Happy birthday! Offering everything from a thrilling nightlife scene to outdoorsy adventure just minutes from the city center, San Francisco is a fun, festive, and endlessly exciting birthday party destination.

No matter how the birthday person wants to celebrate their special day, the City by the Bay has plenty of activities to choose from to blow out your candles and make a wish.

Celebrate in style with these fun and original San Francisco birthday ideas

Whether it’s eating your way through the city’s fantastic food scene or going on a sightseeing cruise of the Bay Area, you—and all your friends—are guaranteed to have such a great time and so much fun with these San Francisco birthday party ideas.


1 Hike among the redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument 
If you want to spend your special day out in nature, the great outdoors is just a short car ride away.

Roughly 45 minutes across the Golden Gate Strait lies the breathtaking redwood forests of Muir Woods National Monument, with scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and picturesque drives.

Federally protected since 1908, this forest is both a refuge and a laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. Walk among old-growth coast redwoods as they cool their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek.

If you’re looking for something closer to the city, the Marin Headlands and Golden Gate National Recreation Area are within 10 to 20 minutes of downtown. With our Muir Woods Redwood Forest and Sausalito Tour, you’ll explore Muir Woods and stop in the quaint bayside town of Sausalito for lunch before returning to San Francisco where even on a foggy day, the views are spectacular with its hillside setting and waterfront location.


bike tour in san francisco

2 Take a bike tour around the City by the Bay
Looking for a birthday activity for an active, sports-loving friend? Going on a sightseeing bike tour is not only a great way to explore the city and see famous buildings and monuments, but all those steep hills will help you get in a workout!

Choose between a City Highlights bike tour to see the city’s best sights on two wheels, like Ghirardelli Square, Haight-Ashbury, and Alamo Square (home of the Painted Ladies houses), or go all out on a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge itself.

You will gain a new perspective of the city while getting new ideas about where to go next. There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way at famous sights and hidden gems to capture your big day.



3 Have a birthday picnic at Golden Gate Park or the Presidio
Packing a picnic lunch with a birthday cake, snacks, and drinks and taking it to one of San Francisco’s lovely city parks makes for a perfectly relaxed birthday activity.

Home to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park is a picturesque option close to Haight-Ashbury, while the Presidio offers beautiful bay views and beach access. There is a dedicated picnic area with tables and barbeque pits that can be reserved and while you are there, hop on a paddleboat from the boathouse and explore the lake


4 Go wine tasting in Sonoma
A wine-tour birthday party? Why not! With over 400 different wineries producing varietals like chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon, Sonoma wine country is only an hour north of San Francisco, making it a great option for a birthday-party day trip.

The hardest decision you will have to make is choosing which winery to visit! Plan on visiting at least two or three spending about an hour at each. If you tour the vineyards, you will need a little more time. Cheers to another year.


5 Do the ultimate “San Francisco in a day” tour
Playing tourist for the day and visiting the city’s greatest hits can provide a deeper appreciation for the City by the Bay, whether you’re a first-time guest or a long-time resident.

On our San Francisco in a Day tour, you’ll see the highlights, including going for a bay cruise, taking a cable car ride, and heading up Coit Tower for its city views.

san francisco skyline at night

6 Soak up the nightlife
From drag shows to speakeasy bars, San Francisco has one of the most legendary nightlife scenes on the West Coast. As the sun goes down, an array of craft-cocktail bars, dance clubs, stand-up and improv shows, drag extravaganzas, and more provide near-unlimited options for birthday parties.


city cruises in san francisco7 Go on a dining cruise around San Francisco Bay
Two of the best ways to have a birthday celebration are going out for a special meal and doing a fun, out-of-the-ordinary activity, and going on a dining and sightseeing cruise around the bay ticks all the boxes.

Celebrate the special day on a scenic, several-hour cruise around the bay, complete with a delicious buffet meal, plenty of birthday drinks, DJ entertainment, and unforgettable views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Depending on your mood, you could also kick things off on a Signature Brunch Cruise with plenty of bubbly, unwind during a leisurely lunch aboard the Signature Lunch Cruise, or see San Francisco all lit up at night on the Signature Dinner Cruise.

There is nothing like the refreshing breeze blowing through your hair as you toast to another year.


8 Take a tour of the city’s best foodie spots
From fresh seafood to traditional Chinese dishes to boundary-pushing Michelin-starred restaurants, San Francisco’s food scene is one of its top draws. If the guest of honor is a foodie, you can’t go wrong with a San Francisco excursion with Devour Tours.

On the Ultimate San Francisco Food Tour, you’ll pop into restaurants and eateries throughout several of the city’s best foodie districts, like Chinatown and North Beach, sampling dim sum, tacos, seafood stew, and much more, all while learning about the multicultural population that gives San Francisco its diverse culinary culture.


9 Dive into the cultural scene at historical monuments and museums
San Francisco’s rich cultural institutions will greatly appeal to arts and culture lovers. Tour the historic island prison with Alcatraz City Cruises, view priceless works of art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and dive into an underwater world at the California Academy of Sciences.

alcratraz island

Celebrating your birthday in San Francisco

Looking for somewhere to host a birthday party rather than looking for something special to do? City Cruises has you covered! Our fleet of luxurious vessels are essentially floating venues, ready to host your party or celebration. Who can can say that they got to have a birthday party on a yacht?  You won’t only be the talk of the town, but the talk of the seas! Surrounded by friends and family, you can cruise through San Francisco Bay, taking in the breathtaking views and sights, food, drinks, entertainment, and of course, cake. And City Cruises will take care of all the small details focusing on giving you a personalized celebration for your budget and party size, allowing you and your guests, to focus on the fun.

Marking another trip around the sun with a celebration? San Francisco has something for everyone—and City Experiences is here to help you have the best birthday ever, with fun tours, outings, and so much more. Ready to book your birthday celebration? Fill out this form and an event planner will contact you.

Original post date: December 20, 2022