Best Things to Do in the Bay Area This Labor Day Weekend

Best Things to Do in the Bay Area This Labor Day Weekend

Ah, yes, Labor Day — the unofficial end of a great summer. However, Labor Day is more than just that — it’s a three-day weekend that recognizes all the hard work we’ve done and the achievements we’ve accomplished. Since Labor Day was declared a federal holiday in 1894, Americans have been celebrating it in true American fashion by enjoying festivities like barbecues, picnics, patriotic parades, and block parties. However, with rising gas prices, this year’s Labor Day may look a little different for everyone. So, if you’re trying to plan an affordable staycation, we got you! Here’s a plentiful selection of the best things to do in the Bay Area this Labor Day Weekend.  

Featured Photo: Courtesy of Frank McKenna
A close-up of three birria tacos in a white takeout container. The tacos are filled with succulent shredded meat and lightly toasted. A lemon wedge and a small container of dipping sauce accompany the taco feast.
Photo: Courtesy of Tacos El Patron

Foodies Rejoice

Don’t go hungry this Labor Day Weekend. Kick off the weekend by indulging in some delicious Latin dishes like pupusas or birria tacos at Speakeasy’s Sazon Latin Food Festival in San Francisco. With 12 different Latin food vendors to choose from, you’ll leave stuffed and satisfied. If you want something lighter and healthier, visit the Bizerkeley Food Festival — Berkeley’s first and only vegan food fest. At Bizerkeley, you can try guilt-free, vegan versions of some of your favorite foods. It’s also worth mentioning that vendors will be offering free samples and cheap eats for under five bucks. Come hungry, leave happy!

A hand pours a brown cocktail from a shaker through a strainer into a glass with large ice cubes. A twist of orange peel is clipped to the rim of the glass. The scene is set on a polished, reflective surface against a dark background—ideal inspiration for one of the best things to do Bay Area Labor Day weekend.
Photo: Courtesy of Adam Jaime

It’s Five O'clock Somewhere

A three-day weekend calls for a much-needed cocktail. Grab your friends, a drink or two, and celebrate the holiday at San Pedro Square Market in DTSJ. With a unique selection of bars in the downtown area, you’re guaranteed a good time and a bottomless drink. Take advantage of all the happy hour deals too. We recommend checking out District San Jose for $7 well drinks and 2-for-1 oysters on the half shell, and Five Points for $10 artisanal craft cocktails. Cheers!
Hikers walk on trail in Sonoma County
Photo: Courtesy of Luke Porter

For the Granola, Outdoorsy Types

Put on your hiking boots, grab your trekking poles, and spend your weekend in nature. You don’t have to drive out to Yosemite or Pinnacles to enjoy the great outdoors. The greater Bay Area offers many hiking trails and campsites for the best open air things to do on Labor Day Weekend. For a day hike, visit Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve or Almaden Quicksilver County Park near San Jose. These parks offer trails perfect for first-timers and seasoned hikers. For a weekend-long camping trip, we recommend visiting Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve and hiking up to Star’s Rest. The journey up Star’s Rest may be strenuous and exhausting to some, but once there, the 360-degree panoramic views make all the hiking worth it.

A large, diverse crowd of adults and children is sitting on a grassy lawn, enjoying an outdoor event at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival—a perfect choice for Best Things to Do Bay Area Labor Day Weekend. Many people are wearing hats and colorful clothing. Trees and a building adorn the background under a sunny sky.
Photo: Courtesy of Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Family-Friendly Fun

Dates vary
Get in touch with the arts and be part of the community at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. YBG Fest is a free, seasonal arts festival dedicated to presenting jazz music, dance, theater, and cultural events that highlight the city’s rich diversity and cultural roots. On September 3rd, from 1pm to 2:30 pm, Marcus Shelby’s New Orchestra: Blues in the City will be performing on the YBG stage. Marcus Shelby is an iconic figure in the Bay Area jazz scene, so if you’re a music fan, you don’t want to miss it. YBG Fest is an excellent opportunity for your family to have fun in the sun, enjoy great entertainment, and learn something new. Located along Howard Street in the SoMa district, you are also steps away from other family-friendly attractions like the Children’s Creativity Museum and Metreon Shopping Mall.

Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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