What to do in San Francisco in December 2024

Why you should visit San Francisco in December

December is a magical time to visit San Francisco. The city is draped in holiday cheer, offering a unique blend of festive events, mild weather, and breathtaking scenery. Whether you’re strolling through holiday markets, taking in the sights adorned with sparkling lights, or enjoying a warm cup of cocoa with panoramic views, San Francisco in December is an experience you won’t forget.

San Francisco Weather in December

San Francisco experiences a mild climate in December, with average temperatures ranging from 50°F (10°C) to 60°F (15.5°C). While some days may be rainy, the city also enjoys periods of clear skies and crisp, fresh air. Layering clothing is recommended to adapt to varying temperatures throughout the day.

San Francisco Events in December

Union Square Tree Lighting Ceremony

Marking the official start of the holiday season, the Union Square Tree Lighting Ceremony is a cherished San Francisco tradition. The event features live performances, festive decorations, and the illumination of a spectacular 83-foot Christmas tree, creating a magical atmosphere for visitors of all ages.

Holiday Ice Skating at Embarcadero Center

Glide into the holiday spirit at the Embarcadero Center’s outdoor ice rink, set against the stunning backdrop of the Bay Bridge. This enchanting experience allows visitors to enjoy a quintessential winter activity with a breathtaking view of the waterfront and the city skyline.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Step into the pages of Charles Dickens’ Victorian-era London at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. This immersive event transforms the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls into a bustling Christmas market, complete with shops, pubs, and theaters offering entertainment reminiscent of an old-fashioned holiday celebration.

San Francisco’s top places to visit in December

Golden Gate Bridge

Marvel at the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, adorned with holiday lights and set against a backdrop of dramatic winter skies. The bridge offers breathtaking views of the bay, creating a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk or a memorable photo opportunity.

Alcatraz Island

Embark on a captivating journey to Alcatraz Island and explore the infamous penitentiary while taking in the picturesque views of the city. The winter months offer a quieter and more atmospheric experience, providing a glimpse into the island’s storied history.


Discover the festive ambiance of San Francisco‘s vibrant Chinatown, accentuated with traditional decorations and lively celebrations. Explore the narrow alleyways, sample delectable Chinese cuisine, and find unique treasures in the local shops, all while immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the area.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Experience the charm of Fisherman’s Wharf as it comes alive during the holiday season. Admire the twinkling lights, indulge in fresh seafood, and visit iconic attractions such as Pier 39 and the Historic F Market Streetcar, adding a touch of nostalgia to your San Francisco adventure.

Layering clothing is a good practice due to varying temperatures in San Francisco during December.

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