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Thanksgiving in San Francisco 2021 – Meaning, Importance, How it is Celebrated

Thanksgiving Celebrations in San Francisco 2021
Thanksgiving Day Celebrations in San Francisco 2021

Are you excited about the popular Thanksgiving in San Francisco 2021? Well, this year, we are going to celebrate this occasion on Thursday, November 25. This festival is celebrated among the people of the United States, Canada, and a few other countries around the world.

Thanksgiving is celebrated traditionally on the fourth Thursday of November, in the US. It was declared by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Except for the years 1940 and 1941, the festival was celebrated on the third Thursday of the month, as proclaimed by President Franklin Roosevelt. Canada celebrates it on the second Monday of October. 

Meaning and Importance of Celebrating the Thanksgiving Day

It is a national holiday celebrated every year to honour the “first” Thanksgiving in Americain the year 1620. It was when a small ship named “Mayflower” left from a dock in England with 102 pilgrims, in search of a new home to practice their faith. 

They reached America, which was then known as the “New World” with a promise of prosperity and a chance of owning the land.

In the next year, 1621, these colonies, along with Wampanoag Native Americans, shared an autumn harvest feast which they jointly harvested. This was the first-ever Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth, today’s Massachusetts. This was the first time when colonists and natives joined together. 

The meaning of Thanksgiving is “the act of giving thanks”. Therefore, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated to express thanks to each other, through a good dinner, spending time together with family, and lots of fun. Some write down notes and read them aloud to express how thankful they are. This day is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur. People from around the world, flock to these countries to be a part of this grand occasion.

This ceremony is of great importance as we can show our gratitude and express thanks to allwhom we miss out on for the rest of the days.

Also Read: The Best Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods in San Francisco

How is Thanksgiving Day Celebrated in San Francisco?

Thanksgiving in San Francisco is celebrated by hosting a special meal at a restaurant, or pre-ordering a boxed lunch at home to enjoy with family members. Also, people go out, with their close ones, on small tours or visit the top tourist destinations around the city.  

Here are a few things that anyone can do to enjoy with close ones on Thanksgiving Day:

Visit Top Tourist Attractions

Here are a few places you can try this year:

California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco
Indoor Rainforest in California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco (image courtesy: wikimedia.org)
  • Aquarium of the Bay: This is a family-friendly place, and you can spend time walking through tunnels within the aquarium. Enjoy observing the jellyfishes and the starfish at the Aquarium of the Bay.

  • Botanical Gardens: On the occasion of Thanksgiving, you can spend time by walking around the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park, and enjoy its mesmerizing weather.

  • Japanese Tea Garden: Take a stroll at the oldest tea garden in the United States at Golden Gate Park. 

  • A Day at Muir Woods: This destination is located in the North of San Francisco and is famous for the hundred years old redwood trees. 

  • Climb to the Twin Peaks: You can spend the holiday by climbing on the twin peaks and getting a beautiful view of the entire San Francisco Bay area. You can either climb on top of one or both the peaks.

  • Collect a Souvenir at Golden Gate Bridge: Enjoy the scenic beauty while strolling across the Golden Gate Bridge, and collect a souvenir from the Welcome Center.

  • Have a Wonderful Experience at the California Academy of Sciences: Book your tickets and make a stop at the most visited museums of San Francisco. Enjoy watching the rare white alligator, stroll across the 4-story Osher Rainforest, and take a look at the Steinhart Aquarium.

Also Read: 10 Facts About San Francisco You (Probably) Didn’t Know

Enjoy San Francisco Cruises and Tours

Enjoy San Francisco Cruises and Tours on Thanksgiving Day
Enjoy San Francisco Cruises and Tours on Thanksgiving

Enjoy taking a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, or book a ticket for Golden Gate Bridge Cruise. It starts the journey from Fisherman’s Wharf, moves towards the northern shore of San Francisco, to Golden Gate Bridge, on returning you get to see Alcatraz Island. 

Also, you can take a tour of some of San Francisco’s top attractions like Lombard Street, Painted Ladies of Alamo Square, SF Museum of Modern Art, de Young & Legion of Honor, among others.

Enjoy a Special Meal at A Restaurant

Enjoy a Special Meal at a Restaurant
Enjoy a Special Meal with Your Friends and Family on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about special meals with family and friends. Several restaurants offer indoor and outdoor dining facilities, along with home delivery of boxed lunches. While a few offer pre-fixed meals with Turkey recipes, others let you choose meals from their menu.

Also Read: 10 Cafes in San Francisco That Everybody Loves

Go Shopping at Some Popular Destinations

Go Shopping on Thanksgiving Day
Go Shopping on Thanksgiving to Some Popular Places

The best destination for shopping on Thanksgiving is at Fisherman’s Wharf. At Chinatown, you can find shops and restaurants open during the regular hours, but at Union Square, most of the shops remain closed as they prepare for Black Friday. 75% of the Shops at Pier 39 remain open on this day. Another shopping destination can be Ghirardelli Square, but you may get a few shops closed.

Enjoy Doing Fun Things on Thanksgiving

Enjoy Lake Merritt Boats in San Francisco on Thanksgiving
Enjoy Lake Merritt Boats in San Francisco (image courtesy: 510families.com)

Several fun activities are conducted around San Francisco on this day. Such as:

  • Turkey Trots: One can find several Turkey Trots at different parts of the SF Bay Area, which includes places like Silicon Valley, Marin, and Wine Country.
  • Alcatraz Spooky Night Tours – You can enjoy a night tour to the most historic prisons. Also, you can be a part of special activities that are available only at night.
  • Ice Skating: Some of the top ice skating rinks are available on this occasion. Go for a sports activity after having a good Thanksgiving meal, at Embarcadero ice skating rink, San Jose Downtown ice skating rink, among others.
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony of Union Square: Enjoy watching the large 83 foot reusable Christmas tree decorated with more than 30,000 lights and a variety of 1,100 other decorative items.

  • Urban Hiking: You can burn off some calories by taking on the challenge of completing a 5-mile urban hike within 3 hours. You can walk up the steepest hills and climb down, or stroll around the top attractions, climb Telegraph Hill and watch Coit Tower. 

  • Wine Tasting: If you want to taste the tastiest wines, then head up to Napa or Sonoma. You will find a hundred wineries around these areas.

  • Enjoy Lake Merritt Boats: Rent rowboats, kayaks, canoes, and other activities to enjoy on the lake in Oakland. This is so relaxing and you can enjoy the scenery.

Also Read: Why Business Travellers Should Visit San Francisco

There are a lot of activities to do on the Thanksgiving holiday in San Francisco. But for the 2021 celebrations, there are a few restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak around the world. A few activities may be performed with precautions, and a few others may not get permission as well.

Get a day off, book a staycation at our furnished apartments in San Francisco, and enjoy the day with your closed ones. You will never get bored on this occasion. Even though a few traditions have changed or discontinued, Thanksgiving Day is always celebrated with a lot of fun and excitement in store!

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