Bored of SF? … try an event within a short public transit ride

Sometimes you can get a lil’ stir crazy within the borders of our 7×7 wonderland. I know folks that literally spent years in this town without ever leaving. Don’t let it happen to you.

Here are quite a few cultural events going on this extended weekend nearby but out of town that you can get to easy, even if you don’t have a car.

These events range from great live concerts, Scottish Games or a woman’s surf competitions…

Whether down towards San Jose, in the East Bay or up in Marin, a quick ferry ride bus hop or train ride could put you near waterfront fireworks, outdoor musical entertainment ranging from interesting local bands & even headliners like Calexico, Solomon Burke, Angie Stone, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, The Lovemakers, etc.

More info on these events and others after the jump…

San Jose is served by a Cal Train station in the heart of it’s reviatlized downtown, and one of the big events of the year for the past 30 years is the free Tapestry Arts Festival, the 31st annual is being held this weekend.

. The Fest features dozens of artists & entertainment that includes classical & gypsy guitar, local blues, latin and swing flavored acts.

On Sun Sept 3rd, a 110 Sam-Trans bus out of Daly City Bart will get you to Linda Mar beach in the lil’ fogtown known as Pacifica, where the 4th annual NORCAL WOMEN’S SURF FEST

Another peninsula event with easy BART, SamTrans & Cal Train access is the free Millbrae Art & Wine Festival… This penisula event runs up Broadway Sat & Sun Sept 2 & 3rd and features over 250 artisans, 70’s rockers Pablo Cruise, and a 101 foot chinese dragon dance.

In the East Bay, the tree ringed Pioneer Amphiteater on Hayward’s Cal Sate East Bay campus hosts a great blues bill. Legendary performers like Rev. Solomon Burke, Clarence Carter & Bobby Blue Bland are on the bill. Get the full skinny via

The Caledonian Club’s Scottish Games in Pleasanton are known internationally, and for kilt wearing bagpipe blowing he-men are a must on the social calendar. A Bart train to Pleasanton and a short bus or cab ride into to downtown will get you into the heart of the Alameda County Fairgrounds where 65,000 fans are expected each day for the 141st Annual event…

Oakland’s Art & Soul Festival is going on for three days from Sept 2nd – 4th, and is literally just up stairs from the downtown BART stop at 12th/14th St… The admission fee is only $5 and you can catch a number of acts each day on multiple stages. The headliners range from Rickie Lee Jones to indie faves Calexico to pop punkers New Found Glory. Ironically or not, the entertainment bill seems to feature about as little “soul” as many jazz fests feature jazz these days, but a Temptations style revue is on the bill for 4:30pm Sunday. Overall it looks like a well rounded multicultural gumbo of entertainment that could please a variety of folks.

Friday night Berkeley’s unique non profit dance hall Ashkenaz hosts international reggae superstars Junior Reid, as well as Everton Blender and the Reggae Angels. Pickup a 72 AC Transit bus from the same downtown 14th St Oakland Bart stop and yer basically there and doing it East Bay style.

Up in Marin, a quick ferry ride to Sausalito, or bus hop to San Anselmo or Novato could lead you to waterfront fireworks, and outdoor musical entertainment ranging from local bands & headliners like Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, The Lovemakers, and Ten Years After etc.

The Sausalito Art Festival is a big deal in the tiny town at the bottom of the hills by the waterfront. This year everyone from Van Morrison’s daughter Shana to surf guitar legend Dick Dale are making noise. For your $20 ticket you can see hundreds of artists on display, plus your fill of flava from yesteryear like Eddie Money, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Elvin Bishop and more…

On Sept 3rd In Marin, Creek Park in San Anselmo hosts it’s final free concert of the summer with The Sons of Emperor Norton, an oldies group with strong rockabilly influence. Local band Honey Dust also plays. In the center of town, Creek Park is located at the Hub Intersection on the 400 block of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Take a Golden Gate Transit bus #80 and transfer to a 29 in San Rafael.

In Novato, The 10th Annual Labor Day at the Lake happens from 5-9pm Sunday, September 4. There will be fireworks, and a concert by the R&B Allstars, a local rhythm and blues band at Stafford Lake Park. Lots of children’s activities included. Bring a picnic or purchase food. Free parking and shuttle service from the marked lot on Novato Boulevard, near the Golf Course exit or $10 at the park.

For the heavy prog metal rocker set too stoned to drive, BART provides easy access to Tool who headlines The Oakland Arena on Sept 3rd.

Check out the full three day Oakland Art & Soul Festival lineup including Angie Stone, Goapele, Lydia Pense & Coldblood and many more at

Millbrae’s Art & Wine Festival has it’s own website at

explore all your regional public transit options with the trip planner at

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