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

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Downtown Skyline at Sunrise

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November in San Francisco is a month with a lot of variables regarding what it will be like to travel there at that time. For the first week or two, you'll definitely enjoy the smaller crowds that time of year. Winter rains might start any time during the month, but it's not uncommon for skies to be clear, and the temperatures can be quite comfortable.

Around the middle of the month, things start to ramp up. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November, and many people also get the following Friday off work. If they aren't exhausting themselves shopping on Black Friday, they may be running around town instead. Check the Thanksgiving guide to find out what special events happen during that four-day weekend.

San Francisco Weather in November

November is one of San Francisco's wettest months. On the average, that is. In some years, it's clear and pleasant. And in others, it starts to feel like it will never stop. 

You'll have about 10 hours of sunlight per day to explore San Francisco in November.

  • Average High Temperature: 63°F/17°C
  • Average Low Temperature: 50°F/10°C
  • Rainfall: 3.21 inches (8.2 cm) rain

What to Pack

Be prepared for moderate temperatures and bring some rain gear just in case. For that, a hooded jacket is a better idea than an umbrella, which is hard to get around with and messy to carry.

Layers are also a strategy, a lot of them, so you can adjust to match the weather. And no matter what your outer layers are, you may be happy you took along a pair of thin tights in your day bag to slip on in case you feel cold.

Unless you live in the area, you probably won't believe how much San Francisco weather predictions can change. Check the averages to get a sense of what you should pack, and then re-check the forecast and a couple days before your trip and edit that list.

November Events in San Francisco

This is the short list of things worth planning a November trip.

  • Dickens Fair: The weekend before Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a Dickens of a celebration at the Cow Palace. You might think you stepped into a time warp when you walk in the door of this fun celebration of Christmas past.
  • Dungeness Crab Season: The commercial fishing season for Dungeness crab begins in early November. Forget those pre-cooked frozen crabs at Fisherman's Wharf, and go for the fresh ones instead. You'll find them on the menu at many San Francisco restaurants. Climate and ocean conditions may cancel or delay the season, so it's best to check its current status on the Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
  • Whale Watching: November is the end of humpback whale season around San Francisco. Find out how, when, and where in the San Francisco whale watching guide.
  • Christmas Events: The stores may have been pushing holiday merchandise since before Halloween, but skating rinks and other festivities start at Thanksgiving.

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

November Travel Tips

  • Daylight Savings time ends in early November, which will push the clocks back and make it seem like the sun is setting earlier. Many local attractions may change their hours when that happens.
  • Early November is a great time to get the best prices on hotels in San Francisco. With demand for hotels low this time of year, the rates become low as well.
  • You might need an umbrella if it rains, but you also need to be prepared with things to do in case you need to get inside and stay dry. Use these tips for enjoying San Francisco in the rain.