September and October are ideal months for visiting San Francisco if you desire good weather during your stay. October tends to be just a slight bit chillier than September with a tiny chance of rain compared (compared to dry September) but the two months are very similar. There are great events to enjoy in the Bay Area in October including a few of the biggest outdoor festivals of the year. The windiness of the summer months has calmed down and the accompanying biting chill has dissipated. Often there is also a drop in hotel prices in San Francisco during the fall months so you can enjoy the beautiful weather and big events at an affordable price.
The average low temperature in San Francisco in October is 55 degrees. The average high is 69. There is a slight drop in temperature as the month carries on, so the average high at the beginning of October is closer to 72 degrees while the average high at the end of the month hovers around 66. The average lows drop similarly. There is typically very little wind in the city during this lovely month, and although there is an average of one inch of rainfall each October, it’s statistically unlikely that it will rain during your stay. All-in-all October tends to be a predictable month weather-wise. You should still bring a windbreaker and a scarf because you just never know what a day will be like in San Francisco but for the most part you can be comfortable in average autumn clothing.
Since the weather is so nice, October is a terrific month to enjoy outdoor activities. In fact, the most popular October event is the free outdoor music festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. It’s one of the most popular free things to do in San Francisco, and the acts include many big names such as Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Ryan Adams, Roseanne Cash, Dwight Yokam and Bela Fleck. If your music tastes trend towards electronica instead of folk then perhaps you’d prefer Treasure Island Music Festival.
Of course, music isn’t all that you can see outdoors in San Francisco in October. One of the year’s most popular events is Fleet Week, when you can head down near Pier 39 to enjoy ship tours and air shows. Perhaps you are more literary than military; October is the month for Litquake, which features over one week of reading/ writing performances and culminates in the LitCrawl where you can stroll from venue to venue to see a variety of spoken word acts. And it’s worth it to head out to Ocean Beach to check out the amazing creativity in the annual LEAP Arts sandcastle contest.
In addition to all of these larger events, there are smaller neighborhood festivals that will allow you to enjoy the good weather in different neighborhoods through the city. The month kicks off with Fiesta on the Hill in Bernal Heights and Castro Street Fair, continues with Union Street’s Wine Walk and North Beach’s Italian Heritage Festival and comes to a close with Potrero Hill Festival. If you want to see a number of different neighborhoods and happen to be a runner, October is also the month of the Bridge to Bridge 7K and 12K races and the Nike Women’s Marathon.
What if the weather does happen to turn chilly for a bit or you just need an indoor activity that will allow you to sit down and rest those feet that can get tired from all of the walking down on San Francisco trips? There are plenty of indoor events in October as well. A few examples are the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Yerba Buena Arts Night, the Vintage Couture Ball, and Sundance Stampede (an LGBT country dance festival).
Traveling to San Francisco in a month other than October? Check our average San Francisco temperature chart to see what the weather will be during your visit.