San Francisco weather in December is cool and breezy with some light rain. The city is beautiful this time of year as it's lit up for the holiday season. It's also warmer than most of the US and other places in the Northern Hemisphere.
Even though it's our rainy season, you will find it's still easy to get around town to see all of our attractions and attend some of our holiday shows. On rainy days, you will find that the rain is typically light and a coat with a hood will protect you enough and keep you warm.
To help you prepare more for your stay, I've included a few additional pieces of information about the weather this month, a list of items to pack for your stay and a few of my favorite things to do. In addition, you will find a few of my favorite places to find deals around SF.
The San Francisco weather in December brings in both sunny and rainy days. The picture above is a bright, sunny day in late December. You will find many days like this throughout the month.
On rainy days, you will find that the light rain is easy to get around in. We don't typically get big storms with pouring rain. The rain here is usually light drizzle mixed with rain and it might last for several hours or all day long.
During the day, you will find highs in the mid-50s. It will dip down into the mid-40s after the sun goes down.
Here are a few more details on the San Francisco weather in December.
Average High in December: 57° F/14° C
Average Low in December: 46° F/8° C
Average Monthly Rainfall: 4.6 inches
Record High: 76° F/ 24° C (12/12/1958)
Record Low: 28° F/-2° C (12/22/1990)
With the San Francisco weather in December bringing both sun and rain, you will need to bring along clothes that you can layer. This will allow you to add and remove items as needed to stay dry or to not overheat on a sunny day.
I would recommend bringing along the following items:
If you plan to head out on an SF Cruise, you will find plenty of seating both indoors and out. I typically take along a heavier jacket for these trips, so I can enjoy the sights from outside. The cool wind off the water makes it feel quite a bit cooler, but it's nice and refreshing.
You will also want to wear something a little warmer when you walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. It's windy on the walkways, so make sure to prepare for it to be cooler during your walk.
1. Check out the Christmas lights: All around town, you will see Christmas light displays. Some of the most popular are in Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square. Find a list of the best ones each year.
2. Enjoy some Christmas Eve & Day activities: There are plenty of activities to keep you busy on Christmas Eve & Day. You will also find that many restaurants and shops are open for the holidays, so you can pick-up last-minute gifts. Use my insider's guide to plan a special trip during Christmas time.
3. Watch the fireworks on NYE: Thousands of people flock to the water's edge in front of the Ferry Building to ring in the new year. The annual fireworks display starts at 11:59 and runs for around 15 to 20 minutes. More details on attending this free event.
4. See a Cirque du Soleil show: Cirque du Soleil offers several performances in December (even years) under the Big Top near Oracle Park. Each year, they select a new show with high-energy performers and colorful costumes. Get details on this year's show and find tickets to a performance.
5. Catch a performance of the Nutcracker with the SF Ballet: The SF Ballet was the first company in the US to perform the Nutcracker. It's become a holiday tradition for many and one of the most sought after tickets this month in SF. Find out more about the show and how you can get tickets during your stay.
One of the first places to look for discounts is on Goldstar. They offer ticket discounts on tours, cruises, theater performances, and so much more. Many of their tickets are at up to 50% off, so you can save quite a bit.
The three tickets below are some of the most popular all year long. Click the links to learn more about each one and to find other great deals for your stay.
60-Minute Bay Cruise: Cruises around the bay, leaves from Fisherman's Wharf, several cruises a day, Full price $34, Goldstar price $17*, find tickets
California Twilight Cruise: 2-hour evening cruise on the SF Bay, includes light appetizers and one drink per ticket, Full price $80, Goldstar $55*, find tickets
North Beach Food Tour: 3-hour walking tour, offers a variety of samples in this Italian district, Full price $69, Goldstar $48*, find tickets
Chinatown Food Tour: Sample traditional dishes in the popular Chinatown district as you learn about its history, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am, Full price $75, Goldstar $49*, find tickets
*Small service fee at checkout.
Are you looking for the perfect place to stay during your visit? Most people stay in either Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf. If you are looking for some great discounts during your stay, check out the deals on either Booking.com or TripAdvisor.
Not sure if you should stay in Fisherman's Wharf or Union Square? Check out my page that gives details about each district so you can select the one that is right for you.