Travel News This is the Best Time to Visit San Francisco

All articles

This is the Best Time to Visit San Francisco

There are loads of good reasons to visit San Francisco: the Golden Gate Bridge, the shopping, cable cars, Pier 39, Alcatraz Island, iconic architecture, and cool neighborhoods. Whatever your interests are, you’ll most likely find something to do in this Californian hot spot. Before you go creating your dream itinerary, it’s good to know when the best time to visit San Francisco is. Read on to find out!

Thanks to mild temperatures year-round, there’s no bad time to visit—but the absolute best time to go to San Francisco is during the fall from September to November. The days are sunniest, the temperatures are warm with a daytime average of 63°F to 70°F, and there are fewer crowds than summer. If you can’t make it during these months, not to worry, you won’t be missing out too much by traveling another time. Here’s a breakdown of what it’s like to visit San Francisco throughout the year.

When is the best time to book flights to San Francisco?

After analyzing our data on flight bookings from last year, we’re sharing our predictions on the best time to book flights to San Francisco in 2019:

  • The cheapest months to book a flight to San Francisco: August and September, followed by July
  • Booking a flight in August can result in an average savings of 6% compared to the average yearly flight price
  • The most expensive months to book a flight to San FranciscoJune and December
The best time to book flights to San Francisco

Prices for the chart above are pulled from May-December as January-April have passed

When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to San Francisco?

Millions of flights are searched daily on Skyscanner. That means loads of data we can analyze to help determine the best time to book flights to any given destination.

For flights to San Francisco? Here’s when to travel for the cheapest prices (based on flight booking data from 2018):

  • We predict September will be the cheapest month to fly to San Francisco with prices up to 13% cheaper than the average yearly flight price
  • Traveling to San Francisco in December is likely to be the most expensive. We expect costs during this month to be as much as 10% higher than average
The cheapest time to fly to San Francisco

What is San Francisco like from September to November?

If you can swing it, book your trip for sometime between September and November. Since San Francisco summers arrive late, these months have some of the warmest, sunniest, bluest days of the year. You don’t have to deal with rain or that dreaded fog, plus the evening temperatures are quite mild, falling to an average low of 50°F to 55°F. 

If you travel during this time, there’s a chance you’ll be able to hit up several annual events, including the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival (September), the San Francisco Fringe Festival (September), and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (October).

San Francisco’s cable car system is an icon of the city.

What is San Francisco like from December to February?

It’s no surprise that winter brings chilly winds and rainfall to San Francisco. From December to February, the city gets about 4.5 inches of rain, and the daytime temperatures range from 57°F to 60°F. The good news is you’ll save money when you travel in the winter. Hotel rates will be lower, you won’t have to contend with any crowds, and there might even be some sweet deals on attractions. You’ll also be in the city during the annual SF Sketchfest Comedy Festival (January) and Noise Pop (February).

What is San Francisco like from March to May?

If you can’t make it to San Francisco in the fall, spring is perhaps the second best time to visit. The temperatures are warming up, the mass wave of tourists has yet to arrive, and hotel prices are still pretty reasonable. The average temperatures hover in the mid-60s, so it’s not ideal for swimming but it’s perfect for exploring the city by foot. Go during these months and you’ll have these events to look forward to: the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (March), San Francisco International Film Festival (April-May), International Beer Festival (April), and Carnaval San Francisco (May).

What is San Francisco like from June to August?

With kids out of school and adults taking time off work, the months between June and August become peak tourism season for San Francisco. Average summer temperatures stay in the high 60s, but beware that it can be windy, chilly, and foggy—yes, even though it’s summer. Luckily, the city hosts tons of festivities in the summer, including the San Francisco Pride (June), North Beach Festival (June), and Fillmore Street Jazz Festival (July).

Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular site to see the sea lions.