San Francisco Travel’s latest roundup includes news, performances, events, hotels, retailers and updates from San Francisco International Airport.

For culinary news and restaurant openings, click here. The latest news on art exhibitions and museum openings can be found here.

IN THE NEWS

TIME Names San Francisco One of the World’s Greatest Places 2022

TIME magazine named San Francisco to its “World’s Greatest Places 2022” list of 50 extraordinary destinations to explore, noting the city’s “incredible scenery, cultural institutions, and diverse culinary offerings are all making major strides this year.”

URBAN OUTDOORS

Presidio Tunnel Tops, San Francisco’s Newest Urban Oasis, Opens

More than two decades in the making, Presidio Tunnel Tops opened on July 17 in the Presidio of San Francisco. Built over the tops of the Presidio Parkway highway tunnels, the Presidio Tunnel Tops site comprises 14 acres of new national parkland, adding to the Presidio’s existing 1,500 acres and connecting the Presidio’s historic Main Post and Crissy Field for the first time in 86 years. Thoughtfully designed by James Corner Field Operations (the firm behind New York’s High Line), shaped by community input and funded by $98 million in philanthropic gifts, the $118 million Presidio Tunnel Tops features scenic overlooks with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city, paths and gardens, a welcome plaza with food and visitor services, a campfire circle, picnic grounds, a nature play area, and more. It starts its opening season with free family-friendly events and activities and an inaugural art exhibition from Favianna Rodriguez honoring the Ohlone Ramaytush and their ancestral homeland. Presidio Tunnel Tops is an instantly iconic “must-see” San Francisco destination for visitors from across the country and around the world.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Turns 50

Established in October 1972 to bring national parks to the people, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is one of the largest national parks adjacent to a major metropolitan area. It is the third most-visited national park in the U.S. It spans over 82,000 acres in Marin, San Mateo and San Francisco, where it includes the Presidio of San Francisco, Crissy Field, Fort Point National Historic Site, Alcatraz, Fort Mason, Ocean Beach, and Fort Funston.

Golden Gate Park’s Skatin’ Place Goes Psychedelic

Golden Gate Park spruced up its Skatin’ Place with a large-scale, 28-by-93-foot colorful mural on new asphalt, paying homage to the area’s decades-long history as a meeting place for skaters and rollerbladers. Bay Area artist Aimee Bruckner painted the mural “Psychedelic Golden Gate Skate,” which debuted in June. The design, which is geometric in nature, is meant to support spatial orientation for skaters so that they can maintain their balance while gliding over it. The popular destination for local and visiting roller skaters is located on JFK Drive near 6th Avenue and Fulton.

MUSIC

Annual Stern Grove Festival Finishes Its 10-Week Run on Aug. 14

One of the nation’s oldest running music festivals, Stern Grove is celebrating its 85th summer concert season this year with acts including Taj Mahal and the San Francisco Symphony. The beloved free San Francisco festival features different bands each Sunday during its 10-week run at the Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove, a historic park and concert meadow in the city’s Sunset District. Grateful Dead founding member Phil Lesh will help close out the concert series on Aug. 14. Although admission is free to the shows, fans must first RSVP in advance to reserve their spot. At 2 p.m. PT precisely 12 days before each event, an online portal through www.sterngrove.org opens to offer free passes on a first-come, first-served basis.

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park

One of the top music festivals in the U.S. (and the world, according to Billboard), Outside Lands boasts a lineup of the hottest music on seven stages and cutting-edge food, beverage and cannabis programming. Taking place from Aug. 5 to 7, festival headliners include Bay Area pop-punk dynamo Green Day, rapper, singer and songwriter Post Malone and recent GRAMMY winner SZA. The diverse lineup features a mix of genres and more than 90 artists from all over the world. The festival also has a record 91 restaurants participating in its Taste of the Bay Area program and 35 wineries and 30 breweries at Wine Lands and Beer Lands. For the second year, it is offering an ultra-luxe festival experience. Ken Fulk’s Golden Gate Club includes dedicated viewing areas, a private lounge, concierge service, and hosted premium food and beverage offerings. For more information and tickets, visit https://www.sfoutsidelands.com/.

San Francisco Opera Celebrates Its Centennial 2022/2023 Season

San Francisco Opera celebrates its first 100 years with a blockbuster 2022–23 opera season. The centennial will be marked by activities designed to commemorate the past and welcome the community into the exciting new era just beginning under the baton of Caroline H. Hume Music Director Eun Sun Kim. SF Opera’s Centennial Season begins with an event-filled opening weekend that includes the Opera Ball: The Centennial Celebration (Sept. 9), the world premiere of John Adams’ new opera Antony and Cleopatra (Sept.10) and the free Opera in the Park concert at Golden Gate Park (Sept. 11). On Oct. 23, the Company will open its doors for Community Open House, when families, music fans and the opera-curious can witness the magic of opera from behind the scenes.

San Francisco Symphony’s Kicks Off the 2022/2023 Season

For the San Francisco Symphony’s 2022–23 Season, Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and eight collaborative partners will cultivate vibrant musical experiences. The season begins with the All San Francisco concert on Sept. 22 and the Opening Night Gala concert on Sept. 23. Both will feature the complete incidental music to Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed in collaboration with San Francisco-based African-American Shakespeare Company. Actors from the company and other special guests will perform scenes from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream interspersed between movements of Mendelssohn’s incidental music.

Inaugural Portola Music Festival Takes Over Pier 80 Sept. 24 to 25

The inaugural Portola Music Festival at San Francisco’s Pier 80 brings together new, buzzing electronic artists, metaverse pop stars, and legendary names all over the same weekend, including Flume, Kaytranada, Jamie xx, The Chemical Brothers, James Blake, and Lane 8. It’s presented by Goldenvoice, creators of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Returns from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.

Back for the first time in three years, this annual free celebration of music in the park includes a who’s who of top entertainers in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The festival features a lineup of country, soul, folk and more performing across stages. Visit the website for updates on performers.

THEATER

American Conservatory Theater Launches 2022/23 Season with Passengers

The American Conservatory Theater’s 2022/23 season kicks off with Passengers by the world-renowned modern circus collective, The 7 Fingers. Running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 9 at the A.C. T.’s Geary Theater. Passengers combines contemporary dance, circus arts, singing, acrobatics, and theater into a story that explores a community of strangers with one thing in common: each person has somewhere to go. Visit A.C.T.’s website to see the full season schedule.

Dear San Francisco Extends Its Run

One of San Francisco’s most popular shows is extending its run in the city. Dear San Francisco – the intimate cirque experience from The 7 Fingers at Club Fugazi – is selling tickets through Dec. 30, 2022. The show pays homage to the stunning beauty, storied characters, and astounding resilience of the City by the Bay with exhilarating acrobatics, choreography, spoken word, video projections, shadow play, and original music.

New Roots Theatre Festival Launches Oct. 14

The San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (SFBATCO) revamped its New Roots Theatre Festival, which takes place from Oct. 14 to 16 at the Brava Theater Center. Like the inaugural event in 2021, this year’s festival will feature eight original projects: three produced by SFBATCO and five produced by other legacy companies. This year’s collaborating organizations are Crowded Fire Theater, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Dimensions Dance Theater, African Arts Academy, and SF Recovery Theatre. The New Roots Theatre Festival is an arts festival that celebrates the development of new work and centers BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ voices.

The Force is Strong in San Francisco: The Empire Strips Back Extends Its Run to Oct. 5

Featuring all of the classic Star Wars characters, The Empire Strips Back – the Unauthorized Star Wars Burlesque Parody – takes audiences to a galaxy far, far away, creating one of the most unforgettable theatrical versions of the beloved franchise. Combining striptease, song and dance, troupe routines and plenty of humor, audiences are transported into the world of burlesque to witness a menacing troop of seriously sexy Stormtroopers, a dangerously seductive Boba Fett, a lady-like Skywalker and scantily clad and daring Droids. The Empire Strips Back celebrates the resurgence of burlesque, while delivering a powerful experience for fans of the art form and the film series at the historic Great Star Theater.

EVENTS

The Giant Race to Take Place in August

The Giant Race will take place on Aug. 21 with 5K and 10K races. The Giant Race will also host a Health and Wellness Expo on Aug. 20, highlighting the renewed focus and commitment to mental and physical health that the race embraces. The Expo will include packet pickup and a Kids & Family Race activation on the field at Oracle Park.

Fleet Week Takes to the Sky

The Blue Angels and more return for Fleet Week, the annual event that honors the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Navy ship tours and three days of exciting air shows over San Francisco take place from Oct. 3 to 11.

Eat Drink SF 2022 to be Held Oct. 21 to 30

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) Presents: Eat Drink SF 2022 with Restaurant Week style prix-fixe menus from participating restaurants throughout San Francisco and special ticketed events.

Chase Center to Host 2022 League of Legends World Championship in November

Chase Center, a new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, is home to the Golden State Warriors and nearly 200 events per year. On Nov. 6, it will host the 2022 League of Legends World Championship Finals. The continental tour will make stops in Mexico City, New York City, and Toronto before arriving in San Francisco, marking the first time Worlds will be hosted in North America since 2016.

Luminous Illuminate SF Festival of Light Celebrates Light Art

Designed to celebrate the Bay Area’s creativity, innovation and invention, Illuminate SF Festival of Light features luminous public art installations throughout the city created by a diverse range of renowned artists. The light art festival runs from late November to January and will feature over 50 works of art.

HOTEL NEWS

Hyatt Regency San Francisco to Complete $55 Million Renovation in October

Just steps from the Ferry Building, the Hyatt Regency San Francisco is slated to finish a $55 million guestroom renovation in October. The newly redesigned rooms will feature flexible workspaces and natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows offering iconic views of the San Francisco Bay and Embarcadero district.

Three Hotels Debuted in June

Following a renovation and redesign of all public spaces and 418 guestrooms, Sir Francis Drake Hotel reopened its doors as the Beacon Grand on June 30. The newly independent hotel will step into the 21st century while celebrating its iconic legacy.

Located near San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, 1 Hotel San Francisco opened on June 1. The 200-room hotel is the city’s first mission-driven hotel that celebrates the beauty of the Bay Area’s natural environment and offers an urban oasis in the heart of the city.

The new LUMA Hotel San Francisco opened in June in the rapidly evolving Mission Bay community, adjacent to Oracle Park and Chase Center. The 299-room property is the first-ever hotel development in the area.

W San Francisco Debuts “Spectacular Studios”

W San Francisco debuted its ‘Spectacular Studio’ guestroom collection as the newest phase of the dynamic property’s Gold Fever renovation designed by Skylab Architecture. The Spectacular Studio suites add useable square footage and a touch of whimsy to the guest experience. A select few recently renovated Gold Fever rooms have been upgraded to include private patio structures for indoor-outdoor living, offering guests comfortably furnished spaces and overhead heat lamps ideal for daytime and nighttime lounging on the guestroom patio. The beveled tent structures were custom-made for the hotel and feature a geometric design with modern lines and a crisp white finish.

“The Curiosity Room” Unveiled at San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis

In July, Marriott Hotels launched its immersive “The Curiosity Room ” by TED at San Francisco Marriott Marquis. A partnership with idea engine TED through its award-winning educational arm TED-Ed, The Curiosity Room aims to spark curiosity and enrich the experience of global travelers. It can be booked through Oct. 16 at the Marriott Marquis. The Curiosity Room feature interactive, mind-bending activities integrated into the guest room design. The entire room is a puzzle box waiting to be solved, with puzzle elements seamlessly hidden within the décor. Solving them all will lead guests to a grand finale and series of surprises and rewards. The puzzles feature and celebrate San Francisco landmarks, culture, and more.

SHOPPING

GAP Inc. Opens Four “Laboratory” Stores

Gap Inc. celebrated the grand opening of four retail spaces for Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta at the company’s newly remodeled global hub at 2 Folsom Street. The debut of these new stores in June adds nearly 18,000 square feet of fashion retail to the city’s buzzy East Cut neighborhood, located on the city’s Embarcadero waterfront steps from BART, Muni, and the historic ferry terminal. The four “laboratory” stores are part of Gap Inc.’s two-year renovation of its global hub. A ground floor “Co-Lab” maker studio also lets visitors watch creative teams at work.

Moonshot Studio is a “Scentsory” Discovery

Opened in fall 2021, Moonshot Studio in Noe Valley is an inspirational spot to create signature fragrance blends at a DIY fragrance bar. Visitors can make candles or custom-scented home and body products, choosing from among 80-plus fragrances (herbals, flowers, spices, seasonals & more). The shop also carries soy wax blend candles, diffusers, wax tarts and room and body sprays.

Trending: Creative Popcorn Combos

Fluff Nugget, which opened in Hayes Valley in July, serves up freshly popped organic popcorn bedazzled with hot and cold toppings with bold flavors such as barbecue brisket, Thai coconut curry and chocolate Aztec chili.

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEWS

Travelers’ Favorite Amenities Are Back At SFO

SFO reopened the renovated Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum & Library in June after a closure of more than two years. The facility is an architectural adaptation of the Airport’s passenger lobby from the 1930s. The museum’s Aviation Collection numbers more than 150,000 objects related to the histories of commercial aviation and SFO. The museum is located prior to security checkpoints in the Edwin M. Lee International Terminal Departures Hall and is accessible to all Airport visitors daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

The airport also reopened the SFO Museum Video Arts room, located pre-security in the International Terminal, which offers a free rotating selection of short films from artists around the world, each of which can be viewed in 4–5 minutes.

In April, SFO reopened its Yoga Rooms in two post-security locations, in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Both facilities are open during passenger hours for free, self-guided use. Common-use yoga mats are available for free in the space and are disinfected regularly.

SFO’s SkyTerrace outdoor observation deck is also now open on select days. Located pre-security in Terminal 2, no ticket or boarding pass is required to access the SkyTerrace. Visitors may bring food and beverages to the area, but smoking is not permitted.

The Wag Brigade, a team of certified stress-relief animals, is back at SFO, and now includes a 28-pound Flemish Giant Rabbit, Alex the Great.

SFO Boasts Fastest Free Airport Wi-Fi in the World

According to a new ranking published by broadband and mobile network testing company Ookla, SFO has the fastest free airport Wi-Fi in the world. The analysis focused on Wi-Fi over mobile connections on free Wi-Fi provided by the individual airports and Wi-Fi at selected airport lounges.

DFS Unveils Renovated Flagship Stores at SFO

DFS Group unveiled newly renovated retail concepts for its 50th anniversary of operations at SFO. The new design of DFS’s two flagship stores in SFO’s Terminal A and G concourses reflects the laid-back yet cosmopolitan essence of San Francisco, with a façade that features iron-painted International Orange (the color of the Golden Gate Bridge) and natural wood. In addition, boutiques featuring luxury brands, including Gucci, Burberry, Hermès, and the world’s first in-airport Saint Laurent, were remodeled. The stores’ physical enhancements are further augmented by new digital experiences, such as interactive digital wine tables allowing customers to place a bottle on the table and learn about the brand and vintage via an on-screen display. DFS has also partnered with Inflyter, the duty-free shopping app, enabling travelers to browse and buy duty-free as soon as a flight booking has been made.

Proper Food at SFO

Proper Food opened its first outpost in SFO’s International Terminal in July. The menu features wholesome grab-and-go fare, including sandwiches, salads, soups, and chef’s specials created from seasonal, sustainably sourced, all-natural ingredients. Each dish is made fresh daily.

New Airlines, New Destinations

SFO offers new international airlines and destinations, including Flair Airlines service to Edmonton and Vancouver, Air Transat service to Montreal, and Condor service to Frankfurt. Domestic travelers also have more choices than ever, with low-cost airline Breeze Airways launching nonstop service to Richmond, Charleston, Louisville, San Bernardino and Provo.

ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO TRAVEL

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. Tourism is San Francisco’s largest industry. More than 25.8 million people visited the destination in 2019, spending in excess of $10 billion. More than 86,000 jobs are supported by tourism in San Francisco.

For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sftravel.com. Follow SF Travel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please use hashtags #sftravel and #AlwaysSF.