San Francisco is a city full of surprises and fabulous experiences enhanced by the vibrant, uninhibited vibes enveloping its streets. Whether it’s the unforgettable sight of the fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge or the breathtaking views from Telegraph Hill, the city abounds with unique sites and promises to be an enriching travel destination.
A haven for foodies, San Francisco offers everything from local delights at the famous Ferry Building and delectable seafood at the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf. Art aficionados can marvel at the impressive collection of the Museum of Modern Art as well as eclectic street art adorning the city walls. Get fascinated by the sweeping views from the popular & thrilling cable car rides and amble along Lombard Street, the ‘crookedest’ street in the world to get smitten by the undeniable charm of the City by the Bay!
Best Time To Visit San Francisco
Fall season (September-November) is considered the best time to visit San Francisco as the summer rush recedes and the temperatures are amongst the warmest through the year. Even the spring season offers mild temperatures and rain-free days. San Francisco in December is a good idea for bargain hunters and those looking to experience the Christmas and New Year celebrations in the city’s unique festive spirit.
There are numerous special San Francisco events in December to bring in some winter cheer, including some stunning light displays and performances. With lesser crowds, delicious food to warm you from inside and great festivals to keep you engaged, winter in San Francisco can be a fun rollercoaster ride if you’re game.
Reasons To Visit San Francisco In December
- Visiting San Francisco in December is a great idea for budget travellers as well as all those who’d be happy to make huge savings on the flight fares and hotel prices. December is the time for some hefty discounts and offers on accommodation across all budgets.
- The city hosts some unique events and live performances during the festive month of December. Head to The Golden Gate Theatre or The Curran for some spectacular Broadway hits and award-winning shows.
- Lesser crowds and smaller queues allow you to admire the attractions and enjoy cable car rides at leisure, while you can also click some memorable shots.
- New Year’s Eve celebrations and fireworks are a sight to remember. Opt for some great meal specials at the restaurants by the bay and ring in the New Year with the dazzling fireworks at Ferry Building and crackling parties throughout the city.
- It’s a great time to experience the thrill of ice-skating at the many indoor and outdoor skating rinks across the city where you can easily rent ice skates. The holiday rinks at Union Square and Embarcadero Centre are the most popular.
San Francisco Weather In December
December is amongst the coldest months in San Francisco and is frequented by rains and stormy weather. Yet there are about 9.5 hours of daylight which give you enough time to explore the city and participate in the winter festivities. You just need bundle up well and set out to explore the city with full gusto.
Average Temperature In San Francisco In December: 10 degree Celsius
Low temperature (average): 7 degree Celsius
High temperature (average): 14 degree Celsius
Best Places To Visit In San Francisco In December
A ferry trip to the erstwhile military prison off the coast of San Francisco is a must-do when you’re visiting San Francisco in December. The self-guided audio tour takes you on a thrilling ride through the prison’s history along with other interesting details. Do take out time to check the view of the bridge from the yard.
2. Museums in SFO
Museums are the best place to spend some fulfilling hours indoors while it’s cold or rainy outside, and San Francisco has some wonderful ones to keep you engaged. The not-to-be missed ones include California Academy of Sciences, Disney Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Madame Tussauds and Aquarium of the Bay.
3. Japanese Tea Garden
This beautifully landscaped oasis of tranquillity amidst the sprawling Golden Gate Park is the perfect spot for a rejuvenating experience right in the heart of the city. Stroll along the calm garden complete with a pond, pagoda and restaurant serving variety of Japanese teas and snacks.
4. Muir Woods National Monument
Just 16 miles out of the city, this beautiful and serene place will leave you awestruck by the ancient & towering Redwood trees that are the most recognizable feature of Californian landscape. You can walk along the lovely trails or visit the beaches to unwind in the lap of nature.
A stroll around the 24 blocks of Chinatown in San Francisco allows you to peek into a different world with interesting experiences. You can visit the oldest Chinese temple in the US, pick Chinese herbs and souvenirs as well as watch with wonder how fortune cookies are made!
Best Things To Do In San Francisco In December
The vibrant city is always abuzz with activity, more so in the holiday season so you won’t really have to wonder what to do in San Francisco in December. With myriad exciting events and experiences to choose from, here are some of our top picks for things to do in San Francisco in December including kid-friendly activities that will delight your little ones.
1. Festival of lights and zoo lights
Visiting San Francisco in December gives you a chance to witness some fascinating light displays throughout the city, including the month-long Illuminate SF Festival of Lights showcasing 37 uniquely lit-up art installations. Also experience the sparkling ZooLights at the city’s zoo that transforms into a magical place with holiday lights.
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This fantastic learning laboratory with 600 exhibits spread over six galleries offers an engaging and exciting learning experience for the entire family. The tactile dome and coloured shadow area will amaze kids and adults alike.
3. Winter events and festivals
Amongst the most interesting San Francisco events in December is the Charles Dickens Christmas Fair at Cow Palace that transports you to the charming Victorian era with pubs, food and colourful characters. Other fun events include the SantaCon and Winter Wine Pour.
4. Cable car ride
This quintessential San Francisco experience is touristy yet a whole lot of fun. The hugely popular Powell Hyde line takes you through the twisted Lombard Street and Russian Hill neighbourhood. This thing to do in USA will surely add more fun and joy to your whole trip.
5. Ferry building marketplace
This is one stop you cannot miss out on to try the amazing variety of food at the numerous stalls and snack spots offering everything from seafood to burgers, Japanese fare, and Mexican delights. You can eat to your heart’s content at this place and have a gastronomical experience like never before.
What To Pack For Your Trip To San Francisco In December
Once you make up your mind to take a trip to the city in winters, all you have to do is pack the right clothes to stay comfortable in the weather to enjoy the many interesting experiences. Here’s our checklist of essentials for your trip to Berlin in December:
- Layering is the smartest way to beat the chill and stay protected from the cold winds. Full-sleeved shirts/t-shirts, thermal inners, warm fleece and a down jacket will go a long way in keeping you warm and comfortable throughout your trip.
- A long woollen scarf, cashmere wrap and a fleece lined knit cap to protect you from the nippy gusts.
- Comfortable boots to keep your feet warm, as well as warm gloves to protect your hands from the chill.
- Even though the temperatures don’t dip too low, San Francisco in December can get quite rainy so carrying a folding umbrella and waterproof backpack is a good idea.
Travel Tips For Visiting San Francisco In December
- Since the weather is the major deciding factor, it is a good idea to check the forecast for the entire length of your trip and plan your daily itinerary through the city accordingly.
- Do not forget to carry your international driving license, medical insurance and suitable adapters for your devices.
- Purchasing the City Pass Discount Card is a smart way to save on entrance fees to various attractions. The pass includes admission to top museums in the city as well as a fantastic 60-minute bay cruise. It also allows unlimited commute using buses, light trains, street cars and cable cars for 3 days.
- Even though hotels offer discounted rates, it is advisable to book a few weeks in advance to get the best rooms and deals.
With so many more fun experiences awaiting you at San Francisco in December, it’s time now to block your dates and take this thrilling roller coaster ride of a lifetime. Just pick a date, plan your trip to USA with TravelTriangle, and indulge in world-class experiences like never before!
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Frequently Asked Questions About San Francisco In December
Is December is a good time to visit San Francisco?
If you are looking to avoid the crows and enjoy a relaxing holiday, then winter is a great time to visit San Francisco. The temperature can drop as low as 6 degrees which calls for some delicious hot chocolate. This is also the holiday season with the Christmas and New Year spirit in the air. Since this is not the peak season, you will also find heavy discounts on hotels and accommodations.
What is there to do in San Francisco in December?
San Francisco in December is simply beyond beautiful. A wonderful way to spend the holidays is the visit the Christmas lights at City Hall or go for a free walking tour around the city. You can also pay a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf and be a part of the lighted boat parade. SantaCon is an event that takes place near Christmas which is quite a fun place to take the kids as well.
What should one wear in San Francisco in winter?
When packing for San Francisco in December make sure to pack your woollens and warm clothes. The weather is quite chilly and if you decide to step out, you’ll need your coats and jackets. Also make sure to pack some shoes because you’ll be walking around quite a bit.
What should one buy in San Francisco?
Apart from its high end luxury stores you will also find some vibrant markets in San Francisco. Chinatown is a great place to pick up souvenirs like kitchenware, postcards, clothes, and trinkets. Sausalito is another good choice if you want to purchase some handicrafts like jewelry and paintings.
Is San Francisco safe at night?
Yes, San Francisco is a safe place to visit. However, if you wish to explore the nightlife Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown are some great spots.
Where should I stay in San Francisco?
If you are visiting San Francisco for the first time, you should look for accommodation near Union Square. Fisherman’s Wharf is also a good area to accommodate during the holidays.