Best Times to Visit San Francisco in 2023 – Travelling Tips

5. Best Times to Visit San Francisco1
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Planning will be easy once you have decided what you want to do in San Francisco. Let’s look at the ideal time to travel to San Francisco.

The summer months are the ideal time to visit San Francisco because the weather is pleasant and most tourist attractions are open. Depending on the activities you want to do while in the big city, fall and spring can also be good times to travel.

When deciding when is the best time to visit San Francisco, you must take a number of things into account. Being unfamiliar with the city in Northern California makes the decision difficult, but as a local of California, I’m here to assist.

When is the Best Time to Visit San Francisco

The summer months of June through September are typically the driest in San Francisco. Although the city will be crowded during the city’s busiest travel season, the summer is also the best time to visit San Francisco’s top tourist attractions while the weather is dry.

San Francisco is one of the most scenic cities in California, but when you visit can greatly influence your experience. The best time to travel to San Francisco is determined by the weather, your financial situation, seasonal activities, and the busiest times of the year. Let’s break it down.

San Francisco’s Weather

San Francisco experiences a Mediterranean warm-summer climate with wet, mild winters and dry summers. The cool Pacific Ocean currents on the west and the water of San Francisco Bay to the north and east have a significant impact on the city’s weather. Due to the reduction in seasonal temperature variation, temperature swings are reduced and the climate is mild all year long.

As a result, the year’s warmest months are September, when the city experiences the so-called “Indian Summer” — an unseasonably warm, dry weather that happens during autumn in some places in the northern hemisphere.

When to Visit San Francisco for Good Weather

The driest months in San Francisco are typically from June to September. If you want to avoid unexpected and unpleasant rain showers, this is the best time to visit the city. Nighttime lows are typically around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average daily high of 76 degrees.

As autumn and winter approach, temperatures tend to steadily drop and can occasionally dip into the 30s. Traveling during this time of year can be uncomfortable, and you almost certainly won’t ever leave your hotel without at least two or three coats. When visiting San Francisco in the late fall, winter, or early spring, be prepared to dress in layers.

In my opinion, the best months to visit San Francisco are June and September. Your summer will be more pleasant and less crowded if you go there because of the warmer weather and potential for ongoing school activities.

When to Visit San Francisco on a Budget

If you’re looking to visit San Francisco on a budget, then you will want to visit the city in the off-shoulder months of The most expensive time of year in San Francisco is between October and April, when hotel rates and tour costs typically double.

By traveling to San Francisco in September through October or May through June, you can save money and still enjoy the best weather. The best bargains can be found in the winter if saving money is your top priority.

Find indoor activities to keep you busy if you’re visiting San Francisco in the winter. In the chilly winter months, museums and eateries with fireplaces and hot cocoa will be your friend.

The Best Time to Visit San Francisco for Avoiding Crowds

In San Francisco, there are about 18,000 people living per square mile. The city will always seem crowded despite having only about 900,000 people living there, and this will be especially true during the summer when the number of visitors triples.

Visit San Francisco in the colder seasons of late fall, winter, and early spring to avoid crowded restaurants and long waits at attractions.

Events like the Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown are among the yearly San Francisco occasions that draw sizable crowds. Find out when major San Francisco events are taking place and avoid traveling then if you want to avoid crowds.

Where to Rent a Car: For an unrestricted exploration of San Francisco, you should rent a car. I recommend using Discover Cars. Depending on the time of year you visit San Francisco, they will get you set up with the appropriate vehicle.

The Best Time to Visit San Francisco for Families and Kids

The city has the most family-friendly attractions between June and September if you’re bringing kids along. Throughout San Francisco in the summer, there are numerous family-friendly events.

Even though many kid-friendly exhibits and attractions are open all year round, your child might not be in the best mood if you take them whale-watching in the bay in the subzero temperatures.

In the summer, children can find their favorite animals at the San Francisco Zoo while families can enjoy sunny picnics in Golden Gate Park. These activities are some of the best things to do in California.

Another enjoyable outdoor activity for families in the summer is to stroll through Fisherman’s Wharf and take in the sight of the blubbery sea lions serenading onlookers.

The Best Time to Visit San Francisco for Activities & Events

Throughout the year, San Francisco hosts a number of lively events that take place all over the city. So every season is a good bet when it comes to amazing things to do in the city.

San Francisco observes Cinco de Mayo in May, as well as the spectacular Cherry Blossom Festival, both of which take place in the spring. There is also St. Mary’s of San Francisco in Marche. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade, the largest Irish celebration on the West Coast.

The busy event calendar in San Francisco is best utilized in the summer. The Haight Ashbury Street Fair, North Beach Festival, Union Street Music Festival, SF Jazz Festival, and LGBTQ Pride Weekend are some of the best festivals that take place between June and August.

As springtime approaches, beautiful weather and a wide range of exciting experiences are on the horizon. Due to the weather, now is a fantastic time to see San Francisco’s beaches and the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The Folsom Street Fair, the biggest leather event in the world, the San Francisco Fringe Festival, and Día de Los Muertos are just a few of the springtime festivals that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Winter can be a great time to visit San Francisco, despite the chilly temperatures and frequent rain. Travelers can awe at all the stunning Christmas displays around the town’s Union Square Ice Rink during that time of year, when the city glitters with holiday lights and events.

5. Best Times to Visit San Francisco2

When to Visit San Francisco for Sightseeing

The best time to go sightseeing in San Francisco is in the fall just before temperatures start to drop significantly. The summer months may have the best weather and the most tourists, but the best time to go sightseeing is in the fall.

There are tons of cool things to see in San Francisco at this time. It will be simple to navigate the city on foot thanks to the predicted light rain. Most of the San Francisco sightseeing takes place outdoors, so if you visit in the rainy months of winter and spring, be prepared to bring an umbrella or a rain poncho.

San Francisco Travel Seasons


  • Golden Gate Jazz Festival – Every music enthusiast in San Francisco comes out during the summer. The Golden Gate Jazz Festival is the ideal three-day weekend event for unwinding indoors away from the hot summer crowds. Thousands of jazz fans attend the performances at this SF Jazz Festival in late July.
  • Fireworks Over the Bay – San Francisco’s Fourth of July festivities are delightful. Before the evening’s fireworks display over the bay, spend the day relaxing on the beach or at a friend’s house for a barbecue. The San Francisco fireworks display is best enjoyed from a rooftop bar or up close and personal at Fisherman’s Wharf, usually around 9 or 10 p.m.
  • Alameda County Fair – The 270-acre Alameda County Fair, one of the largest in Northern California, is located less than an hour outside of San Francisco. During the summer months of June and July, groups of friends and families swarm to the fair in an effort to ride thrilling, reminiscence-inducing rides, eat delectable fair fare, and win carnival prizes.
  • Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival – One of the most well-known music festivals in California, aside from Coachella, is Outside Lands. This yearly event, which is the biggest independently owned music festival in the country, takes place in Golden Gate Park. Catch your favorite independent musicians at the festival every August for a trip to San Francisco you won’t soon forget.


  • Halloween Pub Crawl – Around Halloween, San Francisco hosts its largest pub crawl. On the city’s pub crawl, a spooky group of dressed-up adults stops at more than 50 bars. Those who sign up for the official pub crawl receive transportation and additional discounts on cheap beer and cocktails. Halloween events are held throughout the festive city of San Francisco for both locals and tourists.
  • How Weird Street Faire – Over the course of seven blocks in October, nine music stages will be set up, along with international food and artisan vendors. Known as the “longest running EDM festival of the West Coast,” dance the afternoon and evening away with San Francisco locals. This festival officially helps San Francisco “stay wild” and is entertaining for all.
  • Cheese Plus 18th Annual Fall Harvest Artisan Food Festival – The Bay Area’s best flavors are featured at this outdoor tasting event. San Franciscans gather for this delicious occasion every fall. The Polk Street location of the food festival is open to everyone. Artisanal cheeses, wines, charcuterie, pasta, flowers, and other treats are available to participants.


  • Light Boat Parade – Each December, the holiday lights on the boats at Fisherman’s Wharf illuminate the winter sky. More than 60 boats parade along the wharf area’s coastline while wearing their best attire for the delighted holiday enthusiasts. Since 1994, San Franciscans and tourists alike have enjoyed free admission to this kid- and family-friendly parade.
  • The Colors of Christmas – The city’s holiday season gets underway with this performance by the San Francisco Symphony. Experience a night of legendary performers at Davies Symphony Hall singing holiday favorites. To be able to accommodate people from various economic backgrounds, the December music performance has reasonable ticket prices. Starting at $18, the cheapest tickets are priced.
  • Union Square Ice Skating – Visit San Francisco’s Union Square ice rink to skate through the holidays. Hundreds, if not thousands, of happy skaters frequent the ice rink every day from early November until late January because families and couples adore this Christmastime activity in the big city. The 60-minute lessons that are part of the skating fee are also available to novice skaters.


  • Art Market – Every April, the city’s Fort Mason Center hosts a modern art fair. View artwork from more than 80 local and international galleries. Go to the San Francisco Art Market prepared to buy one-of-a-kind items because it’s usually open for a month in the spring.
  • Cherry Blossom Festival – Participate in the largest Cherry Blossom Festival on the West Coast and honor Japanese culture by admiring the trees’ soft pink blossoms. Over 220,000 people marvel at the stunning cherry blossom display during this free event that is open to the public. The festival features traditional dancers and parade floats in addition to delicious traditional Japanese food and gorgeous newly sprouted flowers.
  • International Beer Festival – Participating in the International Beer Festival in San Francisco will assist in donating money to the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School. Although general admission tickets for the event range in price from $75 to $150, they come with endless beer and food samples from top-notch vendors.
  • San Francisco Giants game – When the San Francisco Giants begin their season in the spring, you can participate in local San Francisco sports culture. The biggest supporters of the team turn out for the opening day festivities at Oracle Park, where there is quite a spectacle, to display their enthusiasm with face paint, tailgating, and loud cheering.

San Francisco Weather and Climate

San Francisco has a Mediterranean-like climate. The summers and winters in the city are typically warm and dry and chilly and rainy. Expect San Francisco to have a typical four-season climate, and be prepared for an unexpected downpour at any time of the year.

San Francisco experiences average temperatures and rarely rises above 83°For below 39°F, which denotes that conditions are generally agreeable in San Francisco. The best weather for exploring San Francisco and taking enjoyable tourist excursions is from late June to early October.

If you want to go sightseeing, keep in mind that San Francisco gets 25 inches of rain on average annually. Wildfires can occur at any time of the year due to the low humidity and other factors.

The weather in San Francisco is generally predictable and won’t present any major surprises. The city is one of the most favored places in California but it’s important that you visit during good weather.

Tips for Visiting San Francisco

Use Public Transportation

If you intend to travel the surrounding area, it might be a good idea to rent a car, but you won’t have any trouble getting around if you use San Francisco’s public transportation.

The BART subway is an incredibly dependable way to get around San Francisco, and the public bus system is fairly simple to use. The BART system allows you to travel anywhere in the city, but before boarding the train, buy a Clipper Card or download the Clipper app.

Additionally, using the city’s shared ride services and public taxis won’t be a problem for you.

Dress in Layers

Summers in San Francisco can be chilly when the sun is obscured by clouds. The best way to prepare for unforeseen weather is by layering your clothing.

In this city in Northern California, the winter brings cold weather. During the day, a city may be warm if the sun is shining, but in the early evening, chilly winds will quickly replace the clear skies.

By layering up throughout the year, you can prepare for any weather San Francisco may bring.

Check Out the Ferry Building Marketplace

In San Francisco, the Ferry Building Marketplace is a less frequented location. The market, which is a popular place to find artisan food and local craft beer, is overshadowed by the nearby Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.

The Ferry Building Marketplace is among the best places in San Francisco to find fresh seafood because there are fewer tourists here than at nearby tourist attractions.

Inside the market, there are also special occasions like tea festivals and pop-up craft-making sessions for the holidays.

Hike to Twin Peaks

Travel by foot to one of San Francisco’s best vantage points. The 922-foot summits of The Twin Peaks offer 360-degree views of the Bay Area. You can use the quick, 2.1-mile roundtrip hike to work off your substantial San Francisco lunch.

This hike can typically be done year-round depending on the weather in San Francisco, but the majority of hikers prefer the warmer, non-rainy months.


What is the Best Time for Visiting San Francisco?

The best month to visit San Francisco is September. This is when the city experiences the “Indian Summer”, unseasonably warm weather that happens during autumn in some places in the northern hemisphere. Thus, from early November until September is the best time to visit San Francisco if you want to enjoy clear skies, less fog, mild temperatures, and dry days.

Is February a Good Time to Visit San Francisco

San Francisco in February is a wonderful time to visit. Sporting events, concerts, plays, and festivals are just a few of the enjoyable things you can do. Along with these options, you can enjoy the SF Ballet, top attractions, and Valentine’s Day indulgence.

Is March a Good Time to Visit San Francisco

March is an excellent time to visit San Francisco, with smaller crowds than in summer. It’s also a great time to visit before the summertime fog arrives. Spring break typically occurs in March for many schools. San Francisco is a good option if you want to travel during that time and stay away from the crowds.

When is the Best Time to Visit San Francisco and Napa Valley

The best time to visit Napa is August through October or March through May. The region’s harvest season, which runs from August through October, coincides with Napa’s busiest travel period. Expect crowds and high prices for just about everything during this busy time, especially for lodging.

When is the Cheapest Time to Visit San Francisco

If you go in December or January (avoiding the Rates will be 15% less during the Christmas holiday week. June through August mark the peak travel period for airfare. January is the most affordable month to travel to San Francisco. Plan your trip for the spring for the best deal on low costs and nice weather.

What is the Hottest Month in San Francisco?

With an average high of 23°C, September is the hottest month of the year in San Francisco.

Why is San Francisco Foggy?

A low-pressure area develops when hot air rises away from the city. This area draws cold, wet air from the Pacific Ocean, adding moisture to the atmosphere and resulting in fog.

What is the Cheapest Month to Visit San Francisco?

The cheapest month to travel to San Francisco when taking flight and lodging costs into account, is January.

Is May a Good Time to Visit San Francisco

May. Continuing the warm weather from April with clear skies it’s a great time to visit, although the fog does tend to roll in for days at a time. The Bay To Breakers festival is one of the best to go to if you really want to experience San Francisco’s culture.

Is July a Good Month to Visit San Francisco?

The busy summer travel season in San Francisco runs from June through August. Because of this, airfare and hotel rates will be higher overall.

When is the Rainy Season in San Francisco?

Between late November and April is typically when it rains.

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