Things to Do in San Francisco this March
Everyone loves a parade and St. Patrick’s Day in San Francisco is a showstopper. Off the Grid is returning to Fort Mason Center, and it is time to spring forward. Here’s some ideas to make the most of the merry month of March.
Fresh Air Fare
San Francisco offers some great urban walks; however, if you’re looking for a real change of pace, check out these 10 scenic hikes in Monterey County. They range from easy to difficult and include scenic byways in Big Sur, Carmel, Salinas as well as the Carmel and Salinas Valleys.
Off the Grid Returns to Fort Mason Center
Off the Grid has returned to the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. From now through the end of October, every Friday, 5-10 p.m., guests should head to the Marina District for food and drink from some of the Bay Area’s favorite eateries. There will be a whopping 17 new vendors and this year’s updated layout will have two main sections. One area will be focused on atmosphere – offering communal dining and drinking, as well as music and dancing. The other area will be focused on eating and providing a more intimate gathering area. Centered in the action will be a large bar offering craft cocktails and local wines.
La Cocina’s Inaugural Restaurant Week
A series of interactive dinners is being orchestrated for La Cocina’s first restaurant week, March 6-12, 2017. La Cocina has facilitated the opening of 19 restaurants and cafes and this event will be a direct manifestation of the dreams they have helped come true. 7 days. 7 meals. What are you waiting for?
CAAMFest, formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF), celebrates its 35th year, March 9-19, 2017. Films, music, food and digital media from the world's most innovative Asian and Asian-American artists will revolve around this year’s theme, “Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.” Among the films to be screened are “The Chinese Exclusion Act,” a CAAM co-production illuminating this period of U.S. history; “The Tiger Hunter,” about a young Indian man’s journey to America,” and “Who Is Arthur Chu?” which attempts to answer the question about this 11-time "Jeopardy!" winner.
More Flick Picks
Other March film fests include the 14th annual International Ocean Film Festival, March 9-12, 2017 at Fort Mason’s Cowell Theater, and the Disposable Film Festival at the Castro Theatre on March 30, 2017, where innovative stories are produced at “the intersection of art and technology.” Don’t forget Friday nights at PIER 39, too. As part of their year-long 39th anniversary celebration, they will be screening movie classics on the last Friday of every month. “Forrest Gump” is coming up on March 31 at 7:45 p.m. Be sure to take advantage of Movie Night discounts and download coupons from their website.
“Hamilton” is finally opening in San Francisco on March 10, 2017 at the SHN Orpheum Theater. This inventive, wildly entertaining musical about the birth of our nation features book, music and lyrics by Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. Local playwright Jewel Gomez’s “Leaving the Blues” has its world premiere at the New Conservatory Theater Center, through April 2, 2017. Spanning 60 years, the play imagines a journey through celebrated singer Alberta Hunter’s life, both public and private. "Eclipsed,” the story of five women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia, arrives at the Curran, March 7-19, 2017. At the SHN Golden Gate Theater, March 7-April 2, 2017 venture “Into the Woods,” the Tony Award-winning musical classic by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. This spring, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) will present Robert Lepage’s internationally acclaimed play, “Needles and Opium,” March 30–April 23, 2017. This breathtaking dive into art and exile follows jazz legend Miles Davis and French filmmaker Jean Cocteau.
YBCA Presents “2017 Poetic Address to the Nation”
On March 11, 2017, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC), will present the “2017 Poetic Address to the Nation.” Inspired by stories collected from across the U.S., the “2017 Poetic Address to the Nation” will be performed by poets from the Bay Area and beyond and emceed by one of our country’s most provocative, original voices, Chinaka Hodge. Formed in 2014, USDAC is a grassroots action network.
The first major exhibition to explore the inspiration that California artist Richard Diebenkorn found in the work of Henri Matisse opens at SFMOMA on March 11, 2017. On view through May 29, 2017, the exhibition features approximately 100 objects — 40 paintings and drawings from Matisse and 60 paintings and drawings by Diebenkorn. SFMOMA will be the only West Coast venue for the exhibition. “Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja” at The Walt Disney Family Museum explores the dynamic work of one of the most versatile character animators of our time. This unique exhibition, March 23-Oct. 4, 2017, showcases original works on paper and maquettes of Deja’s most iconic characters from Scar and Jafar in “The Lion King” to larger-than-life muscle men like Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast.”
Here Comes the Parade
The West Coast’s largest event celebrating Irish history and culture, the 166th annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The parade will start at 11:30 a.m. from the corner of Market and Second Streets, where colorful floats, Irish dance groups and marching bands will wend their way to Civic Center Plaza. A full day of festivities at the Plaza will showcase Irish history and culture. Transit tip: BART is one of the easiest ways to get to the parade and festival.
We Players Mounts “Beowulf” at Aquatic Park
We Players, Rova Saxophone Quartet, and inkBoat physical theatre and dance will present “Beowulf” at Fort Mason’s Aquatic Park and Chapel from March 11-April 16. Continuing We Players’ 10 years of unprecedented partnership with the National Park Service and California State Parks, the company will once again integrate a classic work of literature into a National Historic Landmark. Show times vary according to sunset.
On March 12, 2017, daylight saving time begins. You can thank Ben Franklin for shedding a little light on the early evening hours. It was he who first proposed this idea in 1784; however, it really didn’t become popular until World War I. Remember to push those clocks one hour forward.
Sundays Won’t Be the Same
On eight Sundays through the early fall, main thoroughfares throughout the city will be closed to traffic and transformed into temporary public space ideal for strolling, biking and other activities as part of the Sunday Streets program. There is also entertainment and community booths. The first one is scheduled for March 12, 2017 in the Mission District.
Whale of a Time
The gray whale migration is underway! All along the California coast, whales and their calves are migrating north. Some of the best viewing is on board a special whale watching excursion. Among those who specialize in them are the S.F. Bay Whale Watching and San Francisco Whale Tours. To the south Half Moon Bay, and Santa Cruz are a hub for whale watching, and to the north, visitors flock to Pt. Reyes and Sonoma. In Mendocino County, the seventh annual Little River Whale Festival takes place March 11-12, 2017. Looking for a little exercise? Check out the 32nd annual Whale Run and Walk in Fort Bragg on March 18, 2017. Not feeling that ambitious? Well, how about a cup of coffee at San Rafael’s Red Whale coffee bar, which sources the top two percent of green coffee beans from around the world?
“Bouquets to Art” returns to the de Young Museum, March 14-19, 2017. From March 24-April 9, 2017, Macy’s Union Square will be transformed from the Cellar to the top levels with thousands of blooming plants. There will be special events and in-store promotions all built around a festival “Carnival” theme and the windows will be transformed into special gardens.
Flavor! Napa Valley
Come experience, taste and learn from the best of Napa Valley's wineries, restaurants and chefs at Flavor! Napa Valley, a five-day food and wine festival taking place March 22-26, 2017. The line-up of events features local celebrity chef demonstrations, intimate winemaker workshops, grand tastings and exclusive experiences that bring out the best flavors of Napa Valley.
San Francisco Deltas Bring Pro Soccer to Kezar Stadium
Professional soccer comes to San Francisco on March 25, 2017, when the San Francisco Deltas have their opening game against the Indy Eleven at Kezar Stadium at the entrance of Golden Gate Park. Imbued with history, Kezar was the original home of the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders in their early seasons. There is soccer history at Kezar as well – the one and only Pelé played at Kezar! Fans will have the option of purchasing tickets in the Candlestick seats section; these seats were recovered from Candlestick Park, the former home of the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.
United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Hits the Streets of San Francisco March 26
On March 26, 2017, the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Francisco takes participants from Ocean Beach along the Great Highway, through the Presidio, across the Golden Gate Bridge and along the Crissy Field shoreline before ending in the heart of the city in front of City Hall. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is known for an unparalleled participant experience, which fills miles of roads with music and entertainment.
Sonoma International Film Festival Opens March 29, 2017
Now in its 20th year, the Sonoma International Film Festival takes place in the heart of Northern California's wine country, March 29-April 2, 2017. Featuring more than 90 hand-selected films, it includes independent features, documentaries, world cinema and short films. All films are shown in intimate venues and within walking distance of Sonoma's historic plaza. The festival is dedicated to promoting independent film, supporting filmmakers around the world and inspiring film lovers – all in the heart of Northern California’s famous wine country.