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

Chinese Lanterns Hanging Over Street in San Francisco

Jana Dvorakova/EyeEm/Getty Images

In February, San Francisco is quiet. It's a good time to see the city without the crowds. And it will be sunnier in February than in the summer when San Francisco's legendary fog rolls in.

Writer George Sterling once called San Francisco the "cool, grey city of love" and you may have heard that singer Tony Bennett left his heart there. What better place could you find to celebrate Valentine's Day? To get an idea or two, use the guide to planning a romantic trip to San Francisco.

San Francisco Weather in February

People often want to know what the weather is like in San Francisco in February. Variability may be San Francisco weather's most prominent characteristic. It might rain — or it might not. It might be sunny — or cloudy. The key to knowing what it will be like during your trip is to check the short-range forecast.

February is in the middle of San Francisco's rainy season. Sometimes, a winter storm can dump the entire monthly rainfall in a single day. If the weather tries to turn your vacation into a soggy mess, there are lots of things to do on a rainy day in San Francisco.

People also want to know if it's cold in San Francisco in February. By the standards of the city's residents, it is one of the coldest months of the year. Tourists from colder climates often have a different point of view and run around in mid-February wearing short-sleeved shirts while the locals shiver even after putting on their winter gear.

  • Average High Temperature: 61 F (16 C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 48 F (9 C)
  • Rainfall: 2.95 inches (7.4 cm)
  • Sunshine: 56 percent chance of sun
  • Daylight Hours: You can expect about 9 hours of daylight for exploring the city.

If you're still trying to decide when to visit San Francisco, you can find all the monthly averages in the San Francisco climate guide.

What to Pack

If rain is predicted, an umbrella may not be your best choice. They're hard to carry on crowded sidewalks and don't protect from wind-driven raindrops. A warm, waterproof jacket with hood is the best option — or a full-length raincoat.

A mid-weight jacket (or a bit more) will be enough on dry days. San Franciscans often wear gloves, hat, and scarf on cooler mornings. You can leave the heavy winter coat at home unless you're going to the ski slopes.

Things to Do in San Francisco in February

Go Whale Watching: February is gray whale season around San Francisco, which makes it the perfect time to go whale watching.

Go Wine Tasting: Leave the city for a day and go wine tasting in Napa Valley. Winter is Napa's slow time of year, and you'll get lots of attention in the tasting rooms.

February Events in San Francisco

  • Chinese New Year: It's a lunar holiday that can happen in January or February, and once in a while, the parade is in early March. There are plenty of events to celebrate the new year according to the Chinese calendar. You can celebrate by going to the big parade, watching the beauty pageant, going on a treasure hunt, or walking through Chinatown to see the festivities.
  • SF Indie Fest: If you're a fan of edgy, under the radar independent films, you can indulge your passion at the Indie Fest. They're also known for throwing some fun parties. 

If you're looking to attend a fun concert, sporting event, or theatrical performance try these resources:

  • All you have to do is sign up for a free account with Goldstar to get access to discounted tickets for performances and save on some San Francisco attractions. Even better, it's just as useful when you're at home as it is when you're out of town.
  • For a look at local events, check the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment section. You'll also find an extensive list of events at SF Weekly.
  • The Golden State Warriors may be playing basketball at home while you're in San Francisco, but you'll have to cross the bay to Oakland to see them. See their schedule here.

    February Travel Tips

    February is a great time to get the best prices on hotels in San Francisco. With demand for hotels low this time of year, room rates become low as well.

    Some visitors from colder climates think San Francisco feels like summer in January, and they run around in short-sleeved shirts just because they can. To avoid being instantly identified as an out-of-towner, resist that urge.

    A cold or rainy February day is a good excuse to try one of the real San Francisco treats. Irish coffee first landed on U.S. shores in San Francisco and the bar that introduced it is still going strong.