San Francisco’s climate is mild year-round, so you can forget about packing wool underwear and parkas—or shorts and tank tops, for that matter. Though daytime temperatures rarely rise above 75 or drop below 55, there are still definite seasons.
The months of May, September, and October have less fog and, locals contend, the best weather. You may want to time your trip to coincide with one of San Francisco’s popular annual events, like the wacky Bay to Breakers seven-mile cross-town run/walk each May. The Mission District holds Carnaval in late May as well.
Summer is notoriously cool, with fog and chilly breezes sweeping across the city from the Pacific Ocean, although parts of San Francisco known as “the sunbelt”—the Mission District, for one—often remain balmy. Summer is also peak tourist season, when getting a seat on a cable car without an hours-long wait or nabbing a ticket for an Alcatraz tour can be near impossible. Late June’s LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade is one of the biggest in the country.
December, January, and February are the coldest and wettest months, though February does bring the colorful Chinese New Year’s Parade.