Fleet Week is back! Time to Celebrate!
This super fun event takes place from October 3 - October 11, 2021
Where? Just look up! Or head to Fisherman's Wharf and walk along the Embarcadero.
One of the best times of year to visit San Francisco is during the fall. Karl the Fog takes a mini vacation and the sun comes out to play. Everyone remembers what summer is supposed to feel like and all the joy that comes with it. It also means Fleet Week is coming! Er...or in this case, it has already arrived!
We can thank former Mayor Diane Feinstein for making Fleet Week official in 1981. Today over one million people take part in this public event.
For some locals, this is a beloved San Francisco tradition, and we’re so happy it’s back! Every October, the city celebrates our military service men and women. Where naval ships parade around the Bay and fighter jets dazzle above our heads. We see skydivers, stunt flyers and that giant United Airlines Boeing 747 eye-popping flyby.
If you’re in the Bay Area, you probably have already noticed the buzz! It’s not just the aircraft, locals are getting excited, too. Already military planes have started their practice flights. It’s just a tiny sample of the big show yet to come.
So what does this event look like? It looks like San Francisco has hit tourism season on steroids. People are out and about everywhere. So pack your walking shoes and join the crowd!
Starting Thursday, pilots practice their death defying stunts giving locals a sneak peek of the main attraction. You will also start to see our heroic service men and women dressed in their finest walking around town. Many of them disembarked from the ships that just arrived!
Walk along the iconic San Francisco Embarcadero
If you choose, you can walk from Pier 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge where you can embark on a military ship or two all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can board additional seafaring vessels. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday you can tour the ships from 10am to 4pm. The final day, Monday the 11th, tours start from 9am to 12pm...and then it’s bon voyage, until next year!
A super fun place to take in the action is in Fisherman’s Wharf! It’s already teaming with people because it’s one of the top destinations to visit while in San Francisco. But for Fleet Week there will be additional attractions! On Thursday be sure to swing by the iconic Crab Wheel sign...you know the one that looks like a captain’s helm with a giant crab in the middle. Yep! If you can’t find it then just listen and let the music direct you, because that's the tune of the Navy Band Southwest playing! They will be jamming away in the Wharf from noon to 1 pm.
On Friday, look out at the bay and check out the Parade of Ships! You just might see the USS Michael Monsour, USS John S. McCain, USS Shoupe and the USS Rushmore! A fireboat will escort these military vessels under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the Bay with a welcoming firehose waterwork show.
The airshows begin on Friday to Sunday, starting at 10am and end at 4pm. The ever-so-popular Blue Angels swoop in with their hair-raising stunts from 3 to pm in their iconic blue and gold painted Super Hornets, and swoop out as quickly and stealthily as they came.
Cruising Fleet Week
If you feel like viewing the show from the water there are several cruises you can check out including the Red and White Fleet. They are located near the Crab Wheel at Pier 43 ½. They depart at 2 pm and return at 4pm.
The Blue and Gold Fleet also does a cruise and parks it in the Bay for the festivities. Just swing by Pier 39. The ship departs at 1:30pm, then returns at 4pm.
Board the iconic Bell owned by Hornblower cruises & Events. She used to be a casino boat that used to cruise up the Charles River in Missouri. Although she was built in 1994 she has the fine details of a 19th century riverboat celebrating the elegance of that era. All-aboard at 1:30pm until she returns to the dock at 4:30pm.
All of these boats fill up fast, and if you snooze, you lose, so get your tickets in advance. Or just make a plan for next year...but honestly, if you’re landlocked you can still have an amazing Fleet Week.
Pack a Picnic
If you’re really ready to dig in, pack a picnic, and set up a perfect spread for your viewing pleasure on Chrissy Field. It will feel like the 4th of July as you will be picnicking with other super fans of Fleet Week. Not only will you have an amazing view of the Golden Gate but it’s also one of the top places to go to see the airshows.
The bottom line, there is no wrong place to experience this super fun event. You won’t be able to help yourself, even if you’re inside the VROOOOMMMMSSSSSHHHHH of the super jets will grab your attention.
And if you’re new to San Francisco, this is a perfect experience to take part in a local tradition!
To learn about Fleet Weeks official Schedule visit HERE.
For events happening at Fisherman's Wharf go HERE.