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Best Times to Visit San Francisco

The best time to visit San Francisco is from September to November. Autumn offers warm temperatures and fewer crowds. Spring is another good time, but you can expect the breezes to have a little more bite. The Golden Gate City witnesses a surge in tourism during the summer as people head west in search of sun, sand and surf. However, the fluctuating climate can quickly trounce a day at the beach. Those looking for the perfect seaside getaway should consider a trip to Los Angeles where the sunshine lasts year-round. Meanwhile, winter in San Francisco draws bargain-hunters with the promise of lower hotel rates and fewer people. If you decide to travel in the wintertime, arm yourself from the chilly temperatures with plenty of layers.

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March-May

You can beat the tourist rush by visiting San Francisco in the spring, when the weather is mild and hotel prices have yet to rise. Average high temperatures in the mid-60s will certainly keep you from diving in to the Pacific, but you shouldn't have any limitations wandering the city on foot.

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June-August

Summer marks the peak of tourism in the Bay Area: People from all over the country are drawn by the hope for nice weather and the promise of summertime festivities. If you're looking for a typical California beach getaway, head south to Los Angeles or San Diego: Average summer temperatures in San Francisco hover in the high 60s and are often accompanied by brisk sea winds and chilly, damp fog. However, the city does come alive with numerous street fairs and special events. Lodging-wise, all you budget-minded travelers may be deterred by rising room rates. Book your hotel reservations several weeks in advance to ensure availability and save some cash.

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September-November

Fall marks a sweet spot for San Francisco tourism. Hotel rates drop and, believe it or not, the weather is often warmer now than it is in the summer. Average temperatures rest in the low 70s, and consistently sunny skies inspire San Franciscans and tourists alike to head to the beach. But don't underestimate those bayside breezes. You'll want to pack a few layers just in case.

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December-February

If you don't mind the chilly winds, you'll find that winter is a great time to save on a San Francisco vacation. During the cooler months, hotels slash their rates, providing some pretty good deals to their clientele (but you should still book a few weeks in advance for the best rooms and prices). Also, make sure to bring some warmer clothes. Average temperatures rest in the high 50s, but the city's ever-present fog and nippy gusts can make it seem much colder.

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