A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. San Francisco for Attractions, Food, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Washington or San Francisco?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Washington and San Francisco can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a monument-filled, international, and diverse city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the theater, nightlife, and live music.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a scenic, beautiful, and outdoorsy coastal city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Other reasons to visit include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Washington and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Washington Monument and the White House
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Golden Gate Bridge


Is there more to do in Washington or San Francisco?

You'll generally find more things to do in San Francisco than Washington. San Francisco is bigger than Washington, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. San Francisco is better known for its beaches, hiking, shopping, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Washington is more popular for its theatre productions, nightlife, and quaint atmosphere. San Francisco is more touristy than Washington and is known for its striking bayfront setting, stunning urban hikes, quirky personality, and reputation within the tech industry. Also, San Francisco is famous for The Golden Gate Bridge. Washington is well known for its reputation as the capital of the United States, but it's also known for its many monuments, memorials, and museums.

How is Washington different from San Francisco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between San Francisco and Washington. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Washington or San Francisco?

Washington
San Francisco

Spend time exploring the terrific sights and museums in either Washington or San Francisco.

Travelers visit Washington from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events. Many are best experienced at night when the sun sets and the lights come on.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in San Francisco are among the most recognizable in the world. The city's landmarks are as diverse as the people who live there. The most recognizable landmark is the famous Golden Gate Bridge, but visitors also enjoy seeing Alcatraz Island, the Legion of Honor, the Palace of Fine Arts, as well as the small but fascinating Cable Car Museum.


Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Theater?

Washington
San Francisco

Washington is a great city for its shows and theatre. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for theatre.

Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Washington. Theater is popular in the city. From major theaters like the Kennedy Center and Ford's Theater, to lesser known smaller venues, there are options for everyone.

San Francisco offers a number of shows and performances. The city has around a dozen theaters where you can enjoy musicals or plays.

Is the Food Better in Washington or San Francisco? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Washington
San Francisco

Foodies will find both Washington and San Francisco both to be terrific destinations.

Washington has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. This city is among the most diverse in the country, so you can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here. It's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone. There are popular neighborhoods for Ethiopian, Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food, among many others.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, San Francisco is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. There are local dives as well as five star restaurants, with everything in between. Popular local dining experiences include sourdough bread bowls and Dungeness crab at Fisherman's Wharf, and dim sum in Chinatown. Head away from the touristy neighborhoods if you want to sample some of the more local restaurants around town.

Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Nightlife?

Washington
San Francisco

Washington is a great city for its evening party scene. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for nightlife.

The nightlife in Washington has something for everybody. Many visitors head straight to the museums and the National Mall, and don't realize what a livable and fun city this is. Some of the best nightlife is found in Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington, VA. The city's young population ensures that there's never a dull moment.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in San Francisco. It has a great nightlife with many local bars and trendy clubs. For the best nightlife away from the tourists, head to Valencia Street or Polk Street. If you want to be in a more touristy area, check out Union Square. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.


Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Music?

Washington
San Francisco

Washington and San Francisco are both destinations where visitors can find notable live music.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Washington. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.

The music scene helps keep San Francisco active and fun. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.

Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Beaches?

Washington
San Francisco

San Francisco is great for its beaches. However, Washington is not a beach destination.

San Francisco is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. Whether you're interested in surfing or simply taking in the dramatic views, the beaches of San Francisco will take your breath away. Some of the best beaches include Ocean Beach, Baker Beach, and Muir Beach.

Washington is not a beach destination.

Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Hiking?

Washington
San Francisco

San Francisco is a world-class destination for hiking. However, Washington is not a good destination for the nearby hiking options.

Many people visit San Francisco specifically for its hiking. The city's hikes take in the dramatic views of the bay and city. Just outside of town there are also countless hikes through the Redwoods and along the coastline. Popular hikes in the area include Lands End, Tomales Point Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore, and Muir Woods.

Many visitors include a hike while visiting Washington. Just outside of Washington DC you'll find plenty of places to go hiking. There's also an elaborate bike and walking trail system in the city. To enjoy a bit of nature, head to Teddy Roosevelt Island.


Is the Shopping Better in Washington or San Francisco?

Washington
San Francisco

San Francisco is a world-class destination for shopping. Also, Washington is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its shopping opportunities.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in San Francisco. The city has excellent shopping from local vendors to recognizable brands. Union Square, Embarcadero, Fillmore Street and Haight Street are some of the best neighborhoods for shopping.

Washington is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Head to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for some of the city's best local shopping. There are name brand chains mixed in with local boutiques. You'll also find plenty of souvenir shops in the more touristy areas if you're looking to pick up some trinkets.

Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Christmas?

Washington
San Francisco

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, San Francisco does not offer Christmas activities.

People travel from all around to experience the Christmas season in Washington. With it's beautiful lights and holiday shows, Christmas is beautiful in the capital of the United States.

San Francisco does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Families?

Washington
San Francisco

San Francisco is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Washington is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

San Francisco is one of the most popular family destinations. With its many outdoor parks, hiking trails, beaches, and kid-friendly museums, this city makes a great family-friendly destination. There are also many amazing playgrounds with stunning views of the bay and city. Head to Chinatown for some unique and kid-friendly food, or down to Pier 39 for fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Washington is a very kid-friendly city. It is a fun and educational destination where kids can explore world class museums and try unique foods from all around the world. The city has nationally recognized landmarks, monuments, and memorials and it's also home to some of the best (free) museums in the United States including the world class Smithsonian Institutions. Many schools visit Washington DC as a field trip, particularly during the Spring months, so you'll kids groups in colorful t-shirts running around the National Mall.


Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Couples?

Washington
San Francisco

Both Washington and San Francisco are excellent destinations to visit as a couple.

Washington is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. The city lights up at night, so couples will enjoy wandering by the monuments in the evening or taking in a dinner and show. During the Spring months you'll find couples wandering through the Cherry Blossoms or along the waterfront.

San Francisco is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples enjoy the romantic backdrop of this beautiful city. There are world-class restaurants and plenty of spas that couples can enjoy during a honeymoon or romantic getaway. There are also many scenic walks and breathtaking views that couples can appreciate.

Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Washington
San Francisco

San Francisco is great for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Washington is not a good destination for backpackers.

San Francisco is very popular with the backpacker crowd. The city is one of the more backpacker friendly cities in the United States. There are a handful of hostels throughout, many concentrated in the popular Union Square and Downtown neighborhoods of the city.

Washington is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. While it is an international travel destination, the city often isn't at the top of most backpacker's lists. There are some affordable accommodation options available though if you know where to look.

Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Students?

Washington
San Francisco

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its student-friendly activities. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for students.

Washington is a great destination for students. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States. There are many internships available through the federal government as well as NGOs and nonprofits.

Students come from all over to stay in San Francisco. As a large and dynamic city, the area is popular with international students who want to experience this unique side of the United States. Major universities in the area include University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and nearby, the University of California, Berkeley.


Is Washington or San Francisco Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Washington
San Francisco

Washington and San Francisco both offer terrific public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Washington can get you around easily. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

Visitors in San Francisco can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The transit network includes a subway (the BART), trams, cable cars, ferries, and buses.

Is Washington or San Francisco a more walkable city?

Washington
San Francisco

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, San Francisco is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its walkability.

Washington is a very easy city to get around on foot. Many neighborhoods around the city are easy to explore on foot. Most tourists spend a lot of time in the Mall area, which is very pedestrian friendly.

San Francisco is very walkable. It is compact enough to explore on foot, but given the large hills, it's a bit of a challenge, even for the most fit among us.

For even more information, also check out Is Washington Worth Visiting? and Is San Francisco Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in San Francisco or Washington?

How long in Washington or San Francisco?

Both Washington and San Francisco have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in San Francisco than Washington. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in San Francisco, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Washington than San Francisco. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Washington that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in San Francisco than Washington if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in San Francisco.


  • How many days in Washington or San Francisco? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    San Francisco 3-7

One day in Washington or San Francisco?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

With theater and nightlife around the beautiful coastal city of San Francisco, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Washington or San Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Washington. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

With nightlife and live music around the big city destination of San Francisco, there's plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Five days in Washington or San Francisco?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

San Francisco, a popular coastal city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this coastal city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or San Francisco?

Washington is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

San Francisco is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this coastal city makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, San Francisco or Washington?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $198, while the average daily cost in San Francisco is $222. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Washington and San Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $113
    San Francisco $130
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $226
    San Francisco $260
Compare Hotels in Washington and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Washington or San Francisco? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Washington


Hotels in San Francisco


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Washington Hotel Prices and San Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $47
    San Francisco $16
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Washington

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

Also for Washington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Washington, DC Airport Transfer Service DCA: $350
  • Private Transfer from Washington DC to DCA Airport or vice versa : $280
  • Departure Private Transfer: Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Car: $213
  • Private Transfer to or from Springfield VA and Dulles Airport: $208
  • Washington City to LaGuardia Airport Departure Private Transfer: $200
  • Washington to NY Kennedy Airport(JFK)- Departure Private Transfer: $200
  • Private transfer to or form Arlington and Dulles International Airport: $200
  • Private transfer to or from Vienna and Ronald Reagan National Airport: $195
  • Departure Private Transfer: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury Van: $189
  • Departure Private Transfer: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury SUV: $189
  • Private Airport Transfer: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury SUV: $189
  • Washington to Newark Airport Departure Private Transfer: $188

Typical Local Transportation Prices in San Francisco

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in San Francisco:


  • Taxi to SFO
    $45
  • Golden Gate Bridge Toll
    $6.00
  • Alcatraz Tour
    $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Francisco

Also for San Francisco, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • San Francisco Airport (SFO): Transfer to Cruise Terminal: $563
  • Carmel 1-Way Transfer to/from San Francisco Airport: $535
  • SFO Airport Private Transfer to/from Sacramento: $414
  • Napa Valley 1-Way Transfer to/from the San Francisco Airport: $400
  • San Francisco Airport (SFO): Transfer to San Francisco: $347
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Calistoga Resorts Round-Trip Transfer: $297
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to East Bay (one way): $262
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by SUV: $245
  • San Francisco Airport (SFO) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $222
  • Departure Private Transfer San Francisco to SFO Airport in a SUV: $203
  • Transfer in private Minivan from San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Downtown city: $183
  • Transfer in private Minivan from San Francisco Downtown to Airport (SFO): $183

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco and Washington change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Washington $38
    San Francisco $46
Typical Food Prices in Washington

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Washington:


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

For Washington, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Little Ethiopia Food Tour: $67
  • DC: Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit: $69
  • Washington DC Holiday Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $74
  • DC: Gourmet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey: $85
  • Washington D.C.: Georgetown Guided Secret Food Tour: $89
  • Washington, DC: African American History Tour with Dinner: $108
  • Washington,DC: Union Market Private Food Tour: $125
  • Washington D.C.: Taste of Georgetown Walking Food Tour: $129
  • Washington DC: Christmas Eve Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $140
  • Washington DC Premier Dinner Cruise: $144
  • Washington DC Christmas Eve Plated Dinner Cruise: $206

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Francisco

For San Francisco, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • San Francisco Virtual Food Tour with Local Guide: $19
  • North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour: $79
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Bay: $82
  • Secret Food Tours San Francisco: $85
  • Mission District Food Tour with Tastings: $85
  • Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $87
  • San Francisco Chinatown Food Tour: $89
  • Mission District Walking Food Tour: $89
  • Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco North Beach Food Tour: $89
  • San Francisco Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $89
  • Secret Food Tour of North Beach and Chinatown: $98

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $24
    San Francisco $46

Tours and Activities in Washington

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Washington.

  • Boat Tour in Washington Harbor with Brunch Buffet: $89
  • See DC In A Day: Guided Small Group Ultimate Day Tour : $99
  • 2 For 1! DC Highlights & Arlington Cemetery Tour Bundle: $84
  • 2 Hour Guided Bike Tour of Capitol Hill: $55
  • 2 Hours Book Store Tour in Capitol Hill: $80
  • 2-Hour African American Heritage Tour in Washington DC: $25
  • 2-Hour Arlington Cemetery Guided Walking Tour : $75
  • 2-Hour Boomerang Pirate Ship Cruise : $65
  • 2-Hour National Mall Walking Tour from Washington DC: $25
  • 3 Hour Washington DC Guided Sightseeing Tour : $120
  • 3-Hour Small Group Memorial Tour in Washington, D.C.: $59
  • 4 Hours Washington Tour with Boat Cruise: $169

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Francisco.

  • Streets and Stairways of San Francisco with Local Guided Tour: $50
  • 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $85
  • 2 or 3 Hour Private Group San Francisco City Tour Open-air Jeep: $169
  • 2-Hour Double Decker City Tour of San Francisco: $73
  • 2-Hour Sunset Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2-Hour Sunset or Evening Private Jeep Tour of San Francisco: $169
  • 2HR Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Loop GoCar Tour: $172
  • 2hr - INTERACTIVE Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2hr - SUNSET Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay: $149
  • 2hr PRIVATE Sailing Experience on San Francisco Bay 6 Guests: $695
  • 3 Hour Sightseeing Small Group Guided Tour in San Francisco: $89
  • 3-Hour Private Group San Francisco Open Top Jeep Tour: $249

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Museums in San Francisco, The Best Outdoor Activities in San Francisco, and Things to Do In San Francisco on a Rainy Day.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $19
    San Francisco $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Washington DC: Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • DC Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl By US Ghost Adventures: $34
  • Small-Group History Tour Pub Crawl of Washington, D.C.: $59
  • Washington, D.C.: History Tour Pub Crawl: $59
  • DC: Guided Craft Brewery Tours with a Snack: $105
  • From Washington DC: Seneca Creek Region Wine Tour with Lunch: $175
  • Full-Day Private Virginia Wine Tour Experience from Washington : $244
  • Private Washington DC Virginia Winery Wine Tasting Tour -Spirited: $255

Sample the Local Flavors in San Francisco

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in San Francisco:

  • Chinatown San Francisco’s Bar Crawl: An Audio Tour: $4.99
  • Private Self Guided Tour and Bar Crawl in Chinatown San Francisco: $5.00
  • SF Pub Crawl and Clubbing Experience: $24
  • Ghosts, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Sunset Distillery with Local Whiskey or Cocktail Tasting: $40
  • Walk with Spirits: A Haunted Pub Crawl in San Francisco: $45
  • 2 to 3 Hour Bar Crawl in Castro San Francisco: $49
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $85
  • Small Group: Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour from San Francisco: $119
  • Half-Day Wine Country Tour with Wine Tastings: $126
  • From The Ultimate Napa and Sonoma Wine Tour: $139
  • The Ultimate Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $139


When comparing the travel costs between Washington and San Francisco, we can see that San Francisco is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Washington Expensive? and Is San Francisco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Washington or San Francisco?

San Francisco has a larger population, and is about 33% larger than the population of Washington. When comparing the sizes of Washington and San Francisco, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Washington or San Francisco?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Washington or San Francisco in the Summer?

Both San Francisco and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to San Francisco for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Washington is generally much warmer than San Francisco. Daily temperatures in Washington average around 79°F (26°C), and San Francisco fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

In July, Washington usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Washington or San Francisco in the Autumn?

Both San Francisco and Washington during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Washington for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to San Francisco in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Washington is cooler than San Francisco in the autumn. The daily temperature in Washington averages around 60°F (15°C) in October, and San Francisco fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

Washington usually gets more rain in October than San Francisco. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Washington or San Francisco in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and San Francisco. Many visitors come to Washington in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to San Francisco for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Washington can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Washington is much colder than San Francisco. Typically, the winter temperatures in Washington in January average around 35°F (1°C), and San Francisco averages at about 50°F (10°C).

In January, Washington usually receives less rain than San Francisco. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Washington or San Francisco in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Washington as well as San Francisco. Most visitors come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, Washington is generally around the same temperature as San Francisco. Daily temperatures in Washington average around 56°F (14°C), and San Francisco fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

Washington usually gets more rain in April than San Francisco. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    San Francisco 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Washington

Washington San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)