Ask any San Franciscan what they love most about their city, and chances are, you’ll get more than a few answers that involve spending time outdoors. While we can’t predict when the fog will dissipate or when (read: if) summer will finally arrive, we can guarantee that these outdoor event venues will provide the perfect backdrop for your next special event.
Little Marina Green | 3950 Scott Street, San Francisco
A common hang-out for locals and tourists alike, the Little Marina Green is a reservable picnic area that can accommodate both large gatherings and special functions. Frequently referred to as a “playground for adults,” both spontaneous and pre-planned events are always happening here, and it’s really no surprise — with sweeping San Francisco Bay views, including front row seats to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more quintessential San Francisco spot than this.
Keep in mind that depending on the size and scope of your event, permits may be required. Outdoor venues pose unique challenges and needs for even the most seasoned planners, so experienced event professionals can help with navigating permits, identifying power sources and assisting with event set-up. Known to be one of the sunniest spots in the city, we highly recommend the Little Marina Green for your next outdoor retreat, picnic or other corporate occasion.
Metro Events | Pier 27, San Francisco
Metro Events, proprietor of Piers 27, 29 and 35 in downtown San Francisco, hosts conferences and events set in front of gorgeous waterfront views. Their venues hug the Embarcadero and offer both indoor and outdoor spaces that are spectacularly transformed for expos, trade shows, and corporate functions. Think of each venue as a blank canvas, ready to be configured to meet your goals and vision. You can even combine venues for a sprawling indoor/outdoor space spanning up to 165,000 square feet. The opportunities for events of scale are endless.
Not only are these waterfront venues prime real estate, but working with Metro Events is a breeze. The team is eager to provide their event planning expertise, invaluable guidance and boasts a can-do attitude.
Our pro-tip: For events or conferences with a large contingent of out-of-towners, consider pairing the gorgeous downtown views at Metro Events with mobile food offerings unique to the Bay Area, creating a truly San Francisco experience for your guests.
The Presidio | Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Spanning over 1,500 acres, the Presidio of San Francisco is not only a national treasure, but a thriving outdoor recreational hub. Guests attending any event hosted in the Presidio are sure to be blown away by its stunning wooded trails, hilly overlooks and scenic vistas — it’s a true urban oasis with unbeatable views. While many picnic areas in the park are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, larger corporate events playing host to 50 or more guests are asked to reserve one of two sites on the Main Post, a sunny, plush lawn in the heart of it all.
But plan ahead — lawn reservations typically book up quickly, sometimes up to a year in advance. Fortunately, our friends at the Presidio Trust are happy to extend their hospitality and help put on events of all types and sizes. Want to give this venue a test drive? Stop by Presidio Picnic, every Sunday through October from 11am to 4pm to check out the views firsthand (for information regarding events in the Presidio, contact them here).
Golden Gate Park | Park Headquarters, 501 Stanyan Street, San Francisco
You really can’t go wrong hosting your next event among the gardens, museums, lakes and greenery of one of San Francisco’s most famous public parks. Even better, when the main thoroughfares are closed to vehicular traffic on the weekends, Golden Gate Park becomes a true pedestrian-friendly oasis in the city.
Perfect for large-scale events, the park is home to stunning venues like Marx Meadow for events up to 2,000 guests, and the Polo Fields that can host tens of thousands. And while you’ve likely heard of events being hosted in the park, you may not realize the scope of capabilities its able to offer. With proper planning and permitting, Golden Gate Park allows amplified sound, merchandise sales, and special equipment like stages or fences. Pair this with a smorgasbord of mobile food from the Bay Area’s favorite food trucks, and your special bash is sure to be talked about at many happy hours to come.
Coyote Point Park | 1701 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo
Stepping outside of the San Francisco city limits for a moment, a few miles down the peninsula, lives one of the state’s premiere public gems — Coyote Point Recreation Area. With three picnic areas featuring large lawns, sheltered pavilions and marina views, it’s the perfect outdoorsy setting for your next corporate function.
If you’re looking for more family-friendly venue , look no further— a few sites, including the Eucalyptus Picnic area, also offer built-in horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, and multiple playgrounds. Plus, Coyote Point even allows event hosts to bring in inflatable bouncy-houses from approved vendors to ensure that guests of all ages are kept entertained.
All Coyote Point picnic sites can easily be reserved through the online reservation system and are available for groups up to 150.
Once you’ve decided on the ideal venue for your next outdoor special event, keep things easy and leave the charcoal at home. Off the Grid Catering works with hundreds of delicious mobile food vendors that are ready to roll up to your next outdoor event — and handle all the complicated stuff, too. Learn more about how Off the Grid Catering can bring your next (indoor or outdoor!) event to life here.