San Francisco in May

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    San Francisco in May

    Carnaval Parade in San Francisco
    ••• Carnaval Parade in San Francisco. Bhautik Joshi/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    May's Big Holidays

    In the United States, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Use the California Mother's Day Guide to find some ideas Mom is sure to love.

    The first big summer holiday, Memorial Day happens on the last Monday of May. Get some ideas for things to do.

    Things That Look Like Fun to Do in May

    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:

    Bay to Breakers RaceIt's one of the most popular 12K races in the country. It's also famous for the inventive costumes people wear while running (and for the few runners who wear nothing at all). The route goes from The Embarcadero, across town, through Golden Gate Park and ends at the ocean.

    Carnaval San FranciscoIn case you can't get to Rio or New Orleans, San Francisco's parade features great costumes, beautiful people and lots of fun.

    Tour of CaliforniaA...MORE multi-day bicycle race like the Tour de France, it often passes through the San Francisco area, although not through the city itself.

    How Weird Street FairThe name is a clue to what you might be saying afterward, but if you like funky and unusual, it's worth a try.

    Things That Are Especially Fun in May

    May is the end of gray whale season and the start of humpback whale season around San Francisco. Find out how, when and where in the San Francisco Whale Watching Guide.

    Special Events in May

    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.
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    More About San Francisco in May

    Runners in the Bay to Breakers
    ••• Runners in the Bay to Breakers. David Goehring/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    What to Expect from San Francisco Weather in May

    May begins the drier part of the year, with continued sunshine and even less rain than April.

    In May, you can expect about 14 hours of daylight for exploring the city. 

    • Average High Temperature: 65°F/18°C
    • Average Low Temperature: 51°F/11°C
    • Rain & Clouds Index: 0.25 inches (0.6 cm) rain, 72% sunshine

    If you want to compare May weather to other months, check the Guide to San Francisco Weather and Climate.

    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 helpful for planning ahead, but don't count on your trip being "average." Check the San Francisco weather forecast before you leave home.

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    What to Pack, What to Wear in May

    The Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco, California
    ••• The Conservatory of Flowers. Buyenlarge / Getty Images

    Pack a mid-weight jacket, especially for evenings. Bring short-sleeved shirts and lightweight pants, with a warmer layer. For sunny days, a hat is a good idea.

    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 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...MORE to go to San Francisco in November or San Francisco in December.

    Special Events in May

    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.