Best time to visit San Francisco

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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.

31 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO (SEPTEMBER 23 - OCTOBER 02)

Folsom Street Fair

Folsom Street Fair

September 25–26, 2021 • event

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

California State Fair

California State Fair

unconfirmedfall 2021  • event

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

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

California Fall Colors

California Fall Colors

late September–early November • nature

Admire bronze and amber foliage throughout the Golden State

Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival

September 24–26, 2021 • 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!

Surfing

Surfing

September–May • activity

Autumn soft offshore breezes create perfect consitions for surfing

Presidio Picnic

Presidio Picnic

on holdlate 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 and other cities on the California's coast in accordance with “R” myth that determines the oyster season

South Yuba River Swimming Holes

South Yuba River Swimming Holes

March–October • activity

A great way to relax during hot summer days

Autumn Moon Festival

Autumn Moon Festival

unconfirmedSeptember 2021  • event

Celebration in the name of mystery and glory of the moon

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

all year round • activity

Visit the most sinister attraction in San Francisco Bay

Lick Observatory

Lick Observatory

June–September • activity

Visit the first permanent mountain top observatory 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

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

Napa Valley Harvest Season

Napa Valley Harvest Season

August–December • activity

Watch Napa Valley come to life with the thrill and rush of the harvest

Wine Season

Wine Season

July–November • activity

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

Olallieberry

Olallieberry

May–October • food

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

American Discovery Trail

American Discovery Trail

all year round • activity

You'll find no better way to discover America than this lengthy hike across 15 states, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. For such a long journey, one needs at least a year of time reserved

Shark Fin Cove

Shark Fin Cove

all year round • nature

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

Cycling

Cycling

April–October • activity

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

Cool Patch Pumpkins Corn Maze

Cool Patch Pumpkins Corn Maze

late September–October • activity

Kick off the holiday season and get lost in the world’s largest corn maze

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

March–October • activity

Nothing can beat the Windy City in terms of wind sports

Tarantula Migration

Tarantula Migration

September–October • nature

Watch a fascinating natural phenomenon in California's parks and deserts

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

Sailing

Sailing

year round (best time: July–Sept) • activity

The vast San Francisco Bay has multiple sailing options for both beginners and professionals

Monkey Puzzle Seeds

Monkey Puzzle Seeds

September–October • food

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

Fuyu Persimmons

Fuyu Persimmons

October–November • food

Latins called Fuyu persimmon “the fruit of the gods”

Paddleboarding (SUP)

Paddleboarding (SUP)

May–September  • activity

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

Great White Sharks

Great White Sharks

August–September  • nature

As ocean waters warm up, white sharks start their annual migration between Mexico and Southern California

72 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

San Francisco Fleet Week

San Francisco Fleet Week

out of rangeOctober 04–13, 2020 (airshow canceled in 2020) • event

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

Corgi Con SF

Corgi Con SF

on holdmid-June, 2021 | mid-October, 2021 • event

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

4th of July Weekend Events & Fireworks

4th of July Weekend Events & Fireworks

out of rangeJuly 4 • event

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

San Francisco Street Food Festival

San Francisco Street Food Festival

out of rangeOctober 12, 2019 • event

Gourmets will be carried away by San Francisco’s food

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in SF

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in SF

out of rangeDecember 31–January 1 • event

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

Calla Lily Valley & Garrapata Beach

Calla Lily Valley & Garrapata Beach

out of rangelate January–late April (best in mid-February–early April) • nature

One of the most picturesque coastal areas in Big Sur

Berkeley Kite Festival

Berkeley Kite Festival

unconfirmedlate July 2022 • event

Come fly a kite in an atmosphere of total fascination!

World's Ugliest Dog Contest

World's Ugliest Dog Contest

on holdlate June, 2021 • event

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

Alameda County Fair

Alameda County Fair

out of rangeOctober 22–31, 2021 • event

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

420 Hippie Hill

420 Hippie Hill

canceledApril 20, 2021  • event

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

Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies

out of rangemid-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

Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Great Dickens Christmas Fair

out of rangeNovember 20–December 19, 2021 • event

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

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

out of rangeMarch–late April • nature

Delicate sakura opens the tree blooming season in the Golden State

Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race

Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race

unconfirmedApril 2022 • 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

St. Stupid’s Day Parade

St. Stupid’s Day Parade

out of rangeApril 1 • 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

out of rangeOctober 16–17, 2021 • event

The size of those pumpkins will blow your mind

San Francisco Pride

San Francisco Pride

out of rangeJune 11–12, 2021 (parade is canceled for 2021) • event

Huge and spectacular LGBT weekend with over 40 years of history

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

out of rangeFebruary 20, 2021 (virtual) • event

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

Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary Contests

Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary Contests

out of rangeApril 4, 2021 • event

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

SantaCon

SantaCon

out of rangeDecember 12, 2020 • event

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

Mustard Flowers in Napa Valley

Mustard Flowers in Napa Valley

out of rangeJanuary–March • nature

The vineyard beds explode with a vivid yellow carpet of mustard blooms creating cheerful vibes among the dull winter colors

Cinco de Mayo SF

Cinco de Mayo SF

on holdearly May 2021 • event

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

How Weird Street Faire

How Weird Street Faire

out of rangeMay 2, 2021 • event

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

Almond Bloom

Almond Bloom

out of rangemid-February–early March • nature

The first sign of spring on the Pacific Coast

Bay to Breakers

Bay to Breakers

out of rangeSeptember 20–October 02, 2020 (virtual event) • event

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

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

out of rangeMarch 13, 2021 (virtual, 11:30 am) • event

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

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore

out of rangeJanuary–May • nature

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

Ladybug

Ladybug

out of rangeNovember • 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

Monticello Dam Morning Glory Spillway

Monticello Dam Morning Glory Spillway

out of rangeNovember–March  • nature

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

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

out of rangeApril 10–11, 2021 | April 17–18, 2021 (virtual) • event

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

Point Reyes Whale Watching

Point Reyes Whale Watching

out of rangelate 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

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

out of rangelate November–December • event

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

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

out of rangeOctober 02–04, 2020 (virtual event) • event

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

Walt Disney Family Museum Free Day

Walt Disney Family Museum Free Day

out of rangeDecember 5 • event

Visit one of the best museums in San Francisco for free

Outside Lands Music and Art Festival

Outside Lands Music and Art Festival

out of rangeAugust 6–8, 2021 • event

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

San Francisco Marathon

San Francisco Marathon

out of rangeNovember 13–16, 2020 | December 11–14, 2020 (virtual event) • event

A great energetic way to explore the city

Fogs

Fogs

out of rangeJune–August • nature

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

Easter

Easter

out of rangeApril 3–4, 2021 • event

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

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

out of rangeOctober 31–November 2 • 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

BottleRock Napa Valley

BottleRock Napa Valley

out of rangeMay 28–30, 2021 • event

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

Carnaval

Carnaval

unconfirmedMay 29–30, 2021 • 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)

out of rangeApril 9–18, 2021 • event

The longest-running film festival in America

Stern Grove Festival

Stern Grove Festival

out of rangeJune 20–August 29, 2021 • event

Immerse yourself into incredible traditional performances

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

overJune 21–23, 2019 • event

Groove to the sweet vibes of roots reggae and world music

Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

out of rangeJune 9–12, 2021 • event

A must-do event for a true jazz enthusiast in Yountville

San Francisco Iconic Strawberry Mochi

San Francisco Iconic Strawberry Mochi

out of rangeMay–August • food

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

Union Street Festival

Union Street Festival

on holdJune 5–6, 2021 • event

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

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Gilroy Garlic Festival

out of rangeJuly 23–25, 2021 • event

A three-day celebration of garlic and other delicious foods

California's Great America WinterFest

California's Great America WinterFest

unconfirmedlate November–late December 2021 • event

The Bay Area’s newest popular holiday tradition

Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade

Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade

out of rangeNovember 29, 2020 • event

A popular holiday event draws spectators from all over Silicon Valley

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend

out of rangeSeptember 3–6, 2021 • event

Soak up all the fun and joy during the unforgettable three-day celebration

Napa Valley Fall Colors

Napa Valley Fall Colors

out of rangemid-October–mid-November • nature

Autumn shows off spectacular foliage in the vineyards of California's Wine Country

Cactus Pear

Cactus Pear

out of rangeMay–June • food

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

Treasure Island Music Festival

Treasure Island Music Festival

on holdon hiatus • event

Bay area event, with an eclectic lineup of diverse musicians

Winter Fancy Food Show

Winter Fancy Food Show

out of rangeJanuary 17–19, 2021 • event

The largest specialty food and beverage show on the West Coast

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding

out of rangeApril–August • activity

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

Sea Otter Classic

Sea Otter Classic

out of rangeMay 20–23, 2021  • 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

overApril 1–9, 2019 • event

Lose yourself in all of the jaw-dropping flower exhibits

Plum Trees Bloom

Plum Trees Bloom

out of rangeJanuary–February • nature

The look of plum trees rosy blossoms warm hearts in winter

Bay Area Book Festival

Bay Area Book Festival

out of rangeJanuary 7–27, 2021 | March 9, 2021 (virtual edition) • event

See Downtown Berkeley transform into a literary utopia!

Oakland Restaurant Week

Oakland Restaurant Week

out of rangeJanuary 7–18, 2021 • event

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

Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the Park

out of rangeNovember 27, 2020–January 3, 2021 (drive-through event) • event

A beautiful holiday tradition in San Jose

Dahlia Season

Dahlia Season

out of rangeJune–July  • nature

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

San Francisco Beer Week

San Francisco Beer Week

canceledFebruary 12–21, 2021 • event

High time to find your favorite brewery!

No Pants BART Ride Day

No Pants BART Ride Day

out of rangecanceled in 2021 • event

Drop your pants, if you are not too shy

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend

out of rangeMay 29–31, 2021 (almost all events canceled) • event

Visit the largest Memorial Day commemoration on the West Coast

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

on hold2019 (cancelled) • event

The sweetest event in the Bay Area

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

out of rangeMarch–May • nature

Everyone gets dazzled at the sight of spring floral colours

San Francisco Restaurant Week

San Francisco Restaurant Week

out of rangeJanuary 22–31, 2020 • event

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

The Red Flowering Gum

The Red Flowering Gum

out of rangeJuly–August • nature

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

Magnolias in San Francisco Botanical Garden

Magnolias in San Francisco Botanical Garden

out of rangemid-January–late March • nature

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

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

out of rangeJune–July • nature

Fashionable hydrangeas are abundunt in San-Francisco

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