- By Kevin
- On Jul 13, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
The best time to visit San Francisco is from September to November. Believe it or not, fall offers some of the city's warmest temperatures year-round, not to mention fewer crowds than summer. Spring is another good time to visit thanks to its mild temperatures and lack of rain (compared to other parts of California). The Golden Gate City witnesses a surge in tourism during the summer as people head west in search of sun, sand and surf. However, the fluctuating climate can quickly trounce a day at the beach. Those looking for the perfect seaside getaway should consider a trip to Los Angeles where the sunshine lasts year-round. Meanwhile, winter in San Francisco draws bargain-hunters with the promise of lower hotel rates and fewer people. If you decide to travel in the wintertime, protect yourself from the chilly temperatures with plenty of layers.
Best Months to Visit
You can beat the tourist rush by visiting San Francisco in the spring when the weather is mild and hotel prices have yet to rise. Average high temperatures in the mid-60s will certainly keep you from diving into the Pacific, but you shouldn't have any limitations wandering the city on foot.
St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival (March)
San Francisco International Film Festival (April-May)
International Beer Festival (April)
Carnaval San Francisco (May)
Bay to Breakers (May)
Summer marks the peak of tourism in the Bay Area: People from all over the country are drawn by the hope for nice weather and the promise of summertime festivities. Visitors will find, however, that average summer temperatures in San Francisco hover in the high 60s and are often accompanied by brisk sea winds and chilly, damp fog. Though the city does come alive with numerous fairs and special events. Lodging-wise, all you budget-minded travelers may be deterred by rising room rates. Book your hotel reservations months in advance to ensure availability and save some cash.
North Beach Festival (June)
San Francisco Pride (June)
Fillmore Street Jazz Festival (July)
The San Francisco Marathon (July)
Outside Lands Music Festival (August)
Fall marks a sweet spot for San Francisco tourism. Believe it or not, the weather is often warmer now than it is in the summer. Average temperatures rest in the low 70s, and consistently sunny skies inspire San Franciscans and tourists alike to head to the beach. But don't underestimate those bayside breezes. You'll want to pack a few layers just in case.
Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival (September)
San Francisco Fringe Festival (September)
Treasure Island Music Festival (October)
Castro Street Fair (October)
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (October)
If you don't mind the chilly winds, you'll find that winter is a great time to save on a San Francisco vacation. During the cooler months, hotels slash their rates, providing some pretty good deals to their clientele (but you should still book a few weeks in advance for the best rooms and prices). Also, make sure to bring some warmer clothes. Average temperatures rest in the high 50s, but the city's ever-present fog and nippy gusts can make it seem much colder. This is also the time of year where the Bay Area experiences the most rain, so make sure to bring an umbrella.
SF Sketchfest Comedy Festival (January)
Noise Pop (February)