San Francisco celebrates Fleet Week every year in October to honor our armed forces. According to Mayor Edwin M. Lee, “San Francisco’s Fleet Week is the only event in our country that combines the traditional air show and parade of ships with critical disaster response and emergency preparedness training.” (See the full schedule posted at the bottom of this page.)
Fleet Week features a series of events open to the public all over the city. Highlights include the Navy Blue Angels survey flights and a Parade of Navy ships, band concerts, ship tours, a veterans art show, MV-22 Osprey aviation demonstrations, and Bark at the Park, the dog demonstrations in Duboce Park.
We’re especially looking forward to the “Off The Grid Fleet Fest” at Pier 80, featuring food trucks, live music, art and military displays on the waterfront, with four ships from the United States Navy and Coast Guard tied up pier-side. Expect some 900 sailors and Coasties and even more locals piling into the Dogpatch neighborhood for this one.
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ Air Show takes place over three consecutive days and will draw more than a million visitors to the city. One of the most popular activities for visitors is to go aboard the ships docked along the Embarcadero — the carriers, cruisers and destroyers. During the Salute to our Sea Services, more than 2,300 U.S. Marines and Sailors join San Francisco-based U.S. Coast Guard. Six active naval vessels will dock along the Port of San Francisco at SF Piers 15/17, 30/32 and 80, including four U.S. Navy ships. And The Humanitarian Village is also worth a look for the interactive disaster response demonstrations.
Know Before You Go
WHAT: San Francisco Fleet Week — FREE viewing and activities. More info at fleetweek.us (not including deals which are offered by the other sources listed below.)
WHERE: Various San Francisco Bay Locations. Cruises: Red and White Fleet Boat, Pier 43 1/2, Taylor Street & The Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94133.
WHEN: Annually in October (Follow the link above to official website for schedule updates.)
DEALS: While there are no specific deals to report at this time, I can suggest looking into the San Francisco Bay cruise deals. Seeing the ships and Blue Angeles from aboard one of these cruises is a savvy way to enjoy the event.
SAVVY TIPS: Whatever you do, go early and plan ahead. Wear closed-toe shoes for the ship’s tours. And make sure you know where the ship you want to visit is docked (from past experience, they’re not always easy to locate).