Summer Activities in San Francisco, Recommended by St. Regis’ Concierge

Summer Activities in San Francisco, Recommended by St. Regis’ Concierge

Welcome to Concierge Corner, our new series where we sit down with experts to get the dish on visiting the Bay Area. What’s a concierge? Well, in French it means “caretaker,” and these hospitality geniuses take care of you by welcoming you to your hotel and giving the best advice on ways to spend your trip. Today’s topic: summer activities in San Francisco. 

For this month’s Concierge Corner, we spoke with Selina Galarza, a concierge at St. Regis San Francisco. She recommended a range of activities, restaurants and experiences for your trip to San Francisco, with options for romance, family fun, accessible traveling and more. 

A bit about our concierge: Galarza is a born-and-raised San Franciscan, who has been at the St. Regis since its pre-opening in 2005 and is a member of the Northern California Concierge Association. She enjoys going to events and restaurants with her concierge colleagues. Galarza also loves summers in Lake Tahoe and walking with her dog and partner all around the city and the Peninsula (that’s the region just south of SF, for any newbies). Here’s her take on what to do during your summer trip to San Francisco. 

Featured photo: Fillmore Jazz Festival, SF Ferry Building and California Academy of Sciences. 

A woman with glasses and a gray blazer stands with arms crossed, smiling in front of a festive floral arrangement. Her portrait is superimposed on an exterior view of the St. Regis San Francisco hotel, capturing the spirit of summer activities in San Francisco.
Selina Galarza and the St. Regis San Francisco.

Favorite summer activities in San Francisco?

Summer is my favorite time of year. I love all the street festivals, especially the Fillmore Jazz Festival happening Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7. It blends art and soul in one of our unique neighborhoods. You can groove to live music from multiple stages and enjoy good food and drinks while browsing local vendors’ offerings of fine art and crafts. 

Also, don’t miss the 70th anniversary of the North Beach Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16. There will be live music, delicious food, beer gardens, family activities, local makers, artists, merchants and a blessing of the animals in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.

Two saxophonists perform outdoors in front of a crowd as part of summer activities in San Francisco. One musician wears a yellow shirt with blue pants, and the other wears a colorful shirt with orange pants and a black beanie. The audience watches intently, capturing the moment on their phones. Trees line the background.
Fillmore Jazz Festival. Photo courtesy of the Fillmore Merchants Association.

Family-friendly ways to experience San Francisco?

A great way to see the city and more is with the Big Bus “Hop-on, Hop-off” tour. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge, catch the buzz at Fisherman’s Wharf, explore Chinatown (where you can even see the origins of the fortune cookie at Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory). For the best photo opportunities of iconic landmarks, make sure to get a seat in the front row of the top deck. Don’t forget to pack a jacket just in case of a wind over our beautiful Golden Gate. 

Get a San Francisco City Pass and you can visit the best attractions like the California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, and bay cruises with Blue & Gold Fleet

A woman and a child stand in front of a large aquarium tank filled with colorful fish and marine life. The woman points toward the tank, engaging the child who looks on with curiosity. As part of their summer activities in San Francisco, this vibrant underwater scene creates a captivating and immersive experience.
Photo by Kathryn Whitney, courtesy of the California Academy of Sciences.

Best new spots that are worth the hype?

Once a roving pop up, Four Kings is nestled in Chinatown. From Mister Jiu’s alums and a “wok master” chef, there’s an open kitchen with Canto flair and wok-fried delights. This buzzing restaurant that plays Cantopop is decorated with vintage posters, vinyl albums and photos from the team. Highlights of the unique Cantonese menu are the skewers, mapo spaghetti and the fried squab. 

A gorgeous Eastern Mediterranean restaurant in the historic Presidio, Dalida does not disappoint with its outdoor patio and stunning views of the Bay. This husband and wife duo, Chefs Laura and Sayat get their ingredients locally and care about sustainability. Highlights of this beautiful restaurant are the chubby pita, duroc pork cheek souvlaki and the octopus and sujuk. 

Experiences that prioritize accessibility?

There are many wonderful experiences that are accessible to all. The most popular and interesting tour is the famous Alcatraz. All Alcatraz cruise boats are fully accessible and feature numerous accessible areas. Be sure to book in advance since it tends to sell out, especially in our busy summer months.

View of the ferry building and palm trees -- one of the accessible summer activities in San Francisco, California.
San Francisco Ferry Building. Photo by James A. Molnar.

Make sure to visit the historic Ferry Building. The weekend farmers market is conveniently situated on the ground floor. The Ferry Building prioritizes accessibility, providing an inclusive experience for all.

How to spend a romantic evening or weekend?

For the day, why not stroll hand in hand through the Mission District and enjoy murals by various artists? Whether it is the Balmy or the Clarion Alley murals, you’ll see a variety of colorful street art. Grab a cup of local coffee at Ritual and enjoy Valencia Street. Then head to Sixth Course for unique, creative and delicious desserts. 

A tall building with a vibrant mural covering its entire facade stands out among the summer activities in San Francisco. The artwork features colorful, abstract representations of people, animals, and plants. Fire escapes and power lines intersect the scene. A "One Way" street sign is visible in the bottom right corner.
The "Women's Building" on 18th Street. Photo by Piermario Eva.

For the evening, stop by the St. Regis Bar and enjoy a curated cocktail by one of our very talented mixologists, stay for our sabrage every evening at 6 p.m., then head to Nisei for an elevated Japanese experience. Nisei is known for an ambitious Japanese tasting menu. Finish the evening listening to live jazz and enjoy delightful cocktails at the swanky Dawn Club.

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