San Francisco in March

  • 01 of 03

    San Francisco in March

    San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade
    ••• Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club at the St. Patrick's Day Parade. --Mark--/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    March is a good time to visit San Francisco, with smaller crowds than in summer. It may also be a good time weather-wise, but that varies by year. 

    March's Big Holiday (Sometimes)

    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 big 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 celebrates their heritage with a fun 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 Parade.

    Things That Look Like Fun to Do in March

    It's a good thing I can make lists because I find so many fun things to do that I'd forget them all. These are a few things on my "That Looks Interesting" list:

    Ocean Film...MORE 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.

    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 November. If you're looking for 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 visiting San Francisco.
    • For a look at local events, check the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment section.
    • 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. We like to go to afternoon games because it's warmer than night games. 
    • The Oakland A's play baseball across the Bay.
    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    More About San Francisco in March

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

    What to Expect from San Francisco Weather in March

    California's rainy season is in the winter and it often ends by March. The best thing I can say about the chance of rain is that it may or may not rain and averages from many years aren't much help for advance planning.

    San Francisco's temperatures start to warm up in March 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. During the January rainy season, the city gets about 8.5 hours of sunshine per day, on the average. 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...MORE 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.

    Use the weather averages to get an idea of what things may be like, but it might be different when you visit. A winter day could even be so warm you'll wish you packed your shorts.

    Averages are useful for planning 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.
  • 03 of 03

    What to Pack, What to Wear in March

    Chinese New Year
    ••• 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 coat 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 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 go...MORE 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.