Countercultural center, pioneering technology hub, party destination – fog-covered San Francisco is many things to many people. From colorful Victorian houses to towering steel bridges, all around the bay there is plenty to capture the imagination.
San Francisco has a mild climate all year round, with temperatures rarely going over 75 degrees or dropping under 55. However, there are still definite seasons and you will need to bring clothing suitable for the time of year you visit.
The city is prone to fog, with large banks rolling in and covering the area, and this can be a little chilly. Visit in the months of May, October and September when there is more chance of sunshine.
The summer is cool and foggy, with winds sweeping in off the Pacific. This is peak tourist season, when getting tickets to some of the top attractions can be nearly impossible, especially Alcatraz. Flights to SFO and accommodation can also be difficult and more expensive at this time of year. So, make sure you book early.
If you’re keen to avoid the cooler and wetter months, then stay clear of December through February.
There are flights to San Francisco from all over the US. And when you search for tickets with Orbitz, you can try a number of things to get the best deal.
Firstly, use the ‘Nearby Airports’ option, under your chosen departure and arrival airport. This will let you explore deals available from alternative locations and to either of the city’s main airports.
Similarly, get cheap flights to San Francisco by being flexible on dates. Tick the ‘My Dates Are Flexible’ box when making your search, then browse the cheapest flight on each day for your outbound and return flight.
Lastly, filter and sort your results on the left-hand side of the page or use the ‘Show Options’ drop-down. Choose flights according to price or duration, direct or connecting options, or specific airlines and airports.
There are departures to San Francisco from numerous US destinations.
There are two main airports serving the San Francisco area. Of the two, the biggest is San Francisco International, located 13 miles south of the downtown area. It has flights to and from multiple North American destinations, as well as being a gateway to Europe and Asia.
The other airport is Oakland, located on the other side of the bay. With around 13 million passengers a year passing through it, it’s another option for cheap tickets to San Francisco.
Direct flights to San Francisco are available from a number of different carriers.
If you’re arriving at San Francisco International, then the BART public rail system is the quickest way of getting to the city. It will cost less than $10 for a one-way ticket.
You can also catch the SamTrans bus, which is much cheaper at around $2 dollars for a single journey and $6 for a day pass.
It’s possible to walk around many of the downtown attractions, but if you want to see the bridge and Golden Gate Park, catching a bus is a good idea. The city is famously hilly, which makes too much walking or cycling a bit difficult.
The city is bursting with iconic attractions, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz island. If you want to visit the world’s most famous prison, then you’re advised to book well in advance, especially in the summer, as the wait can be weeks long. The bridge can be seen from many parts of the city, but it’s well worth heading up to Golden Gate park for some of the best views.
Visit the Haight-Ashbury district, the birthplace of the hippies, and where you’ll find colorful streets teeming with vintage clothes stores. Chinatown is another exciting part of town, with exotic smells drifting on the air. Or, you can hit the shops at Union Square to pick up some designer labels.
The weather can have a big impact on your trip, so it’s worth checking the forecast before you travel.
San Francisco’s climate is mild year-round, so you can forget about packing wool underwear and parkas—or shorts and tank tops, for that matter. Though daytime temperatures rarely rise above 75 or drop below 55, there are still definite seasons.
The months of May, September, and October have less fog and, locals contend, the best weather. You may want to time your trip to coincide with one of San Francisco’s popular annual events, like the wacky Bay to Breakers seven-mile cross-town run/walk each May. The Mission District holds Carnaval in late May as well.
Summer is notoriously cool, with fog and chilly breezes sweeping across the city from the Pacific Ocean, although parts of San Francisco known as “the sunbelt”—the Mission District, for one—often remain balmy. Summer is also peak tourist season, when getting a seat on a cable car without an hours-long wait or nabbing a ticket for an Alcatraz tour can be near impossible. Late June’s LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade is one of the biggest in the country.
December, January, and February are the coldest and wettest months, though February does bring the colorful Chinese New Year’s Parade.
* Savings based on all holiday package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Orbitz.com from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.
Fare, taxes & fees: Fares include all taxes and fees, except baggage fees. Rates shown reflect fares found by other Orbitz users over the past 7 days. Due to rapidly changing airline prices & seat availability, these fares may no longer be available.
Refunds/changes/cancellations: Itinerary changes, if permitted for the fare, will have a $30 service fee charged by Orbitz. Additional airline charges may apply.
Other conditions: Schedules, fares and rules are subject to change without notice. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights/dates or in all markets. Lower fares may be available. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly/partially unused ticket. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. Fare rules are provided for the selected itinerary before booking.