Best time to visit San Francisco

+128
San Francisco

Best time of year to visit San Francisco

The balmiest weather and moderate crowds make September to October the best time to visit San Francisco. Why not heading to the beach with fresh Fuyu persimmons in your bag? Bargain hunters will be glad to know that many hotels offer deals as the rainy winter takes over the city. December–January offer lots of nature-based experiences like whale watching and spotting thousands of monarch butterflies. Winter celebrations of New Year will blow your socks off with breathtaking fireworks. A relatively dry and warm period from March to May is sated of various parades like St. Patrick’s Day Parade or St. Stupid’s Day Parade. Summertime seems to be all about fun and draws a good deal of tourists from all over the country in hope of eternal sunshine and abyss of activities. And even though chilly fog and sea winds beg to differ, June through August are great for kiteboarding.

17 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO (OCTOBER 08 - OCTOBER 17)

Fleet Week

Fleet Week

October 04–13, 2020 • event

You have never been so close to the formidable American armed forces

Stinko Ginkgo

Stinko Ginkgo

October–December • nature

Yellow fruit of ancient ginkgo trees: aromatic or stinky – you are to decide

Scenic Road Trips

Scenic Road Trips

all year round • activity

Driving along a large number of picturesque roads with stops near the highlights and most unique spots can be a perfect vacation plan

Surfing

Surfing

September–May • activity

Autumn soft offshore breezes create perfect consitions for surfing

Presidio Picnic

Presidio Picnic

late March–mid-October (Sundays) • event

Lounge on a lawn with mouthwatering delicacies in your hand

Land's End Labyrinth

Land's End Labyrinth

March–November • activity

A secret labyrinth built by a local artist became a lovely attraction for Land's End visitors

Oyster Season

Oyster Season

September–April • food

Oysters are consumed in San Francisco in accordance with “R” myth that determines the oyster season

Сlam Chowder

Сlam Chowder

all year round • food

The finest way to warm oneself up on a chilly summer day is to eat a portion of American clam chowder

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

all year round • activity

Visit the most sinister attraction in San Francisco Bay

Olallieberry

Olallieberry

May–October • food

Summer in San Francisco is the best time to fill up one’s vitamin supplies through toothsome olallieberries

Wine Season

Wine Season

July–November • activity

Grape harvest season in SF comes along with beautiful yellow foliage​ and pleasant temperatures

Monkey Puzzle Seeds

Monkey Puzzle Seeds

September–October • food

Soft starchy seeds have been feeding humans, rodents and birds since Jurassic Period

Cycling

Cycling

April–October • activity

Picturesque scenery, varied terrain, and gentle weather conditions attract cyclists to the Golden State

Fuyu Persimmons

Fuyu Persimmons

October–November • food

Latins called Fuyu persimmon “the fruit of the gods”

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

March–October • activity

Nothing can beat the Windy City in terms of wind sports

Halloween

Halloween

late September–early November • event

From spooky science in the lab to the Napa Valley ball,—there are a lot of new things to try in October

Shark Fin Cove

Shark Fin Cove

all year round • nature

A great sunset spot and one of the best beaches in California

74 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

San Francisco Street Food Festival

San Francisco Street Food Festival

October 12, 2019 • event

Gourmets will be carried away by San Francisco’s food

California State Fair

California State Fair

July 17–August 02, 2020 • event

The Fair has been attracting people for over 150 years. Come and join this spectacular celebration

4th of July Weekend Events & Fireworks

4th of July Weekend Events & Fireworks

July 04 • event

Bay City is a great spot to celebrate America's independence

Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Great Dickens Christmas Fair

November 23–December 22, 2019 • event

Go back to Victorian London at the historic Cow Palace Exhibition Halls

Folsom Street Fair

Folsom Street Fair

September 29, 2019 • event

Probably the most kinky event in San Francisco and maybe the whole world

St. Stupid’s Day Parade

St. Stupid’s Day Parade

April 01 • event

Bored with solemn processions? St. Stupid’s Day allows to play a fool in the silliest walk of all times

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

October 17–18, 2020 • event

The size of those pumpkins will blow your mind

Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies

mid-November–mid-March • nature

Tens of thousands of North American monarchs head to California for their honeymoon, and wedding night falls on Valentine's Day

Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary Contests

Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary Contests

April 12, 2020 • event

Half-naked men cross-dressed into Jesus and pregnant women playing Mary—San Francisco's way to celebrate Easter

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

December 31–January 01 • event

Witness breathtaking New Year's celebration with free waterfront fireworks at midnight

SantaCon

SantaCon

December 12, 2020 • event

Streets and pubs of San Francisco are taken by joyful drunken Santas

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

May 05, 2020 • event

Cinco de Mayo introduces the best of Mexican culture preserved in San Francisco

Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race

Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race

April 12, 2020 • event

If you think that tricycle bikes are designed for 3-year-old kids only, you are wrong. Even an adult can have fun riding it if one knows where and when to try it. Annual tricycle races down the curviest street in the world welcome enthusiasts to San Francisco

Bay to Breakers

Bay to Breakers

May 31, 2020 • event

Have you ever seen a race of 50,0​00 chickens, bunnies, aliens, spidermen, batmen, and other pop-culture heroes?

How Weird Street Faire

How Weird Street Faire

May 03, 2020 • event

The world’s weirdest show proves that San Francisco is an idyllic spot where you can be your odd self

Mustard Bloom in Vineyards

Mustard Bloom in Vineyards

January–February • nature

The vineyard beds decorated with mustard blooms form a huge bright yellow spot among the dull winter colours

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 14, 2020 • event

Wear your best green attire and attend St. Patrick’s Day Parade to feel the spirit of San Francisco’s Irish community

Corgi Con SF

Corgi Con SF

June 27, 2020 | October 17, 2020 • event

A fun day on the beach with hundreds of cute short-legged dogs

Berkeley Kite Festival

Berkeley Kite Festival

July 25–26, 2020 • event

Come fly a kite in an atmosphere of total fascination!

Calla Lily Valley

Calla Lily Valley

mid-February–mid-April • nature

One of the most scenic coastal areas in Big Sur

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore

January–May • nature

If you are looking for a stunning coastal scenery, you are on the right path

Monticello Dam Morning Glory Spillway

Monticello Dam Morning Glory Spillway

November–March  • nature

An enormous drain hole which looks a portal into another world is especially impressive during the rainy season

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

January 25, 2020 • event

Lion dancers, Chinese acrobats, stilt walkers and the heat of treasure hunt make unforgettable impressions

World's Ugliest Dog Contest

World's Ugliest Dog Contest

June 26, 2020 • event

Beauty varies. Even the ugliest living being can make someone happy

Alameda County Fair

Alameda County Fair

June 19–July 12, 2020 • event

A summer celebration full of carnival rides, lawn concerts, adorable animals, and funnel cakes

Point Reyes Whale Watching

Point Reyes Whale Watching

late December–January (south) | mid-March–April (north) • activity

Those who venture along the rocky trails will be rewarded with the sight of rare gray whales

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

October 02–04, 2020 • event

American country music is mixed with modern genres at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival

San Francisco Marathon

San Francisco Marathon

July 26, 2020 • event

A great energetic way to explore the city

Ladybugs

Ladybugs

November • nature

Everybody loves when a cute ladybug lands on one's palm. What about hundreds of thousands at once? This can happen near San Francisco in California

Fogs

Fogs

June–August • nature

When a misty season arrives, the city and the bay area are covered with thick fog, which sometimes creates spectacular photo opportunities

Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival

September 25–27, 2020 • event

Top names of jazz gather together in one place to share their talent among real fans. Don't miss one of the greatest jazz events in the world!

Beach Season

Beach Season

May–September • activity

A huge number of varied beaches with white sands and clear waters give you the chance to choose a perfect spot within the coastline of the Golden State

Outside Lands Music and Art Festival

Outside Lands Music and Art Festival

August 07–09, 2020 • event

This event combines the best music line-up, amazing performances, and art works, as well as a great variety of delicious food

Lick Observatory

Lick Observatory

June–September • activity

Visit the first permanent mountain top observatory in the world

BottleRock Napa Valley

BottleRock Napa Valley

May 22–24, 2020 • event

This music festival in Napa Valley combines amazing performances with culinary shows

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

October 31–November 02 • activity

Put on your best black outfit on, paint your face pale white, take a cand​le – ready for the mystic life and death celebration

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

April 11–12, 2020 | April 18–19, 2020 • event

People come to Japantown to celebrate spring’s arrival and the joys of life in Japanese way

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

June 21–23, 2019 • event

Groove to the sweet vibes of roots reggae and world music

Walt Disney Family Museum Free Day

Walt Disney Family Museum Free Day

December 05 • event

Visit one of the best museums in San Francisco for free

420 Hippie Hill Festival

420 Hippie Hill Festival

April 20 • event

Every year, on April 20 or 4/20, thousands flock to Sharon Meadows to celebrate cannabis culture

San Francisco Pride

San Francisco Pride

June 27–28, 2020 • event

Huge and spectacular LGBT weekend with over 40 years of history

San Francisco Iconic Strawberry Mochi

San Francisco Iconic Strawberry Mochi

May–August • food

Afternoon may be too late to find strawberry mochi at Benkyodo, they are usually sold out in the morning

Stern Grove Festival

Stern Grove Festival

June 16–August 18, 2019 • event

Immerse yourself into incredible traditional performances

Easter

Easter

April 11–12, 2020 • event

Spiced with local humour, Easter in San Francisco definitely stands out in the crowd

Carnaval

Carnaval

May 23–24, 2020 • event

Carnival introduces Latin-American and Caribbean cultures which constitute a part of multicultural California

San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM)

San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM)

April 08–21, 2020 • event

The longest-running film festival in America

Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

June 10–13, 2020 • event

A must-do event for a true jazz enthusiast

Autumn Moon Festival

Autumn Moon Festival

September 19–20, 2020 • event

Celebration in the name of mystery and glory of the moon

Treasure Island Music Festival

Treasure Island Music Festival

on hiatus • event

Bay area event, with an eclectic lineup of diverse musicians

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

late November–December • event

Feel the holiday atmosphere in the city and get amazed by lights

California's Great America WinterFest

California's Great America WinterFest

November 29–December 31, 2019 • event

The Bay Area’s newest popular holiday tradition

Cactus Pear

Cactus Pear

May–June • food

The spiky peel of the cactus pear covers surpeisingly tasty melon-like juicy pulp

Union Street Festival

Union Street Festival

June 06–07, 2020 • event

The highlights of Union Street Festival are local fashion show and waiters' race

Winter Fancy Food Show

Winter Fancy Food Show

January 19–21, 2020 • event

The largest specialty food and beverage show on the West Coast

Sea Otter Classic

Sea Otter Classic

April 16–19, 2020 • event

Check out these fascinating racing competitions and one of the largest bike expos in the US—this event is a real celebration of cycling

Macy's Flower Show

Macy's Flower Show

April 01–09, 2019 • event

Lose yourself in all of the jaw-dropping flower exhibits

Paddleboarding (SUP)

Paddleboarding (SUP)

May–September • activity

One of the most enjoyable and fun water activities is popular all along the California coastline

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding

April–August • activity

Just choose the right season and the right spot to enjoy your favourite water activity in the Sunny State

Plum Trees Bloom

Plum Trees Bloom

January–February • nature

The look of plum trees rosy blossoms warm hearts in winter

Oakland Restaurant Week

Oakland Restaurant Week

January 09–20, 2020 • event

Ten days to get the best of Oakland's restaurant scene

Bay Area Book Festival

Bay Area Book Festival

May 02–03, 2020 • event

See Downtown Berkeley transform into a literary utopia!

Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade

Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade

November 29, 2020 • event

A popular holiday event draws spectators from all over Silicon Valley

Dahlia Season

Dahlia Season

June–July  • nature

Dahlia is an official flower of San Francisco and in ​summer it blooms everywhere

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Gilroy Garlic Festival

July 24–26, 2020 • event

A three-day celebration of garlic and other delicious foods

Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the Park

November 29 2019–January 05 2020 • event

A beautiful holiday tradition in San Jose

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

March–May • nature

Everyone gets dazzled at the sight of spring floral colours

San Francisco Restaurant Week

San Francisco Restaurant Week

January 23–31, 2019 • event

Enjoy the delicious food with world-class dining community of San Francisco

San Francisco Beer Week

San Francisco Beer Week

February 07–16, 2020 • event

High time to find your favorite brewery!

No Pants BART Ride Day

No Pants BART Ride Day

January 13, 2019 • event

Drop your pants, if you are not too shy

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend

May 23–25, 2020 • event

Visit the largest Memorial Day commemoration on the West Coast

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

2019 (cancelled) • event

The sweetest event in the Bay Area

The Red Flowering Gum

The Red Flowering Gum

July–August • nature

In spite of its name, a red gum blooms with bright red, pink, orange and even white flowers

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

June–July • nature

Fashionable hydrangeas are abundunt in San-Francisco

Magnolias in San Francisco Botanical Garden

Magnolias in San Francisco Botanical Garden

mid-January–late March • nature

You will be carried away by magnolia’s incredible beauty and fragrance

Last updated: