San Francisco in October: 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).

In October, you can expect about 11 hours of daylight for exploring the city. 

  • Average High Temperature: 70°F/21°C
  • Average Low Temperature: 54°F/12°C
  • Rain & Clouds Index: 1.26 inches (3.2 cm) rain, 71% sunshine

If you want to compare October 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.

San Francisco Events in October

  • Italian Heritage (Columbus Day) ParadeThis event is almost as old as the city itself. The parade runs along Columbus, ending at Washington Square.
  • 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 San Francisco in October

  • October is blue whale and humpback whale season around San Francisco. Find out how, when and where in the San Francisco whale watching guide.
  • October weather is also very nice in general, making it a good time to take a day trip drive up to Napa Valley or down to Monterey.

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.

San Francisco Travel Tips for October

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:

  • Oracle OpenWorld happens toward the end of October. It’s one of the biggest conferences in SF taking up more than 200,000 hotel rooms and driving prices up. If you want to visit then, book your hotel as far ahead as you can.