California in Spring

Spring is a great time to visit California! The weather is nice, there are lots of things to see, and you can have a lot of fun. This blog post will help you know what to expect when you visit different parts of California in the spring.

CLICK HERE! Browse the best things to do in California during spring

💡 We’ll talk about the weather, what clothes to pack, and how to deal with the crowds in popular places. This guide was written by a local!

Weather in California During Spring

California is a big place, so the weather can be different depending on where you go. In the north, like in San Francisco, it can be a bit cool and sometimes rainy.

But in the south, like in Los Angeles, it’s usually warmer and sunnier. Knowing what the weather is like will help you decide what to do and what to wear.

SHOP NOW: The Best California Travel Guides on Amazon

Now, we provide you with expert visiting tips for each spring month in California. It gets even better: We cover every important region of the state and provide weather insights and outfit tips!

March

March is a midway month for weather in California, marking the decline of a cool, damp winter and the arrival of a dry, hot summer. There are fewer tourists, so it is a fantastic season to visit.

Daytime temperatures are a pleasant 55° to 65° degrees, while most nighttime temperatures will stay in the mid-40° degrees. The desert will begin to heat up, marking the end of its tourism season.

March Shopping Tip (Rain Jacket):
SaleBestseller No. 1
MOERDENG Women's Waterproof Rain Jacket Lightweight Raincoat Hooded Hiking...
  • 【Waterproof & Windproof】Designed with a superior water-resistant shell fabric and Watertight Ⅳ technology,...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Columbia Women's Switchback III Jacket, White, Small
  • COMFORTABLE RAIN JACKET: The Columbia Women’s Switchback III Waterproof Rain Jacket is a lightweight waterproof...
Bestseller No. 3
Women's Cycling Rain Jackets Waterproof Windbreaker Running Jackets Rain Gear...
  • Raincoats Material : Rain coats for women is made of 100%Polyester. It's waterproof and windproof, keeps you dry in...

For more details, make sure to bookmark our complete California in March travel article.

Northern and Coastal California | San Francisco, Napa Valley, San José, San Diego, Santa Barbara

March in Northern and Coastal California is still damp and sort of cool, but both rain and humidity are lessening as summer approaches. Temperatures range from 45° degrees (nighttime) to upper-60° degrees, though the Lake Tahoe area will still be cold, around freezing.

Outfits/Packing: Prepare waterproof, light to warmer clothing for most cities: a waterproof jacket, long-sleeved shirts, light sweaters, light pants, or a shirt with a thin jacket.

Some days are cool and breezy while others are pleasant and sunny. Bringing enough layers will allow you to add and remove items as needed. If you’re enjoying the snow at upper elevations, wear double layers of warm, waterproof clothing.

Best Time: Most of March is a beautiful time to visit. However, spring break means young crowds, so early in the month will be a better time to visit if you want to see fewer people. The ski season is nearing its end in Tahoe, so take advantage of dry, warmer days.

Southern California and Central Valley | Los Angeles, Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, Sacramento

March in Southern and Central California is heavenly, with average temperature highs around 70° degrees, even in Yosemite National Park. Temperature lows don’t drop below 40° degrees (nighttime), and rain is less common. The snow is melting, and the flowers are blooming in the valleys.

If the weather cooperates, you may experience a rare “super bloom” of orange poppies in sites like Lancaster’s Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Outfits/Packing: Prepare layers of spring and summer clothing like t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and light sweaters. March is a month to pack both sun protection and waterproof clothing in case it rains or there’s a hot, sunny day.

Best Time: The beginning of March is best to visit, due to busier spring break crowds in popular places like Disneyland and Yosemite. However, a late-March visit means you have more chances to see wildflowers, which typically bloom anytime between February and May. All of March is enjoyable at the beach.

California Desert | Palm Springs, Coachella Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park

March is the unofficial beginning of summer in California desert areas, up to 81° degrees in cities like Palm Springs. However, the temperature still drops to low 40° degrees at night. Low humidity and few winds make this one of the final tolerable months to visit before the heat soars. Unsurprisingly, it is also the end of the high season for tourism.

Outfits/Packing: It will feel like summer in Palm Springs and spring in Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Park, so remember that temperatures are trending warmer but vary even from desert region to desert region. As always, layers are critical.

Bring t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, light sweaters, and sun protection. You will likely want hats and gloves for the cooler nighttime hours.

Best Time: Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs will have many visitors, while Death Valley National Park is cooler and has fewer visitors, more campsites, and emptier trails.

The “super bloom” can be even more prominent in the desert than in other parts of California, so check wildflower forecasts for best viewing times.

 

April

April is highly variable in California, and it will feel like winter, spring, or summer, depending on where you visit. In the desert, temperatures are as hot as 87° degrees in Palm Springs. However, in San Francisco and other northern regions, temperatures are a comfortable average of 60° degrees.

April Shopping Tip (Windbreaker):
Bestseller No. 1
Champion Windbreaker, Packable, Wind and Water-Resistant Jacket for Women, Black...
  • THE FIT - Unisex-fit, women's windbreaker with shock cord that adjusts for a custom fit.
Bestseller No. 2
Muzeca Women's Waterproof Raincoat Lightweight Rain Jacket Hooded Windbreaker...
  • 【Material】: This windbreaker jacket for women is made of super waterproof material. it's lightweight, packable,...
Bestseller No. 3
Avoogue Lightweight Raincoat Women's Waterproof Windbreaker Packable Outdoor...
  • WATERPROOF& WINDPROOF RAINCOAT: This hooded rain jacket is made of super waterproof material, it's lightweight ,...

Further inland or in higher elevations, you may still experience freezing temperatures at night. However, it is a dry, sometimes breezy, month. Be mindful of Easter and spring break tourist crowds.

Northern and Coastal California | San Francisco, Napa Valley, San José, San Diego, Santa Barbara

During April in Northern and Coastal California, you can expect mild, breezy weather, with temperatures as low as 48° degrees (nighttime) and as high as 69° degrees, though the Lake Tahoe area will still average 41° degrees. This is a dry, windy month in this region.

Outfits/Packing: Bring spring-weather clothing for the day, such as a t-shirt and light jacket. During the night, bring a sweater, puffer vest, puffer jacket, and windbreaker. In cooler areas, bring extra layers such as scarves, hats, and gloves.

Best Time: April is a great time to visit. Unique experiences include the cherry blossom season in San Francisco and the end of the ski season in Tahoe. However, Easter and spring break mean larger crowds everywhere, so it is better to plan a midweek visit if you want to see fewer people.

Southern California and Central Valley | Los Angeles, Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, Sacramento

April is the unofficial beginning of summer in Southern California, with average temperatures around 70° degrees or more. There is little to no rain in this region, and the weather should be mild even at night, in the upper 40° degrees. Wildflowers are guaranteed, making April a grand time to visit.

Outfits/Packing: Prepare layers of spring and summer clothing like t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and light sweaters. March is a month to pack both sun protection and waterproof clothing, in case it rains or there’s a hot, sunny day.

Best Time: April is a crowded time across all popular parks. If you have to visit in April, it is slightly better to do so late in the month, after Easter and spring break. Wildflower sightings and beach days will also be popular but allow for more spacious visits.

California Desert | Palm Springs, Coachella Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park

There’s no avoiding the summer heat if you visit the California desert in April. Temperatures rise to the upper 80° degrees, though they are still cool at night, as low as 47° degrees in Death Valley National Park. This is the final endurable month to visit before summer, and you’ll see fewer tourists as a result.

Outfits/Packing: Expect heat in April. Bring t-shirts for the day and long-sleeved shirts or light sweaters for the night. Pack hats and sun protection. This is a windier month, so a lightweight windbreaker may also be smart.

Best Time: All desert areas will still have a lot of tourists, though Death Valley National Park will still have fewer than 200,000 tourists and the mildest weather. Visit the desert and its wildflowers in early April to avoid the heat. If you’re traveling in late April, visit higher elevations like the mountains.

May

May in California offers comfortable to warm daytime temperatures over 70° degrees in Southern and Central California areas, and cool to comfortable daytime temperatures up to 70° degrees in Northern and Coastal California, while desert regions are scorching during the day with over 100° degrees many days.

May Shopping Tip (Long-Sleeved Shirts):
SaleBestseller No. 1
AUTOMET Womens Long Sleeve Shirts Tops Crewneck 2023 Cotton T-Shirt Fall Fashion...
  • Material:The basic Tops is made of 35% rayon 60%polyester5 %spandex
SaleBestseller No. 2
Hanes Women's Originals Long Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt, Lightweight Crewneck Tee,...
  • BASICS THAT ARE FAR FROM BASIC - A stylish collection of cool, modern essentials designed for comfort, made for...
Bestseller No. 3
Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Long-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt (Available in...
  • CLASSIC FIT: Close but comfortable fit with easy movement

Evening and morning temperatures and temperatures at higher elevations will be cooler in all parts of California.

Northern and Coastal California | San Francisco, Napa Valley, San José, San Diego, Santa Barbara

During May in Northern and Coastal California, expect high temperatures around 70° degrees. Late spring and summer here often include heavy fog, known as “May Gray.” Some humidity but little or no rain.

Outfits/Packing: Bring layers, and prepare to wear spring- or fall-weather clothing. In the daytime, you’ll want to bring a t-shirt and – in San Francisco, the coldest city – a sweater or light jacket.

For the evening, a puffer vest, puffer jacket, or leather jacket will be a good choice in any of these cities. Layering is the best way to prepare for the temperature differences in these regions.

Best Time: This is still a great time for a beach visit. However, in San Francisco, visit between mid- and late May for best temperatures. Try to visit all these areas before Memorial Day as this is the unofficial beginning of the summer and gets very crowded at popular attractions.

Southern California and Central Valley | Los Angeles, Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, Sacramento

May in Southern California and Central Valley offers ideal temperatures with a high of upper 70° degrees. Nighttime temperatures are still cool, as low as 45° in Yosemite. You may experience “May Gray” fog, though it usually disappears by afternoon. Expect heatwave days but no rain or humidity.

Outfits/Packing: Bring spring-weather clothing. In the daytime, you’ll want to wear a t-shirt and shorts or – in Yosemite, which is cooler – a long-sleeved shirt and pants.

A puffer vest, puffer jacket, or leather jacket is a smart decision for the evening. Temperatures drop, particularly in the forest or mountains, so it’s good to layer at night.

Best Time: Visit before Memorial Day to enjoy the weather and smaller crowds. National Parks like Yosemite experience high visitation numbers on Memorial Day weekend. Yosemite receives approximately 400,000 people in May, though this is still approximately half of the visitors it receives in July and August.

Additionally, Disneyland will be busy at the end of the month. If you still want to visit Yosemite, Disneyland, or other parks, visit mid-week but expect to see a lot of people.

California Desert | Palm Springs, Coachella Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park

May in the Californian desert cities is unpleasantly hot, often over 100° degrees. It is very dry. To escape the heat, visit the mountains like Mt. San Jacinto in Palm Springs and Telescope Peak in Death Valley.

Outfits/Packing: Expect heat; the desert will be warm even at night. It is summer in the desert, so dress accordingly. Bring light, loose clothing, and a hat that can protect you from the sunshine.

For the evening, bring a long-sleeved shirt or light jacket. Temperatures dip at night, particularly in the forest or mountains, so it’s good to layer.

Best Time: It is best not to visit unless you have booked an air-conditioned room. However, May marks the beginning of the off-season in cities like Palm Springs and Twentynine Palms, where you can find affordable hotels and resorts with large pools.

If you are open to experiencing hot temperatures, traveling to the desert now may offer bargains. To escape the heat, visit the mountains.

 

Save the 3 Best Activities