When is the best time to go to San Francisco?

With its mild climate, the city of San Francisco is one of the destinations that can be visited at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit San Francisco while enjoying ideal weather conditions is spring.

Indeed, from April to June, precipitation is low and the sun is shining. The temperature ranges from about 13 to 20°C (68°F) .

If you are wondering when to visit San Francisco, know that summer is also a pleasant period. The positive point is that the climate remains relatively cool in San Francisco compared to the rest of California. Temperatures range from 20 to 25°C (77°F) . However, the fog, a symbol of the city, is more present during this season, especially in the morning.

Nevertheless, travelers often choose the summer period for a stay. It hardly ever rains and there is a significant amount of sunshine. Furthermore, if you visit San Francisco during the summer season, you can combine your stay with the discovery of significant events such as the Stern Grove Festival.

On the other hand, autumn is also a favorable season with lower tourist traffic. Temperatures are almost identical to summer: between 18 and 23°C (74°F) approximately. From September to November, San Francisco is characterized by a dry and sunny climate that allows for exploring the city in good conditions.

Finally, winter corresponds to the low tourist season. Therefore, the rates offered by travel professionals are attractive. However, the weather is more unpredictable: be prepared to face the cold and rain. Temperatures range from 10 to 15°C (59°F) between December and February.

So, when is the best time to go to San Francisco? Here's some more information to help you in your decision:

  • The best months for good weather in San Francisco are February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November
  • On average, the warmest months are June, July, August, September and October
  • San Francisco has dry periods in June, July, August and September
  • The coldest months are January, February and December
  • The rainiest months are January and February

Annual weather in San Francisco

Infographic of the best times to visit San Francisco
Infographic of the best times to visit San Francisco ©whereandwhen.net

Weather details in San Francisco month by month

To get all the information about the climate and weather in San Francisco for a specific month, click on the corresponding link below:

January February March April May June July August September October November December

Weather and climate in San Francisco

City located on the west coast of the United States, in the heart of California, and not far from Los Angeles, San Francisco benefits from a Mediterranean-type temperate climate. Thus, it is mild and cool all year round. The temperature range is limited, as there is actually less than 10°C (50°F) of difference between the coldest and warmest month of the year.

While summers are very dry, winters are quite humid. The climate of San Francisco is greatly influenced by the presence of the Pacific Ocean. This brings in a cold current, resulting in temperatures rarely exceeding 25°C (77°F) even in the height of summer. The oceanic influence also explains the omnipresence of fog that rises day after day above the city, especially in summer.

Furthermore, the Pacific Ocean experiences a cold current all year round in this region, making San Francisco a city to avoid for swimming. The water temperature remains below 15°C (59°F) throughout the year.

Summer in San Francisco

Unlike New York, which experiences very hot and stifling summers, San Francisco enjoys a mild summer season, with temperatures around 20-25°C. Mornings can be cool, so be sure to pack layers. However, this season is very pleasant: rainfall is low, and the sunshine rate is particularly high. Expect between nine to ten hours of sunshine per day.

Good to know: the famous fog that characterizes San Francisco's climate is more prevalent during this period, bringing humidity and coolness. It is linked to the meeting of cold oceanic air and warm continental air. Thus, the sky is often gray in San Francisco in summer, especially in the morning, giving the city an autumnal atmosphere even in the middle of July.

Apart from this aspect, some travelers claim that this season is perfect for a stay, as it is when temperatures are highest. This is why there is a high tourist influx.

Winter in San Francisco

Due to its temperate climate, San Francisco enjoys relatively mild winters. Temperatures range from 5-10°C in the morning to around 10-15°C in the afternoon. It is rare to see temperatures drop below zero, and snowfall is even rarer. However, the weather in San Francisco is rainy from December to February. Although rainy days are fewer than sunny days, the amount of precipitation is intense.

Spring in San Francisco

Spring in San Francisco is a pleasant season with temperatures gradually reaching summer levels. The mercury hovers around 13 to 19°C (67°F) during this period. Moreover, rainfall is minimal, especially from May onwards. During this time, you can enjoy a high rate of sunshine. Additionally, the fog that usually covers the Golden Gate Bridge is quite rare, so it's possible to visit San Francisco under a clear blue sky if you travel in spring.

Autumn in San Francisco

In autumn, the weather in San Francisco sees temperatures gradually dropping to winter coolness. However, autumn is sometimes considered an extension of summer. September is often the hottest month of the year, and October and November have temperatures ranging from 17 to 23°C (74°F) approximately. While early autumn is very dry, there are more precipitation towards November, signaling the approach of winter.

At the beginning of autumn, like in summer, it is not uncommon to see thick fog in the city, especially in the western part closer to the ocean. This phenomenon brings a veiled sky, especially in the morning, but it should not hinder you from enjoying your stay.

San Francisco : San Francisco

Charts: temperature and rainfall in San Francisco

In the charts below, you can see the following seasonal norms for the city of San Francisco: the minimum and maximum outdoor temperature, the risk and amount of monthly rainfall, daily average sunshine, sea temperature, and relative humidity for each month of the year.

Outside temperature

Precipitation (rainfall)

Daily sunshine hours

Sea temperature


Peak visitor numbers and tourist seasons in San Francisco

Find out when San Francisco has its high tourist season (the period when the influx of tourists is highest) and off-peak tourist season using our data and figures.

Tourist seasons in San Francisco

  • Very low season in San Francisco
    The months with the lowest number of tourists are: January, February, March and November.
  • Low season in San Francisco
    The months with low numbers of tourists are: April, May and December.
  • High season in San Francisco
    The number of visitors to San Francisco is high in: June and October.
  • Peak season in San Francisco
    The largest number of tourists visiting San Francisco is during: July, August and September.

Figure: Visitor index for San Francisco month by month

Best time for low prices in San Francisco

Average prices of hotels in San Francisco month by month

Generally, December is the month with the lowest hotel prices in San Francisco. So this is a great time to save on your holiday! In contrast, September is statistically the most expensive month of the year for hotels.

Find the best price for your hotel room

Average price for flights to San Francisco

A return flight between London and San Francisco is generally cheaper if you go in february ($ 513 on average): this is the best time for travellers on a tight budget. In contrast, you may end up paying $ 374 more for your airline ticket to San Francisco if you go in august.

Find the best price for your flight Flight prices to San Francisco

Average price of hiring a car in San Francisco

On average, it costs $ 95 per day to hire a car in San Francisco. This price varies by $ 16 depending on the month. In may, hiring a car costs an average of $ 88 per 24 hours, so this is the best time to save money! In contrast, the average price in july is $ 103.

Find the best price for your car rental

Other cities and places near San Francisco

Best time to go to California

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