The Best Time to Go to West Coast USA

McWay Falls - Big Sur, CA, USA
McWay Falls, Big Sur

The West Coast by Seasons

The USA’s west coast has a surprisingly diverse climate, with variations in altitude and proximity to the coast having a significant effect on the weather. With warm summers and mild winters, it’s always a good time to go somewhere, so to help you choose, here are our seasonal suggestions:

Cherry Blossoms infront of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco

March - May

Spring is a lovely time to visit the USA’s west coast, especially California, where the temperatures start to warm up, flowers bloom and wildlife thrives. With mild, sunny days, spring is perfect for trying some outdoor activities or setting off on an extended hike in one of the many national parks.

Go for:

Cherry Blossoms: see the flowers bloom in San Francisco

St Patricks Day on 17th March: watch the parade and join the festivities in San Francisco, Sacramento or LA 

Coachella: held in April, this desert music festival is one of the biggest in the country

Los Angeles New Year's fireworks

June - August

As the temperatures begin to hot up, now’s definitely the time to hit the beach, although you’re unlikely to have the sands to yourself. The most popular time of year to visit, summer is when the deserts of Nevada and Utah start to sizzle, so bring lots of water - although temperatures are still cool in the evenings.

Go for:

Independence Day: join the 4th of July celebrations and expect fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals and concerts as the whole country turns red, white and blue.

Comic-Con: held in San Diego, this massive celebration of all things animated is a must for pop-culture fans.

Napa Valley in autumn

September - November

Autumn, or fall as it’s known here, is a great time to visit much of the west coast, especially Yosemite, where the days are clear and bright with mild temperatures. Snow and rain begins to creep into the far north, but the south remains warm and dry with the crowds dispersing and prices decreasing from the summer peak.

Go for:

Thanksgiving: the fourth Thursday of November is a time for family, roast turkey and copious eating. This is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, with hotels and transport routes very full.

Halloween: on the 31st October put on your fancy dress outfit and join in the pumpkin-themed fun.

Monterey Jazz Festival: soak up the soothing sounds of smooth jazz at this popular event.

Beverly Hills at Christmas

December - February

As the days shorten, temperatures drop and precipitation increases. Inland, winters can be bitterly cold, with snow falling in the mountain regions. Down at sea level, snow is virtually unheard of, and the deserts remain mild. As the ski season kicks in, resorts such as Lake Tahoe become more crowded, while Christmas is a magical (yet busy) time everywhere.

Go for:

Christmas: the 25th December is a wonderful time to visit, with decorations, trees and twinkly lights all over the country.

New Year: welcome in the new year in Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

Ski season: head to the Rockies between December and late March.

Top West Coast Journeys

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Experience the West Coast with the Experts

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Round the World Expert Victoria Grept

When planning a trip of the West Coast and California, be sure to take your time and not rush it. It’s the perfect place to chill out and get under the skin of the destination.

- Victoria Grept, Expert
Wine pairing course in Sonoma
Need a pitstop? You'll find the perfect one in Sonoma Valley between San Francisco and Yosemite, as enjoyed by our Expert Anna #expertfinds #sonoma #winepairing #california #usa