Best time to visit San Francisco-featuredimage

Best time to visit San Francisco

Know when to skip the crowds, catch the best weather and find the top deals in San Francisco with our handy guide.

Whether you’re planning to sip fine wines, sightsee around the city or take a road trip to another great US city such as LA or Las Vegas, we’ve found the ultimate time to visit San Francisco.

During these months, expect fewer crowds, pleasant weather and the chance to score an awesome travel deal.

Best time to visit San Francisco



San Francisco is nothing like Los Angeles and doesn’t have the hot summers most would expect. Instead, temperatures often reach their highest in autumn from September to November where they can range from 22–30+°C.

The locals refer to this season as an “Indian summer” and while it might seem hot to them, for Australians it sounds more like normal temperatures for a cool summer’s day.

During these months, there are fewer crowds and more sunny days than any other time of year.


San Francisco follows four seasons with the most idyllic temperatures falling in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) when the weather is cool, the skies are clear and the crowds are few.

Summer brings in the largest amount of crowds as Americans are on their summer vacation break and is best avoided as the weather is often plagued with brisk wind and fog.

Weather and prices

Best time to visit San Francisco, weather-wise: Autumn, September–November, is ideal for warm weather days with minimal rainfall and fog.

Cheapest time to visit San Francisco: Winter, December–February, are the cheapest months to visit as temperatures are cold and rainfall is imminent.

Best time to visit San Francisco for...

  • Wine country: Spring, March–May, is an ideal time to balance the number of visitors and activities available. The vines begin to turn a lush green in spring and crowds begin to build. Many outdoor activities are available and the temperature is still mild.
  • San Francisco Zoo: You’ll catch the best weather in autumn, September–November, with hot temperatures and the least amount of rainfall. There also won’t be many crowds. Head to the zoo in the morning when it opens at 9am or after 3pm to avoid the peak visitor times.
  • Napa Valley: For the true Napa Valley experience visit during the harvesting season of August–October. This is prime tourist season and temperatures are hot with mostly clear skies, making it ideal for trips. Festivals are plenty and the leaves begin to change colour during spring, too.
  • Japanese Tea Garden: March and April are the best months to visit the Japanese Tea Garden as it’s when the trees and flowers are in full bloom. The teahouse itself is ideal to visit any time of the year but is least crowded at 9am and noon.
  • Twin Peaks: The Twin Peaks are good to visit year-round and are best viewed at sunset for the arresting views of the city. To beat the crowds, head over in mid-afternoon once the fog has disappeared.
  • San Francisco and Las Vegas: Autumn, September–November, is shoulder season and will reward you with fewer crowds and top weather across both cities.
  • San Francisco and Los Angeles: Autumn brings with it less fog in San Francisco and less smog in Los Angeles. Both cities also experience fewer crowds in this off-season which makes finding accommodation and airfare deals easier.

Top San Francisco deals

TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 27% off North America tours

Valid for travel from November 2018 - March 2019 depending on the destination. Destinations include Calgary, Vancouver, Los Angles, San Francisco, New York City and more. T&Cs apply.

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G Adventures G Adventures

Up to $680 off North America tours

Valid for travel from 15 December 2018 - 3 March 2019. Destinations include San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and more. T&Cs apply.

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Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific

Premium economy flights from $1,905 return

Valid for travel until 30 June 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Tokyo. Booking must be made 50 days in advance. Destinations include New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Toronto, China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Amsterdam, Barcelona and more.

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LookUpFare LookUpFare

$120 off first class seats

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include San Francisco, Chicago, London, Dubai, Venice and more. T&C's apply.

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Smart Destinations Smart Destinations

Up to 5% off any Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Washington, Orlando, Go-Card All-Inclusive and Explorer Pass

Get 5% off any Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Washington, Orlando, Go-Card All-Inclusive and Explorer Pass. Sign up for the Smart Destinations newsletter to receive the discount.

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Big Bus Tours Big Bus Tours

Up to 10% off Big Bus tours

Valid on select tours in Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Darwin, Dubai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Miami, Muscat, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, Vienna and Washington DC.

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