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

Downtown skyline at dusk, San Francisco, USA
Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

October is one of the best months of the year to visit San Francisco. The weather is warm and clear, with none of the annoying summer fog that keeps things cloudy and cold-feeling. The tourist crowds are gone, and everything is easier to get into.

San Francisco Weather in October

October stays warm and days are often clear, but it's slightly more likely to rain (in general).

  • Average High Temperature: 70 F (21 C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 54 F (12 C)
  • Water Temperature: 58 F (15 C)
  • Rain: 1.26 in (3.2cm)
  • Rainfall: 4 days
  • Daylight: 11 hours
  • Sunshine: 8 hours
  • Humidity: 65 percent
  • UV Index: 6

If you want to compare October weather to other months, check the guide to San Francisco weather and climate. Before you make your final plans and pack that suitcase, check the San Francisco weather forecast a few days in advance of your trip.

What to Pack

With less fog and only a small chance of rain, light layers will usually be plenty.

An extra jacket or layer will feel nice in the evening. Rainfall starts to become more likely, and it's always best to check the forecast. Also pack sunscreen and sunglasses. When the UV Index (amount of skin-damaging radiation) exceeds 6 to 7, you need both skin and eye protection.

San Francisco Events in October

  • Italian Heritage ParadeThis event is almost as old as the city itself and is the country's longest-running Italian heritage parade. It takes place annually on the second weekend of October.
  • Hardly Strictly BluegrassThis free music event in Golden Gate Park features performers like Elvis Costello, Boz Scaggs, and Emmy Lou Harris.
  • Sand Castle Classic: At Ocean Beach, teams of sand sculptors build massive castles, fanciful masterpieces, and oversized creatures, using only sand and water.
  • The Castro Halloween street party ended several years ago, but down in Half Moon Bay, there's big Pumpkin Festival that draws tons of visitors (and some of the world's largest pumpkins).
  • Fleet WeekThe air shows (which often feature the Blue Angels) are awesome, but there's more - including tours of visiting ships and a boat parade.

Things to Do in October

  • Go Whale Watching: October is blue whale and humpback whale season around San Francisco. Find out how, when, and where in the San Francisco whale watching guide.
  • Go Wine Tasting: October weather is also very nice in general, making it an excellent time to take a day trip drive up to Napa Valley or down to Monterey.
  • Watch a Basketball Game: Golden State Warriors play basketball in their new home in San Francisco's Chase Center, starting in 2019.
  • Watch a Football Game: The San Francisco 49ers might be playing at home while you're there, but Levi Stadium is miles south in Santa Clara. Check the schedule on their website.

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

October Travel Tips