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Visiting in February
In February, San Francisco is quiet. Weather can be cool but sunny (or rainy), and it's a good time to see the city without the crowds.
Chinese New Year: February's Big Holiday (Sometimes)
There are plenty of events to celebrate the new year according to the Chinese calendar. It's a lunar holiday that can happen in January or February, and once in a while, the parade is in early March. 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.
February's Other Big Holiday: Valentine's Day
Writer George Sterling once called San Francisco the "cool, grey city of love" and we all know that singer Tony Bennett left his heart there. What better place could you find to celebrate Valentine's Day?
Things to Do
February is gray whale season around San Francisco, which makes it the perfect time to go whale watching.
These are a few things that should be on anyone's "That Looks Interesting" bucket list:
- 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.
- The Mostly British Film Festival also happens in February.
- San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest wine competition of American wines in the world with more than 7,000 entries. Besides all the snooty sipping and scoring, the competition also hosts a public wine tasting and food sampling events.
- You can also focus on just one wine variety at the Zinfandel Experience or if a beer is your drink of choice, celebrate San Francisco Beer Week.
The annual events listed above happen every year, but they're not all that's going on in San Francisco in February. If you're looking for a fun concert, sporting event, or theatrical performance try these resources:
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- 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.
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What to Expect
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. But you may also enjoy bright, sunny weather during your visit. The average rainfall is 2.95 inches (7.4 cm). 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.
In February, you can expect about 10 hours of daylight for exploring the city. Even during the rainy season, the city gets about 6.5 hours of sunshine per day, on the average.
San Francisco's average February temperatures range from a high of 61°F (16°C) to a low of 48°F (9°C). That being said, variability may be San Francisco weather's most prominent characteristic. It might rain — or it might not. It might be sunny — or cloudy.
Monthly averages are helpful if you're planning far ahead, but don't count on your trip being "average." Check the San Francisco weather forecast before you leave home.Continue to 3 of 3 below.
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What to Pack and What to Wear
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. Unless you're going to the ski slopes, you can leave the heavy winter coat at home, but San Franciscans often wear gloves, hat, and scarf on cooler mornings.
More San Francisco by Month
If you're just starting to plan your trip and deciding when to go, you may want to know what San Francisco is like in other months.
For a quiet time (although it may be rainy), try San Francisco in January when things are at their most laid-back of the year.