California’s weather varies greatly from north to south. Climates range from its well-known Mediterranean temperatures to more temperate rain forest in the north, arid desert in the interior and even snowy alpine in the mountains. In San Francisco, you’ll find a temperate marine climate which has relatively mild weather throughout the year. Temperatures rarely go above 70 °F, and the fog in San Francisco usually rolls in most mornings and evenings. In winter, the temperature rarely falls below freezing, and snow is very uncommon. The summers are rarely overly hot in the city as the fog cools things down, while further inland it can be hotter. In nearby Napa and Sonoma, the Mediterranean-like climate is warmest in August and September, while January tends to be cooler and wetter. More inland, the summers tend to be hot and dry, with cool and wet winters. At higher altitudes, weather reflects more of a four-season cycle with striking autumn colors, and cold and snowy winters. In Southern California, Los Angeles and San Diego are significantly warmer than the Bay Area, receiving a lot more sun. Even in winter, temperatures regularly reach the 60s. In summer, southern inland areas can get intensely hot, while coastal areas are usually more comfortable. Rainfall usually occurs between December-April and is usually light. Many find the Pacific chilly to swim in, but the water is warmest in summer and fall.
For packing, you’ll want comfortable breathable items throughout the year, layers, as well as waterproof items. Here are a few suggestions of things you’ll want to include in your suitcase:
Everywhere in the world, no matter how safe the destination, tourists are among the most easily targeted for theft. As a result, we strongly urge you to leave your valuable belongings, including excess cash and jewelry, at home. Please review your personal insurance policy to make sure you are adequately covered for the belongings you do plan to take with you. We assume no responsibility for personal belongings left behind, although we will always do our best to help. Additionally, hotels will not compensate their travelers for theft from the hotel premises.