early November, Golden Gate Park transforms into a lively music festival venue, with multiple stages hosting an impressive lineup of talented musicians from various genres, not just bluegrass. What makes this festival particularly special is its commitment to remaining free and open to the public, making world-class live music accessible to all.

Thanksgiving Dinner in San Francisco in November

What’s November without Thanksgiving dinner? Thanksgiving dinner in San Francisco during November is a cherished tradition that brings together locals and visitors. The city’s renowned restaurants and eateries often curate special holiday menus, offering a delightful fusion of traditional dishes with innovative twists. Additionally, Thanksgiving in San Francisco isn’t just about the food; it’s about the sense of community and togetherness. Many restaurants and organizations also host communal dinners and volunteer opportunities, making it a heartwarming way to connect with fellow residents and give back to the city.

Litquake in San Francisco in November 

Litquake, San Francisco’s annual literary festival, is one of the best things to experience in the city during November. This celebration of literature and the written word brings together authors, poets, and book enthusiasts from around the world for a week-long series of events. During Litquake, you can attend author readings, panel discussions, book launches, and literary-themed parties. The festival covers a wide range of genres, ensuring there’s something for every literary taste. It’s a fantastic opportunity to discover new voices, engage with thought-provoking ideas, and immerse yourself in the rich literary culture of San Francisco.

San Francisco Jazz Festival

The San Francisco Jazz Festival in November is a vibrant and captivating cultural event that deserves its spot as one of the best things to do in the city. The festival showcases a diverse and world-class lineup of musicians and performers, making it a mecca for jazz enthusiasts and music lovers alike. San Francisco boasts a range of iconic locations for these performances, including renowned theaters and intimate jazz clubs, which offer unique atmospheres to savor the music. Whether you’re grooving to the melodies in an intimate setting or reveling in the grandeur of a historic theater, the venues provide memorable backdrops for the music.


San Francisco in November Jazz Festival

Holiday Lights and Decorations

Last but not least, exploring the holiday lights and decorations in San Francisco during November is one of the most enchanting experiences you can have during your visit. As November arrives, San Francisco undergoes a magical transformation. The city’s streets, landmarks, and neighborhoods come alive with festive decorations, shimmering lights, and an unmistakable holiday spirit. Strolling through areas like Union Square and Market Street feels like stepping into a winter wonderland, even without snow.

One of the most iconic moments is the annual lighting of the massive Christmas tree in Union Square, an event that draws locals and visitors alike. The ceremony, complete with carolers and holiday performances, marks the official start of the holiday season in San Francisco.

As you plan your November getaway to San Francisco, you’re in for a treat with various exciting activities and events. Whether you’re drawn to the city’s fall festivals, cultural experiences, or breathtaking landscapes, there’s something for everyone. And, to make the most of your visit, consider staying at ITH Pacific Tradewinds hostel—a cozy and budget-friendly accommodation that’s perfect for exploring the city’s charm and unique offerings. Book your stay now and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of San Francisco this November. 


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