San Francisco has four distinct seasons. Some people think that San Francisco’s climate is similar to the sunny year-round climate in Los Angeles, but that is not the case. There are many crowds during the summer partly because of summer breaks, and partly because of the popularity of San Francisco as a tourist destination. But if visitors are looking for sunny days at the beach, they will most likely be disappointed - when the fog rolls in from the Pacific Ocean, it can be very chilly in the summer. Winter is even colder but hotel rates are low. Autumn and spring are the best times to visit San Francisco - there are fewer crowds and warm temperatures. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.San Francisco Weather & Temperature by Month
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In January, San Francisco gets approximately 165 hours of sunlight, which makes days feel relatively shorter. It’s also one of the coldest months of the year (tying with December) with an average high temperature of 57F (14°C) and an average low temperature of 46°F (8°C).
February sees a small increase in the average high temperature as it rises to 60°F (16°C). The average low temperature, on the other hand, rises a single degree to 47°F (9°C).
In March, temperatures continue to rise as spring arrives in San Francisco. The average high and average low temperatures measure at 62°F (17°C) and 49°F (9°C) respectively.
San Francisco Weather in April: Average high temperatures increase by another degree in April to 63°F (17°C). Meanwhile, the average low temperature remains the same.
May sees sunnier days as spring nears its end. San Francisco gets 314 hours of sunlight. Meanwhile, average temperatures continue to increase with the average high temperature increasing by another degree to 64°F (18°C), and the average low temperature getting bumped up by 2 degrees to 51°F (11°C).
In June, San Francisco receives the most sunlight out of the year at 330 hours. The average high and average low temperatures increase by 2 degrees each to 66°F (19°C) and 53°F (12°C) respectively.
July’s average sunlight decreases to 300 degrees while precipitation levels are at the lowest for the entire year with San Francisco expecting no rain. The average high temperature and the average low temperatures range between 67°F (19°C) and 54°F (12°C).
San Francisco Weather in August: San Francisco’s summer months are enjoyably cool and temperate and August is no different. The average high temperature is a comfortable 68°F (20°C) while the average low temperature reaches 55°F (13°C).
September is the hottest month of the year as average high temperatures reach 70°F (21°C). The average low temperature remains the same at 55°F (13°C).
In October, the temperature decreases by one degree for both the average high and average low temperatures.
November’s temperatures take a steep decline with the average high and average low temperatures ranging between 63°F (17°C) and 50°F (10°C). It’s the last month of San Francisco’s fall season and the perfect time to visit California’s theme parks.
December ties with January as the coldest month of the year with an average high temperature of 57°F (14°C), and an average low temperature of 46°F (8°C). The cold temperatures are matched by the least amount of sunshine in year, 156 hours, and the highest precipitation rate annually at 5 inches (116 mm).
California is known for many things, one of which is its gorgeous redwood forest. The best time to visit the redwoods is in the summer month, but if you prefer peace and quiet during your travels, come in March or April. When it comes to California’s theme parks like Legoland, Disneyland and Universal Studios, it’s best to come mid-September through mid-November. Experiencing California’s wineries is best done in between late August and October while the fall foliage is at its best from late September to November. For travelers who intend to spend their time at California’s gorgeous beaches, plan to come anytime between May and October.
2.Getting to San Francisco, California
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The San Francisco International Airport is a major airport on the West Coast and many visitors fly in and out of this airport. It is about 14 miles south of the city and is served by nearly 50 airlines. Traveling by train takes longer than flying, but many people enjoy the scenery along the way. Amtrak runs a train from New York via Chicago to San Francisco. Arriving by car is easy: I-5 and U.S. 101 are the two major routes in and out of San Francisco. Five bus companies offer service into San Francisco including Greyhound, Megabus, and the Hoang Express. More Things to Do in San Francisco
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3.Getting From the San Francisco Airport
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Amtrak runs a train from New York via Chicago to San Francisco. Arriving by car is easy: I-5 and U.S. 101 are the two major routes in and out of San Francisco. Five bus companies offer service into San Francisco including Greyhound, Megabus, and the Hoang Express.
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4.Information for Visitors in San Francisco
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San Francisco’s Visitor Information Center (VIC) has been offering its services to visitors for more than 30 years. There are two locations in the city: the main center is the Visitor Information Center at Hallidie Plaza on Market Street; and the other location is the Visitor Information Center at Macy’s Union Square. Both of these centers are well located in areas that are easy for visitors to find. Professionally trained staff members help visitors find accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and shopping areas. They help visitors to navigate the city, offer suggestions, and help visitors plan their itineraries. The center sells CityPASS vouchers which means big savings on transportation and attractions.
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5.Getting Around San Francisco by Bus, Streetcars, Light Rail, Cable Cars
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Many of San Francisco’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, so these can easily be reached on foot. The city is compact and the streets are easy to navigate. To get to places that are farther away, public transportation is the best way to go. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency runs its “Muni” system. This system includes buses, streetcars, rail lines, and San Francisco’s world-famous cable cars. There are individual fares, but if plan to use the system a lot during your visit, it’s best to buy a Muni Passport. This offers unlimited rides for one, three, or seven days. Another option is the San Francisco CityPASS.
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6.Getting Around San Francisco - BART, Taxi, Car, Ferry, on foot
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In addition to San Francisco’s Muni system, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is another way to get around the city and other places around the Bay area. Taxis are another option although they can be hard to find in the city, and they are an expensive way to get around. If your visit is centered around the top attractions within San Francisco, you don’t need a car: parking is expensive, traffic can be congested, and drivers are known for being aggressive. But you’ll need a car if you want to explore areas outside of the city. There are ferries that run from Fisherman’s Wharf and from the financial district in the city to several nearby towns.
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7.San Francisco Restaurants
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San Francisco’s restaurant culture was born during the 1849 Gold Rush when eateries were created to feed hungry immigrant miners food from their home countries. Dining in San Francisco can range from Michelin-starred fine dining establishments to inexpensive Chinese restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown. This Chinatown has the largest Chinese population outside of China. The city is blessed with year-round local organic produce, free-range meats, seafood, and excellent wine from nearby Napa Valley. Many restaurants are run by young chefs who show off their creative skills in this restaurant-obsessed city: there are more than 3,500 restaurants in San Francisco!
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8.Shopping in San Francisco
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San Francisco has many shopping areas in the city itself rather than big shopping malls in the suburbs. This is because the city is built on a peninsula with water on three sides: this prohibits expansion and the building of suburbs. San Francisco’s most popular shopping area is Union Square: here you’ll find big department stores and upscale specialty shops. Chinatown is known for its small shops selling art, herbs, jewelry and more. Jackson Square is the place to see 17th to 19th European furnishings. Although most of your shopping will be done in these shopping areas, there are a few shopping centers like Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and the Westfield San Francisco Centre.
9.San Francisco Neighborhood Guide
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San Francisco is a very hilly city and this terrain has created its many neighborhoods. Nob Hill and Russian Hill are known for Grace Cathedral, the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel and other luxury hotels, and Lombard Street, “The Crookedest Street in the World.” The Embarcadero is the waterfront area with the Ferry Building Marketplace and great views of the Bay. North Beach has many Italian cafes and restaurants: its nickname is “Little Italy.” Fisherman’s Wharf is a very popular tourist area with its many seafood restaurants, souvenir shops, and sea lions. Pacific Heights is full of Victorian mansions, parks, and great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
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10.Getting Married in San Francisco
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With its spectacular setting and views, San Francisco is a popular city for weddings. A marriage license can be obtained at the Office of the County Clerk in San Francisco’s City Hall. Hotels that make great venues for weddings include the Clift Hotel, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, the Marine’s Memorial Club and Hotel Union Square, and Park Central Hotel SF. Since San Francisco is surrounded by water, getting married on the Bay appeals to some people: Hornblower Cruises and Events and Commodore Cruises and Events can each accommodate up to 300 guests. Some additional wedding venues in San Francisco include the City Club of San Francisco, the Swedish American Hall, the Julia Morgan Ballroom, and more.
11.Where to Stay in San Francisco
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San Francisco hosts more than 15 million visitors per year, so it has many hotels from which to choose, from luxury hotels to budget hotels and quaint bed and breakfasts and inns. Most of the city’s hotels are clustered around Union Square. Stay here if you want to be in the center of the tourist action; or, choose accommodations in one of the city’s residential areas and enjoy a local experience. Luxury hotels include the St. Regis San Francisco, the Ritz-Carlton, the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, the Fairmont San Francisco, and more. Budget hotel chains include Days Inn and Travelodge. Bed and breakfasts offer just a room or a whole house.
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Best Time to Visit San Francisco, California - Weather Year Round
- San Francisco Weather & Temperature by Month, Photo: Courtesy of sborisov - Fotolia.com
- Getting to San Francisco, California, Photo: Courtesy of offfstock - Fotolia.com
- Getting From the San Francisco Airport, Photo: Courtesy of markara - Fotolia.com
- Information for Visitors in San Francisco, Photo: Courtesy of MaciejBledowski - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around San Francisco by Bus, Streetcars, Light Rail, Cable Cars, Photo: Courtesy of cphoto - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around San Francisco - BART, Taxi, Car, Ferry, on foot, Photo: Courtesy of Maridav - Fotolia.com
- San Francisco Restaurants, Photo: Courtesy of Kenishirotie - Fotolia.com
- Shopping in San Francisco, Photo: Courtesy of pikappa51 - Fotolia.com
- San Francisco Neighborhood Guide, Photo: Courtesy of fannyes - Fotolia.com
- Getting Married in San Francisco, Photo: Courtesy of elitravo - Fotolia.com
- Where to Stay in San Francisco, Photo: Courtesy of piccaya - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of spvvk - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Japanese Tea Garden
The Hagiwara Japanese Tea Garden, located in beautiful Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, boasts the claim of being the oldest in America. It’s a beautiful place of tranquility, heritage, and legacy and has amazed and inspired visitors for well over a century.
Originally created as an exhibit for the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, it began life as a temporary “Japanese Village,” beginning life with just 1 acre of land and a main feature showcasing a Japanese style garden. After the fair had run its course, the architect of the garden, Makoto Hagiwara, and the superintendent of the site, John McLaren, reached a gentleman’s agreement, securing the gardens’ future life as a permanent fixture. Hagiwara was kept on as the properties caretaker and, over the years, poured his passion, creativity, wealth, and experience into expanding the garden and perfecting the display. Over its lifespan, the garden has grown from its infancy of a mere 1 acre into the stunning 5 acres it now inhabits.
Unfortunately, the history of the garden and of America and Japan’s relationship as a whole is a little muddied. Up until 1942, Makoto Hagiwara and his family lived on the site looking after the estate. During the war, along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans, the Hagiwara family were forced to evacuate their homes and were relocated into internment camps. After the war had ended, they were not able to return and over the course of the subsequent years, many artefacts and treasures were removed from the home to make way for new additions. Their legacy now remains in name only.
The gardens have endured and to this day remains one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions for both locals and tourists alike. The site hosts an array of different features embedded in Japanese culture, and the classically recognized elements, such as pagodas, an arched drum bridge, stepping stone paths, stone lanterns, native Japanese flora, a Zen garden, and a serene koi pond, all continue to stun and impress the many visitors. It must be noted that the gardens are particularly breathtaking during the months of March and April, when the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.
75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118, Phone: 888-875-8439
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Attraction Spotlight: Salesforce Park
Living in a big city has many advantages; urban environments offer more jobs and opportunities than rural ones, with lots of shops, bars, entertainment venues, restaurants, museums, and more for citizens and visitors to enjoy, but being in a big city also comes with a few common problems.
Being surrounded by nothing but gray buildings can be frustrating from time to time, especially for those who love nature and greenery, and this is why so many big cities feature parks and green spaces. In fact, in recent years, many cities have started to get quite inventive with their park design, leading to some highly unique spaces, like Salesforce Park.
Salesforce Park - Elevated Public Urban Park in San Francisco
Developed by Salesforce, one of San Francisco's leading software companies, and housed on the rooftop of the Salesforce Tranit Center, formerly known as the Transbay Transit Center, the Salesforce Park is one of the newest and most beautiful urban green spaces in the city, boasting wonderful urban views all around and large landscaped spaces for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
Designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, the Salesforce Park space includes an amphitheater, a restaurant, water features, and more. Visitors can access the park via a free aerial tram service, with each tram holding up to 20 people at a time and connecting to street level at Mission St and Fremont St. Here’s all you need to know about visiting one of the best parks in San Francisco:
- Location - Salesforce Park is located at 425 Mission Street in San Francisco, just south of the Financial District and not far from the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge. Streetcar stops nearby provide easy access to the park via public transport, and there are plenty more interesting attractions nearby, including several museums and galleries.
- The Park - Salesforce Park is a public park, open to all, sitting on the rooftop of the Salesforce Transit Center, which stretches out for around four blocks in total. It's filled with around 600 trees and 16,000 plants, all spread out across more than a dozen feature areas. It's one of the newest parks in the entire San Francisco Bay Area, designed and developed for the enjoyment of all, filled with curved walking trails, fun water features, play spaces for children, and events areas too. There’s no park quite like it anywhere else in the city, or the world.
- The Main Plaza - The hub of Salesforce Park, the Main Plaza space is located right in the middle of the park. It's the perfect spot to meet up with friends or family ahead of an enjoyable afternoon around Salesforce Park, fitted with the biggest walkable grass floor in the entire United States. You'll also find carts here with books, games, and craft supplies for a wide range of activities, and many special events and activities are held here too.
- The Amphitheater - Salesforce Park is swiftly developing into one of the premier events destinations in San Francisco, and the Amphitheater is where a lot of the action happens. With space for up to 1,000 people in the audience, the Amphitheater Lawn looks out towards the stage in the west end of the park. Free yoga classes are held here throughout the week, with movie night events also popular here and live music concerts too.
- The Bus Fountain - You can find some beautiful public art around Salesforce Park, including Ned Kahn's fascinating 'Bus Fountain'. A fully interactive installation, this fountain is actually triggered by sensors in the bus deck below, creating a beautiful water show of tiny geysers that shoot and splash in time with the buses themselves. It’s one of the world’s longest and most impressive artworks to involve water as a central medium.
- The Walking Trail - A huge curved walking trail loops all the way along both sides of the Salesforce Park, offering the perfect way for couples, friends, families, and individuals to roam around, admire the views of the surrounding SOMA neighborhood, see the plants and gardens of the park itself, spot the butterflies fluttering around, and simply enjoy their day. You can follow the path to an array of mini botanical gardens with signs to introduce you to the various flora and fauna of the park as well.
- The Play Area - Salesforce Park is a beautiful place for visitors of all ages, and little ones will especially enjoy the Children's Play Area. Made with families in mind, this space features a climbing rope frame and play spaces where kids can let their imaginations run wild while their parents watch on from the side.
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