If you are keen to watch the fireworks and usher in the new year under an open hilltop, there are many options for you. We understand why many of you might want to celebrate with thousands of fellow revelers down in the Embarcadero. It’s a tradition that works for almost anyone who doesn’t mind walking a little and braving the cold. Here’s a quick description:
Fireworks from The Embarcadero – Mission to Folsom
The fireworks usually synced to music and speakers will be set up and down the Embarcadero. The fireworks barges are out in the bay, so most spots along the Embarcadero will offer a decent view. The best spots are south of the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero between Mission and Folsom Street. Note: Standing in front of the Ferry Building is not a good place to view the fireworks as the building itself will block your view.
But there will be plenty of other people who will be partying with friends who want to pop out for a while to see the fireworks before heading back indoors to continue the party.
As a rule, no matter where you go, we suggest you get to your spot early and bundle up! Be respectful of others and pack out your trash (bottles). The light show, aka fireworks, start at midnight.
Here are a few hilltops that will provide amazing views as you ring in the new year.
Ina Coolbrith Park is a great little green area above it all where you can take a bottle of wine and take in the visuals below.
A trip up Bernal Hill will get you to huge open area where you’ll be able to take a blanket and your favorite sippy cup to take in the splendor below.
The trail along the top of Dolores Park at 20th & Church Streets is a great, grassy area to plop down a blanket and view the fireworks – yeah, another plop – but after a few drinks, plopping is better than dropping.
These hills and open area vantage points where you’ll have a little more space to possibly plop down a folding chair or blanket and take in the fireworks.
It’ll be crowded up here but the views are amazing if you get a good spot.
Anywhere along 18th or 19th Street in Potrero Hill, at an intersection offers great views of downtown, but on 19th Street, from Arkansas to DeHaro there’s an open area above the Internation Studies Academy that will offer unobstructed views.
And then, last but definitely not least, there’s Treasure Island. It’s a little more difficult to get here, but if you can, it’s an amazing place to view the fireworks. The skyline behind the show is an unparalleled backdrop; about as perfect as you can get. If you’re more adventurous head up to Yerba Buena Island, the hill above the freeway on Treasure Island, and view the fireworks from the cliffs.