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Old 04-15-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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I'm planning a visit to SF between May and August. When's the best time weatherwise to go? I live in Texas, so I've learned to stay inside June-August because it's too d*** hot outside. Are heat and rain issues there?

Also, what are the 2-5 most important things to do or visit while there?
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:35 PM
 
Location: US
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1) No heat or rain issues, but a chilly fog rolls in during the summer. The fog covers most of San Francisco at night and starts to retreat back to the Pacific Ocean in the morning/early day. Leaving Union Square, SOMA etc in sunshine and Richmond, Golden Gate Park etc in fog. I'd recommend visiting in early May or late August to avoid the fog.

2) Explore the districts on foot... Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, Telegraph Hill, Fisherman's Wharf, Marina District, Pacific Heights, SOMA, Mission etc. San Francisco is compact so it's easy to see a lot. Use yelp.com for bars and restaurants.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:52 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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hm. The problem is, if you avoid the fog, then the temp skyrockets. The fog is what keeps the weather cool and liveable. During the annual September heat wave, it can get as high as 100 degrees (though that's rare. Still, 90's is pretty tough to deal with), precisely because there's no fog.

I've rarely encountered Golden Gate Park when it's been foggy. Even the beach has always been gloriously sunny (you must visit the beach! You can do this along with GG Park in the same afternoon.)

2-5 "most important things to do". Well, that depends on your interests. My preferences are Golden Gate park (it's huge, but the Japanese Tea Garden is nice, and it's near the DeYoung Museum), the beach, the Asian Art Museum. All the high-end department stores are around Union Square, if you're into shopping (fabulous discounts!). Fisherman's Wharf is awful, meaning cluttered with cheap trinkety shops and tourists. Avoid it. Chinatown has cheap shops, but also a few antique shops that are worth exploring if you're into quality Asian stuff. The Embarcadero area has nice shops, nice restaurants, an outdoor park, it's on the Bay, pleasant and breezy. Geary street off of Union Square for art galleries. Chinatown, Union Square, and Geary art galleries can be done in a day, easily walkable. Plenty of restaurants on Geary. Most Chinese food in Chinatown is 2nd rate.

Here's a real insider's tip. If you'd like to try real Russian food, the Russian district is near GG Park. To go where the local Russians hang out (as opposed to fake-Russian tourist restaurants), go to Cinderella Bakery, on Balboa between 4th and 5th Ave. Just 2 blocks away is the park. Genuine Russian home-cooking, nothing pretentious. Great stuff, with great, old-time European-style pastries to buy and take with you. You can Google it to see its location on a map. Do lunch there, then hit the park. You can actually walk through the park from there, catch the Japanese Tea Garden, and keep walking West through the park, and you'll come to the beach. It's a long but very satisfying walk. You can catch a bus back to your car by the restaurant, or in a GG Park parking lot.

If you have time, visit Muir Woods on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Fran. (Just crossing the Bridge is an event! Fun to park near the Bridge entrance, and walk partway across.) Muir Woods is a state park full of Redwoods. To not see the Redwoods is to miss out on the true Northern California experience! I live in NM, so I'm not too far from you, and I miss REAL TREES! This stubby desert cr** that passes for "National Forest" is pathetic. You'll remember the Redwoods the rest of your life. Redwood groves are a spiritual experience. Enjoy your visit!

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 04-15-2012 at 09:21 PM..
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
hm. The problem is, if you avoid the fog, then the temp skyrockets. The fog is what keeps the weather cool and liveable. During the annual September heat wave, it can get as high as 100 degrees (though that's rare. Still, 90's is pretty tough to deal with), precisely because there's no fog.
The temperature does not normally "skyrocket" without fog in any location that is within the reach of our naturally strong ocean breeze, which is much of the inner Bay Area.

We had a discussion on this a while back and with the input of others here, put together this map that gives a rough breakdown of comfort that breaks down zones by cold air, cool air, warm air and hot air.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
hm. The problem is, if you avoid the fog, then the temp skyrockets. The fog is what keeps the weather cool and liveable. During the annual September heat wave, it can get as high as 100 degrees (though that's rare. Still, 90's is pretty tough to deal with), precisely because there's no fog.
I hate to be one of those nitpicking people, but what are you talking about? There are very occasional heat waves, sure, but it's not typical.



OP: Anytime between May and August will be about the same, weather wise. The middle part of that range will be foggier. It will be cool compared to what you're used to.

As far as what to see, what kind of things are you interested in? Museums? Neighborhoods? Nature? Architecture? Food?
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:13 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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September and at least part of October (sometimes most of it) are pretty much always the warmest months of the year in SF, the winds stop and the fog burns off and it gets into the 80's for a spell, sometimes the 90's and low 100's. Sometimes there's a mini heat wave for about a week in March when it stops raining and it gets into the high 70's and 80's, but then the winds start up again and the fog rolls in and doesn't leave until around Labor Day. The fog burns off in summer most days in eastern SF and other bayside towns like Oakland, but it's still so windy that it rarely gets over 65 especially in SF.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:16 PM
 
Location: US
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100 degrees in San Francisco during the summer?????? lol. Even during the warmest season Sep/Oct it doesn't even get close to 100.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:24 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Every September, the fog vanishes. The temperature climbs. I remember literally sweating through classes in school every September. I grew up there, I know whereof I speak. And I've seen plenty of headlines in the paper (after moving away) that said "Record heat wave! 100 degrees (and thereabouts), City Residents Jam the Beach!"
I didn't say summer. I said September.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:17 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
100 degrees in San Francisco during the summer?????? lol. Even during the warmest season Sep/Oct it doesn't even get close to 100.
Usually it gets to 100 one, maybe two days a year in SF/Oakland. It's extremely unpleasant. And sometimes there are heat waves in the summer, like for a couple days around July or August, but usually it waits until mid-September. I don't think it ever got that hot in 2011 but I remember it did around September 2010, I was on BART and the train had to stop for a while because the tracks got warped.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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I visited SF for a week a few years ago, and enjoyed Coit Tower (wonderful views from the top -- as long as the weather's clear), Pier 39 (touristy, so if you're not into that, skip it), the SF MoMA (fabulous art museum), Alcatraz, and the Sutro Baths (ruins of a former indoor-swimming complex from the early 20th century). I stayed at a hotel in Union Square, which made it easy to get places on foot or via public transit.
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