The History of Fleet Week
Fleet Week is a longstanding celebration in the United States, where active military ships that have recently completed overseas deployments visit major cities for a week of festivities and community engagement. During this time, the crews of these vessels are granted leave to explore the host city and enjoy its attractions.
San Francisco Fleet Week (SFFW) traces its roots back to 1981 when then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein led the nation in applauding America’s sea services. Since then, this annual event has evolved into a community-binding experience for the city.
A Front Row Seat
The Fleet Week watch party is one of many beloved owner events that bring our community together. Each year, residents gather at The Bristol to enjoy light bites, cocktails, and unrivaled views. With its waterfront location and welcoming atmosphere, Yerba Buena Island provides a front-row seat to the Parade of Ships as they pass beneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Above, the skies are filled with jaw-dropping aerial displays, from thunderous jet formations to graceful maneuvers performed by the world-renowned U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
For visitors, Treasure Island offers a historic setting to catch the show, having served as a former US Navy intelligence post and naval installation. While there, stop for a coffee at Aracely Cafe or venture to the Treasure Island Museum, where you can explore the island’s detailed history. From there, a quick ~10-minute ferry ride transports you downtown, where you can explore Fort Mason. This historic site once served as a disembarkation point for troops en route to the Pacific. Today, it thrives as a cultural hub, teeming with theaters, museums, and shops. At Yerba Buena Island, you’re not just observing the city’s culture—you’re immersed in it and always moments away from discovering more.