Locals and visitors alike look forward to the amazing fireworks display that the city of San Francisco puts on every New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of thousands of people come out to witness this annual event that starts at 11:59 p.m. and runs for about half an hour. It’s certainly a wonderfully festive way to ring in the New Year.

As with most affairs that attract huge crowds, you need to strategize so that you don’t end up spending the entire time craning your neck and seeing nothing but obstructions to your view. Planning ahead will ensure that you get to optimize the special experience of watching the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in San Francisco.

If this is your first time to see the fireworks or if you’re not familiar with the city, you need to clue in on the best places to enjoy the show. You have several options:

  • Waterfront – You have to realize that everything is happening in the eastern side of the city along the waterfront. The fireworks will be shooting up from a boat in the water located between the Ferry Building and the SF Bay Bridge. If you intend to be outside, the best spot would be the sidewalks to the south of the Ferry Building. Make sure you’re along the waterfront and not the street. While you’ll be able to see most of the fireworks from the street, your view would be blocked by the building. To be comfier, you can bring your own seats or grab some bench space. A little farther away from the Ferry Building is Rincon Park where you can stake your claim on a patch of grass, spread a blanket on it, and still have an unobstructed view of the show.
  • Restaurants-Dining– There are several restaurants that offer prime view of the display. They’ll let their diners stay for the show, but you can expect them to offer a prix fix menu for the evening. It’s up to you to decide on the fare you prefer. The most common options are Waterbar (seafood), Epic Roasthouse (steak), Chaya (French/Asian Fusion), and Sens (Mediterranean). All of these are on Embarcadero. It goes without saying that you have to book insanely early to get a table for New Year’s Eve.
  • Cruise – This would be a bit expensive, of course, but if budget is not an issue, this would offer an incredible viewing experience. They really try to make it worth your money though with dinner, drinks and entertainment aboard.
  • Treasure Island – If you don’t mind driving and being a bit farther away from all the action, the western side of the island is also a good place to catch the show.

You don’t have to be staying in SF to include the fireworks in your itinerary. If you’re going to be anywhere near San Francisco, like Berkeley, this is something that you shouldn’t miss. It’s definitely an important part of most Berkeley holidays. If you’re planning a last minute trip to catch the fireworks display, consider comfort, convenience, and cookies on your next trip to the Bay Area. We look forward to having you at the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina hotel as we welcome the New Year!

For more information and attractions in an around Berkeley be sure to visit our Berkeley Area Attractions page. Book your stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina and enjoy Berkeley’s Arts, Culture and Attractions this Holiday Season!