Nightlife in San Francisco: 13 Best Experiences in SF After Dark

Although the nightlife in San Francisco isn't what the city is known for, it surely has some of the most spectacular events and things that you can experience at night. Indulge in spooky night tours around the city, date nights, club hopping or even a simple yet mesmerizing scenic night tour around the Bay!

1. Asia SF

asia sf
Asia SF (IG Handle: officialasiasf)

Open since 1998, Asia is situated in the South of Market and is a place that celebrates diversity and multiculturalism. It is a world-renowned restaurant, an iconic entertainment hub, a cabaret and nightclub. They have different thrilling performances like live singing, comedy, sync numbers and dance routines performed by talented artists! They serve amazing food which is a blend of Asian and Californian cuisines. You can also host birthdays, events and even bachelorette parties here.
Location: 201 9th St
Hours: The hours differ according to the events
Approximate Price: They have different packages with varying prices between $ 44 - $ 86
Note: Make sure you make your reservation early as this place often sells out very soon.

2. Church of 8 Wheels

skating ring
Church of 8 Wheels (IG Handle: churchof8wheels)

It is the only roller-skating arena in the city and it offers a fun skating night to old-school funk and roller disco songs. This fun place for nightlife in San Francisco has different timings for different age groups and also offers skating classes on Saturdays too. They also host energetic and fun events and themed parties too. 
Location: 554 Fillmore St
5 pm to 11 pm on Fridays
11 am to 12 pm – Roller-skating lessons on Saturdays
12:30 pm to 11 pm on Saturdays
5:30 pm to 11 pm on Sundays
Closed Mondays to Thursdays
Note: Make sure to check the website for more details as they have different timings for different age groups.
Approximate Price:
Ages 13 and up - $ 15 + $ 5 for Skate Rentals
Ages 12 and under: $ 10 + $ 5 for Skate Rentals

3. The Great Northern

An Aerial Acrobat (IG Handle: greatnorthernsf)

The Great Northern is one of the best clubs in the Bay area. The interiors are stunning and they have spectacular production and lighting which are visually breath-taking. The interiors are the 1970s themed and also feature aerial acrobats and serve a variety of signature cocktails. The music genre they play here are mostly techno, deep house and progressive. They also host parties and have themed events and nights all throughout the year. The club offers a one-of-a-kind experience, so make sure you do visit it!
Location: 119 Utah St
Hours: They vary depending on the event
Cover: $ 20 - $30

4. Endgames Improv

endgame improv
 The Endgames Improv Stage (IG Handle: endgamesimprov

This venue for nightlife in San Francisco stages the best improv comedy in the Bay Area and it also offers classes for students with any experience level. Their philosophy is to educate artists through accessible classes and ample opportunities. They have the highest level of comedic performances and training in San Francisco. They have over 14 shows each week and also host different themed comedy nights. They conduct classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Location: 446 Valencia St
Hours: 8 pm to 12 am
Approximate Price: Some nights and events are free and others are around $ 15

 5. Tenderloin Night Moves

tenderloin museum
Tenderloin Museum (IG Handle: tenderloinmuseum)
This is an adult-only event that takes place every third Wednesday at the Tenderloin Museum. They host evening tours which celebrate the local landmarks that made Tenderloin historic. It was a historic refuge for artists, activists and iconoclasts. You can see and learn more about some of America’s oldest x-rated establishments and historic LGBTQ+ hangouts. It is the perfect blend of glamour, history and amazement!
Location: 398 Eddy St
Hours: 6 pm to 8 pm on every third Wednesday of the month

6. Ghost Hunting in Pacific Heights

pacific heights
A View of Pacific Heights (Source)

This historic and chilling ghost hunting walking-tour is conducted by a local magician and storyteller Christian Cagigal. It is a 20-year-old tour and it covers a lot of the city’s fabled ‘haunted’ homes and properties. It is the original ghost hunting tour and it will surely give you the creeps! You’ll walk by some of the famous and historic places which make for a perfect date. This is a regular not only for visitors but also for the locals. Experience the more thrilling nightlife in San Francisco!
Location: The walk starts outside 1801 Bush Street
Approximate Price: $ 20

7. Alcatraz Night Tour

alcatraz island
Alcatraz Island (Source)

This night tour is conducted only during certain times of the year but it is worth the wait! The tour is about 2 and a half hours long but there are only 2 ferries that leave the island on the night tour so you can leave early. You first get a guided tour around the island itself and the guide will show you various significant spots which you wouldn’t get to see in the day tours. After touring the island, you’ll walk up the hill to the cell-house while you listen to the history of the island.
Approximate Prices: $ 28 - $ 50 (Prices according to the age-groups)
Note: Make sure you book your passes well in advance as they sell out fast.

8. Broadway Shows

golden gate theatre
The Golden Gate Theatre (Source)
You can enjoy a Broadway show at San Fran’s Theatre District which houses some of the best and legitimate theatres like the Golden Gate Theatre, Curran Theatre, Orpheum Theatre and the American Conservatory Theatre are some of the best here. You can watch and enjoy some of the best theatrical gems while trying to experience the best of the nightlife in San Francisco. Many famous Broadway shows started off from here, so there’s no doubt that it still stages some of the best performances which you must experience!
Location: Theatre District – Any theatre of your choice
Approximate Prices: $ 80 - $ 200

9. Dinner Cruise

Cruises in the Bay (Source)
The Bay is one of San Francisco’s most iconic and beautiful possessions, so it's only just that you savour the beauty of the breath-taking views it has to offer. A dinner cruise is one of the best ways to savour its beauty and enjoy a mesmerizing night with your close ones. Various companies offer dinner cruises and each of them serves delicious dishes with music, drinks and dance as you look at the stunning views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the City skyline.
Suggested Cruises: Hornblower and Sailboat
Approximate Prices: $ 90 - $ 400 per person

10.  See the Bay Bridge Lights

Bay Bridge Lights
The Bay Bridge Lights (Source)
If you wish to relax as you gaze at the stunning sights, head over to the Bay Bridge Lights. This beautiful monumental light structure was originally opened in 2013 and then was upgraded and re-lit in 2016. The lights are lit from dusk to dawn, so you can come here anytime. The sculpture is visible mostly from the Northside of the bridge and is most easily seen from the San Fran waterfront. The bridge has 25,000 LED lights and you can dedicate a light in honor of a friend, pet or family for a donation of $100. It is a one-of-a-kind experience which you can’t miss!

11. Toad Hall Bar

toad hall bar
The Toad Hill Bar (Source)

Toad Hill Bar is a historic gay bar in the city’s Castro District. The actual venue has been here since the 1970s and has had its name changed quite a few times. You can now enjoy live DJs, dancing, amazing cocktails and beers and delicious food at great prices. They regularly host drag events, dance competitions, beer busts and karaoke too! An ecstatic way to spend the nightlife in San Francisco.
Location: 4146 18th St
3 pm to 2 am on Mondays – Thursdays
1 pm to 2 am on Fridays
2 pm to 2 am on Saturdays
1 pm to 2 am on Sundays
Approximate Prices: $ 4 - $ 12 for food

12. California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences (IG Handle: calacademy)
This science museum opens its doors to adults over 21 every Thursday. They have different themes every week and they have a DJ and a bar too. Some of the events also have dance competitions and other fun activities which will surely contribute to a fun and thrilling night. They also have fascinating talks on science and live music performances too.
Location: 55 Music Concourse Dr
Hours: 6 pm to 10 pm
Approximate Price: $ 15 per person

13. Pub Crawl San Francisco

Pub crawls (IG Handle: pubcrawlsf)

Pub Crawl enables you to discover the nightlife of the city as they take you through 4 legendary nightlife venues in the city. You will receive exclusive drinks, free shots and free VIP access at these pubs. You will be guided by amazing party hosts as you have the time of your life!
Hours: The pub crawl starts at 8 pm
Approximate Price: $ 20
Other than these things, the Bay area has a lot of other activities you can enjoy too as well as beautiful sights that you can see. The nightlife in San Francisco is full of hilly streets, illuminated surroundings and iconic landmarks. You can visit the Twin Peaks to gaze at a breath-taking view of the entire illuminated city or you can visit Pier 14 and Embarcadero for a panoramic view of the city lights. No matter what time you choose to head out, the City by the Bay has a lot to offer!

This post was published by Angela Naik

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