April in San Francisco: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Cherry Blossoms in San Francisco' Japantown

kennejima/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

April is one of the best months to visit San Francisco. Rain is unlikely, and summer fog won't arrive for a few more weeks. That leaves nothing but sunny days to explore the city.

That would be enough all by itself, but April is between spring break and summer vacation, making it a great time to enjoy San Francisco tourist attractions without all the crowds.

San Francisco Weather in April

In most years, winter rains end by April. In an "El Niño" year, ocean currents bring California more rain than usual. When that happens, you could get wet until the middle of the month or later.

  • Average High Temperature: 63 F (17 C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 49 F (9 C)
  • Water Temperature: 54 F (12 C)
  • Rain: 1.29 in (3.3 cm)
  • Rainfall: 6.5 days
  • Daylight: 13 hours
  • Sunshine: 10 hours
  • Humidity: 66 percent
  • UV Index: 7

If you want to compare April weather to other months, check this guide to San Francisco weather and climate. Before you make your final plans and pack that suitcase, check the San Francisco weather forecast a few days in advance of your trip.

What to Pack

April is often warm enough at mid-day that you can get by with a couple of layers, but you'll need a bit more for evenings. It might seem a little early in the year for this, but April often has the sunniest days. Hats and sunscreen may be welcome.

San Francisco is a casual city. You can wear jeans or casual clothing almost everywhere you go. Bring a jacket for cooler nights, but you probably won't need your earmuffs and wool mittens — although you may see some cold-blooded locals bundled up like they were at the North Pole.

You probably won't need an umbrella, but if it's windy, you'll be glad you packed that scarf and hooded jacket. And even if this sounds odd, pack sunscreen and sunglasses. When the UV Index (amount of skin-damaging radiation) exceeds 6 to 7, you need both skin and eye protection.

April Events in San Francisco

  • San Francisco International Film FestivalThis film festival features foreign films you might never see anywhere else.
  • Cherry Blossom FestivalHeld in Japantown, it celebrates Japanese culture.
  • Opening Day on the BayOpening Day is like a big parade, but on the water instead of land, with yachts of all sizes decorated for the event.
  • Macy's Spring Flower Show: The largest department store in San Francisco fills its main floor with spectacular flowers every year in late March and early April.
  • Artist Open Studios: Held in late April early May, at the Hunters Point Shipyard, local artists open their studios to visitors. More than 150 artists participate, and you'll get a chance to talk to them about their work.

Things to Do in April

The annual events listed above happen every year, but they're not all that's going on in San Francisco in April. If you're looking for a fun concert, sporting event or theatrical performance, check the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment section.

April Travel Tips

  • April hotel rates in San Francisco are some of the lowest of the year. If you plan ahead, you may find some good deals.
  • Before you choose travel dates, avoid the hotel sellouts and high prices conventions can cause. Check the convention calendar and try to avoid dates of events with more than 10,000 attendees.
  • Sign up for a free account with Goldstar to get access to discounted tickets for local performances and save on some San Francisco attractions.
  • April is also a good time to take a walk through the privately maintained gardens on Telegraph Hill, especially along the Filbert Steps which descend the east side of the hill from Coit Tower.
  • Any time of year. you can use these tips to be a smarter San Francisco visitor who has more fun and puts up with fewer annoyances.
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