San Francisco's temperate climate doesn't fluctuate as much as many U.S. cities do, so there are few bad times to visit. Summer is the most popular season for travelers, which tends to drive hotel prices sky-high. The temperature is also quite changeable, so you might not always get the beach vacation you expect. However, summer is the time to enjoy the San Francisco Pride and the North Beach Festivals, both in June.
Experts say the fall months of September to November are ideal for traveling to San Francisco. The summer crowds have all gone home, so hotel prices are reasonable, and the weather's still nice and warm. In fact, it's often warmer in fall than it is in summer. The San Francisco Jazz Festival runs all season long, and you can also catch the San Francisco Fringe Festival in September. Spring is another good choice if you don't mind a chill in the air. Spring also brings some of San Francisco's most exciting events, including the San Francisco International Film Festival from April to May and May's Carnaval San Francisco.
Winter is also a good choice, as San Francisco doesn't get as cold as many parts of the country. Many tourists tend to stay away, so it's a great time to find a bargain room. Just remember to dress in layers to be comfortable during your stay. The local event calendar isn't quite as crowded in winter, but SF Sketchfest Comedy Festival from January to February should tickle the funny bones of anyone braving the chill.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in San Francisco, CA:
San Francisco by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in San Francisco, CA. You can use these illustrations to evaluate the most cost effective dates to make a reservation in San Francisco for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in San Francisco
4 Star Average Prices: $256.99
San Francisco has a number of luxury hotels for travelers who enjoy the finer things in life. Whether you want to stay in the glamorous Theatre District or enjoy enviable views of San Francisco Bay, San Francisco has an upmarket hotel to suit your needs.
Established in 1875, the Palace Hotel was San Francisco's first luxury hotel offering. It retains its historic charm, with three ballrooms and iconic beaux-arts styling. New additions, such as a high-tech business center, fitness center with the latest gym equipment, and high-speed Internet, have brought the Palace into the 21st century. Three restaurants and 24-hour in-room dining give guests plenty of eating options.
The Marker hotel puts the entertainment venues, restaurants, and retail stores of San Francisco's Theatre District right outside your door. It's easy to relax in this opulent boutique hotel, with in-room spa services, yoga mats and accessories in every room, and a nightly wine reception. Its BDK Restaurant reinterprets the classic pub, with an innovative menu making the most of San Francisco's acclaimed produce. Pet lovers needn't leave their pooches at home either; The Marker welcomes furry guests, too.
Few hotels offer the views of Loews Regency San Francisco. Rising high above the city skyline, rooms in this Financial District hotel offer enticing views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. All rooms were redesigned and refreshed after Loews Regency assumed the hotel, formerly the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco. When you're not spending time in your room, make use of the hotel's 24-hour fitness center, spa services, and on-site restaurant, Brasserie S&P.
For a more exclusive kind of stay, book a room at the Inn at the Presidio. This San Francisco hotel has just 22 rooms, so guests enjoy personalized service. Choose from a spacious one-bedroom suite, with a separate sitting room and gas fireplace, or a generous deluxe bedroom.
The Inn at Presidio's European-style continental buffet breakfast is the ideal morning pick-me-up while the wine and cheese reception each evening will help you wind down after a busy day of sightseeing. With an outdoor patio with a gas fire pit and a well-appointed reception lounge area, there are plenty of places at The Inn at the Presidio to relax and meet your fellow guests.
Affordable Hotel Options in San Francisco
3 Star Average Prices: $207.96
While San Francisco knows how to pamper visitors with cash to splash, it also caters to tourists on tighter budgets. Hostels allow you to stay close to the action without spending a lot of money. While the rooms are quite simple, the central locations of hostels like the Green Tortoise Hostel, USA Hostels San Francisco, and Amsterdam Hostel can't be beat. Many also provide complimentary extras such as breakfasts, tea and coffee, and Internet access.
Alternatively, you could consider staying a little outside the city center. You'll pay less at family hotels with shared toilet and bathroom facilities, such as Hayes Valley Inn in the trendy Hayes Valley and San Remo Hotel in North Beach. Both offer friendly service and rooms as low as $65.