San Francisco in March

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    San Francisco in March

    San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade
    --Mark--/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    March is an excellent time to visit San Francisco, with smaller crowds than in summer. It's also the month when one of San Francisco's unique and iconic festivals occurs.

    March's Big Holidays

    Chinese New Year:  San Francisco's Chinese New Year celebration is one of the best in the U.S. You'll find lots of events celebrating the new year according to the Chinese calendar, including a parade. 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 also celebrate St. Patrick's Day: The San Francisco Irish community pays tribute to their heritage with a parade. The bars will be serving green beer, but also think lots of green everywhere, even on the dogs at the Saint Patrick's Day Festival and Parade.

    Things That Look Like Fun to Do in March

    Ocean Film Festival: One of the country's more unusual film fests features ocean-themed films.

    San Francisco Chocolate Salon: A chance to get drunk on chocolate as you taste artisan and gourmet chocolate.

    Things That Are Especially Fun in March

    March is gray whale season around San Francisco. Find out how, when and where to see them in the San Francisco Whale Watching Guide.

    The Major League Baseball season runs from March through early October, and San Francisco has one of the prettiest stadiums around. If the San Francisco Giants are playing at home, watching a game is a fun way to spend a few hours. If you go to afternoon games, the temperature will be warmer than at night. 

    If you like flowers and gardens, try the San Francisco Botanical Garden or Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

    Special Events in March

    The annual events listed above happen every year, but they're not all that's going on in San Francisco in March. If you're looking for a fun concert, sporting event or theatrical performance try these resources:

    Sign up for a free account with Goldstar to get access to discounted tickets for performances and save on some San Francisco attractions. And it's just as useful at home as it is when you're visiting San Francisco.

    For a look at local events, check the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment section.

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    What to Expect from San Francisco Weather in March

    Cherry trees in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, USA
    WIN-Initiative / Getty Images

    California's rainy season often ends by March. San Francisco's temperatures start to warm up and will be only a little cooler than in the warmest months. 

    In March, you can expect about 11 hours of daylight for exploring the city. It won't affect how long the sun will be up, but Daylight Savings time begins in March, which will push the clocks forward and make it seem like the sun is setting later. Many local attractions may change their hours when that happens.

    • Average High Temperature: 62°F/17°C
    • Average Low Temperature: 48°F/9°C
    • Rain & Clouds Index: 3.07 inches (7.8 cm) rain, 69% sunshine

    If you want to compare March weather to other months, check the guide to San Francisco weather and climate.

    Rain often starts tapering off by March, but if precipitation happens, try these things to do on a rainy day in San Francisco.

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    What to Pack, What to Wear in March

    Chinese New Year
    Mark/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Check the forecast for rain a few days before you go and consider a waterproof, hooded jacket or full-length raincoat if it's predicted.

    You aren't likely to need your short shorts and flip-flops in San Francisco in March. Layered shirts and sweaters are your best fashion strategy this time of year. Keep in mind that San Francisco's coastal location and ocean breezes may make it feel a little cooler than what the thermometer leads you to think. Also pack a mid-weight, slightly warm jacket.

    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. You will find that in these guides: 

    For a quiet time (although it may be rainy), try San Francisco in January or  San Francisco in February.

    March is the beginning of spring, but you can also get spring weather (and crowds) in San Francisco in April or San Francisco in May.

    Summer in San Francisco may not be what you think, especially if you go to San Francisco in June or in July. If you're looking for sunny days and lots of sunshine, try San Francisco in August.

    By fall, the skies will be clear, and the crowds will be gone. In fact, the best times to visit may be San Francisco in September or San Francisco in October.

    Holiday festivities make the end of the year a good time to go to San Francisco in November or San Francisco in December.