California is one of the best destinations to visit at any time on the calendar. The timing will vary based on what you plan to do. If you love the beach and swimming is your thing, don’t visit from November to April, including Southern California.
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The climate in Southern California is hot with a lot of sunshine during the winter months but the water can be cold. If you pick November to April as your time to visit Southern California, beach visits can be enjoyed by playing beach volleyball sand and flying kites compared to taking a dip and getting a tan. If enjoying the beach is a priority with your vacation plans then visiting during May to October is highly recommended.
For winter activities like snowboarding, skiing and cross-country skiing the best months to visit would be December, January and February.
Weather conditions should be taken into consideration. San Diego can be covered in fog from May until June making beach activities a chilly experience.
San Francisco on the other hand, has consistent fog from early July up to late August. You should take note that nearby areas like Oakland, Marin, Berkeley, Sonoma and Napa counties are going to be sunny and hot.
Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park will be cooler than the rest of the state during summer and colder in winter time. For every month of the year, freezing temperatures have been placed on record in Yosemite.
Now that we know what to consider, if you would ask me what month is the best to visit I would pick September. The summer season crowds are no longer there, the fog has lifted in both San Diego and San Francisco plus the weather is warm and pleasant.
Top amusement parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland are jampacked from Memorial Day and Labor Day but the crowds thin out considerably from September to October.
September is the month where popular fairs and festivals happen like the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Los Angeles County Fair, the Sausalito Art Festival and my personal favorite the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.