Skip to Content

Why Visit California?

California, located on the west coast of the United States, is celebrated for its vast and diverse landscapes, cultural influence, and economic significance. The state’s capital is Sacramento, while Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are among its most well-known cities.

California’s landscapes range from the stunning Pacific coastline with iconic destinations like Big Sur and Malibu to the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains with the towering peaks of Yosemite National Park. Its history is marked by Native American heritage, Spanish colonization, the Gold Rush, and the rise of the entertainment and technology industries.

a view of a beach during the best time to visit California, where some people are seen enjoying the beach and a city can be seen in background.


When Is the Best Time to Visit California?

The best time to visit California is during the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is generally mild and sunny, with fewer crowds and lower prices than during the peak summer season (July and August).

Here are some of the benefits of visiting California during the shoulder seasons:

  • Mild weather: California has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The shoulder seasons offer pleasant temperatures, making them ideal for sightseeing, exploring, and enjoying the outdoors.
  • Smaller crowds: The shoulder seasons are less crowded than the peak summer season, so you’ll be able to enjoy California’s popular tourist attractions without having to deal with large crowds. This is especially important if you’re visiting popular destinations like Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Lower prices: Prices for flights, accommodation, and activities are generally lower during the shoulder seasons than during the peak summer season. This means you can save money on your trip without having to sacrifice quality.

Here are some specific examples of how you can enjoy the most of California during the shoulder seasons:

  • Spring (April to June): The weather in spring is typically sunny and mild, with occasional showers. This is a great time to visit for hiking in Yosemite National Park, exploring the wine country of Napa Valley, and visiting the beaches of Southern California.
  • Autumn (September to October): The weather in autumn is also typically sunny and mild, with occasional showers. This is a great time to visit for leaf peeping in the Sierra Nevada mountains, visiting the pumpkin patches of Northern California, and attending the Halloween festivities in Disneyland.

While there are many great times to visit California, if you’re looking for the best weather and the most opportunities to enjoy the state’s outdoor activities and attractions, then we recommend visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.

Average Temperatures by Month Average Temperatures by Month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Fahrenheit 57° 59° 61° 64° 69° 75° 79° 79° 76° 68° 61° 57°
Celsius 14° 15° 16° 18° 21° 24° 26° 26° 24° 20° 16° 14°

Climate in California

Summer Season Climate
Summer Season in California

California's summer season, from June to August, offers a wide range of climates. Along the coast, temperatures typically range from 60°F to 75°F, making it ideal for beach activities and exploring coastal cities like San Francisco and San Diego. Inland areas, like the Central Valley, can experience hot weather, with temperatures exceeding 90°F. This season is perfect for outdoor adventures, national park visits, and cultural events throughout the state.

Rainy Season Climate
Rainy Season in California

California experiences a distinct rainy season from November to March, with the most rainfall occurring in the northern part of the state. This season brings much-needed precipitation, particularly to areas prone to drought.

Winter Season Climate
Winter Season in California

California's winter season, from December to February, varies widely across the state. While coastal areas enjoy mild temperatures, inland and mountain regions can experience cold weather and snow. This season is excellent for skiing and snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada mountains and for exploring the state's diverse landscapes with fewer crowds.

Our Recommendations

Best Climate Best Good Climate Good Okay Climate Okay
Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
California Okay Climate Okay Climate Good Climate Best Climate Best Climate Best Climate Best Climate Best Climate Best Climate Good Climate Good Climate Okay Climate
AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief