The Best Bay Area Fall 2017 Events

The Best Bay Area Fall 2017 Events
The annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass free music festival draws more than 700,000 people to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Just because summer is ending doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do across the Bay Area and the Lake Tahoe region. We’ve curated a list of the many festivals and events recommended by our local offices. Have a great autumn!

Contra Costa County/Tri-Valley

Lafayette Art & Wine Festival, Lafayette

Held each year on the third weekend in September (Sept. 16 and 17), more than 100,000 visitors attend this festival for food from top local restaurants, wine, microbrews, and arts and crafts. Music, entertainment, a Kids’ Zone, and the Local Artists Alley … there is something for everyone at this festival!

Bay Area Pet Fair, Pleasanton

On Sept. 16 and 17, the Pet Food Express Bay Area Pet Fair will feature more than 80 California pet-rescue organizations and shelters in attendance, with over 1,000 adoptable dogs, cats, and small animals. Described as an “opportunity to educate people about the importance of rescue and adoption, find hundreds of homeless pets forever homes and provide a fun weekend of activities for the whole family,” it sounds like a worthy event to us!

Fall Craft Festival, Danville 

The popular Fall Crafts Festival on Oct. 21 and 22 features arts and crafts from more than 200 artisans, along with food, music, and entertainment. Children can participate in a Halloween parade on Saturday morning. The Danville Fall Crafts Festival is free and open to the public.

Goodguys 28th Autumn Get-Together, Pleasanton

The Goodguys 28th Autumn Get-Together happens on Nov. 11 and 12 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Check out 2,500 hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars, and trucks. Plus, you’ll find an indoor car show, custom bicycle exhibits, and more than 100 vendor exhibits. Start your engines!

East Bay/Alameda County

Eat Real Festival, Oakland

On Sept. 22-24 at Jack London Square, get ready to experience artisan food, street food, craft beers, local wines, and specialty cocktails. “At the Eat Real Festival, participants learn where food comes from, who grows it, and how to make it” says the festival’s official website. The festival is free, and all street food costs $10 or less.

Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival, Oakland

The 22nd annual Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival happens on Sept. 23 and 24 at Lake Merritt. Forty-foot dragon boats will race to the beat of Chinese drums, plus there will be spectacular cultural performances, delicious food, vendors, and kid-friendly activities!

The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, Berkeley

Experience Berkeley Uncharted on Oct. 27 and 28. Berkeleyside, the award-winning, independent local news website, founded Uncharted in 2013 to feature a diverse mix of speakers and shared ideas. Purchase tickets on the official website.

Annual Classic Car Show, Alameda

The Downtown Alameda Classic Car Show takes place in Alameda on Oct. 14. Here you will find 400-plus older cars and trucks, and, of course, classic automobiles.

Marin County

Movement and Reflection Art Exhibit, Sausalito

Sue Gonzalez is a San Francisco Art Institute graduate and Point Reyes Station resident who paints images of water inspired by Tomales Bay. Come see her work at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito from Aug. 8 to Sept. 23.

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, Mill Valley

Come see entertainment by fabulous Bay Area performers at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. The fun takes place on Sept. 16-17 in Old Mill Park, and general-admission tickets are $10 ($5 for students and seniors and free for kids under 12). Proceeds benefit the Emerging Artist Scholarship Fund. “The entertainment on our main stage, situated in a lovely grove of redwoods, is to enhance the wonderful experience of the art event itself,” says the festival’s official website. Sounds divine!

Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, San Rafael, Larkspur, and Corte Madera

From Oct. 5-15, enjoy this internationally acclaimed cinema event that presents new films from around the world. Each year, the festival welcomes more than 200 filmmakers from all over the globe. The festival occupies several venues in southern Marin County. Check the official website for more information about the venues, films, and tickets:

Napa County

Napa Valley Museum, Yountville

From Sept. 2 through Nov. 12, recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, be sure to catch The Smithsonian Presents Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964. This bilingual touring exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute provides rich insight into Mexican-American history.

Napa Valley Aloha Festival, Napa Valley

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, The Napa Valley Aloha Festival returns on Sept. 16-17. The  free event “brings the Aloha Spirit to the heart of the Napa Valley,” with performances, shopping, cultural demonstration and workshops, and more.

Napa Live, Downtown Napa

On Sunday, Oct. 1, visit downtown Napa’s free music crawl, featuring 40 bands at 30 locations. From noon to 6 p.m., enjoy classic classic rock, blues, bluegrass, and more. Visit its website for more information.

St. Helena Harvest Festival, St. Helena

For 31 years, the Harvest Festival has been a popular fall event for attendees of all ages. This year, the Harvest Festival takes place on Oct. 21, starting with a Fun Run, followed by a Pet Parade, and ending with the festival itself, which features live music, wine, food, beer, and arts and crafts.

San Francisco

Oktoberfest by the Bay, San Francisco

On Sept. 22-24, head to San Francisco’s Pier 48 for Oktoberfest by the Bay. This annual Munich tradition features German beer, food, music, and more. You can either buy your tickets online in advance or get them at the door.

Autumn Moon Festival, San Francisco

Taking place on Sept. 30 through Oct. 1, you’ll find dragon parades, food, cultural events, and children’s activities at the San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival. The Autumn Moon Festival takes place on historic Grant Avenue between California and Broadway streets.

Fleet Week, San Francisco

From Oct. 2-9, join the festivities in the city centered around Fleet Week. From air shows to the parade of ships, check out the official website for the event schedule and ticket information.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, San Francisco

“Three days of treating your ears,” says the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass website, and we’d agree with that statement. From Oct. 6-8, this free live-music festival in Golden Gate Park will feature more than 90 well-known acts on seven stages. The lineup will be announced closer to the event date; head over to the official website to learn more about this wildly popular event.

Sonoma County/Sonoma Valley

Sonoma Valley Uncorked, Sonoma

On Sept. 17, come taste 40 premium homemade wines at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall. Tickets range from $25-$40 and can be purchased here. The second annual Sonoma Valley Uncorked is a fundraising event benefitting the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and the Kiwanis Club of Sonoma Plaza.

Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, Sonoma

The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival began in 1897 and celebrates Sonoma’s culture, music, food, and wine, and from Sept. 22-24, the tradition continues. Festivities kick off with a costume contest at the Opening Night Gala in the historic Sonoma Barracks. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit many Sonoma nonprofit organizations and community projects.

Tolay Park Fall Festival, Petaluma

The Tolay Fall Festival offers two weekends of nature-based fun, taking place on Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22 at Tolay Lake Regional Park, southeast of Petaluma. From exploring birds and tide-pool animals to a hayride to a pumpkin patch, everyone will enjoy the educational, hands-on activities. Admission is $5 for adults and teenagers and $3 for kids 12 and younger.

Silicon Valley

Mountain View Art & Wine Festival, Mountain View

“A festival like no other” happens on Sept. 9-10 in downtown Mountain View. A fantastic music lineup, art, food, drink, the latest in organic and healthy products, and kids’ activities makes this festival an all-around good time for the whole family.

Silicon Valley Fall Festival, Cupertino

The 2017 Silicon Valley Fall Festival takes place at Memorial Park on Saturday, Sept. 9 and features games, education, music, entertainment, and food. This event is free, and so is parking at De Anza College.

San Mateo Bacon & Brew Festival, San Mateo

On Sept. 23 at the San Mateo Event Center, indulge in more than 20 varieties of beer and delicious bacon-themed foods. Besides bacon, the festival will feature live music, vendors, and more. Did we mention there would be bacon?

San Carlos Art & Wine Faire, San Carlos

For 27 years, the San Carlos Art & Wine Faire has provided the Peninsula with activities, entertainment, and of course, wine. This year is no different, and on Oct. 7-8, come enjoy fabulous food and drinks, awesome art, local musicians, and a car show. Bonus: The Caltrain stop is right across the street.

Lake Tahoe

Autumn Food & Wine Festival, Northstar Village

Lake Tahoe’s most prestigious food, wine, beer, and spirits festival takes place in the beautiful outdoors of Northstar California Resort on Sept. 8-10. Here you will find cooking demonstrations, food and wine seminars, and a culinary competition. Delicious! 

Oktoberfest, Squaw Valley

The annual Ocktoberfest transforms Squaw Valley into a miniature Bavaria on Sept. 23. Enjoy German beer and food, Bavarian music, and Oktoberfest games. The $20 entry fee includes a mug and two beer tickets. All proceeds from beer sales benefit the High Sierra Lacrosse Foundation.

Wine, Walk & Shop, Truckee

In Truckee’s Historic District on Oct. 7, nearly 1,000 local and visiting participants will sip wine and sample local food. Since 2003, the Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop has been regarded as one of the community’s leading annual events, and over the past 14 years, more than $26,000 from the event has been donated to local nonprofit organizations.

(Photo: iStock/Joe_Potato)

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