How to pack for San Francisco: Lessons from a Native

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Don’t be the freezing tourist in a tank top! Dive into “How to Pack for San Francisco” Let this California native guide you through packing for the beautiful, and sometimes chilly, San Francisco.

Ah, San Francisco! The city where I grew up and learned to spot tourists from a mile away. How could I tell, you ask? Well, it’s the ones freezing in their tank tops and T-shirts, expecting Southern California weather, who give themselves away. Bless their hearts, but they’ve come to the wrong part of California without a jacket!


So, dear friend, let’s make sure you don’t end up a shivering sightseer. Here’s the inside scoop on packing for the city of fog and fabulousness.

Layering Like a Local

San Francisco’s weather is as unpredictable as its sourdough is delicious. Your packing mantra? Layers, layers, layers!


  • T-shirts: Great, but never alone!

  • Sweaters and Hoodies: Your new best friends.

  • A Stylish Jacket: Trust me, you’ll need it. Don’t end up like those chilly tourists I used to chuckle at!

The Essentials to Avoid the Tourist Trap

Planning on walking? Of course, you are!

  • Comfortable Shoes: Those hills are no joke.

  • A Backpack: For your must-haves.

  • Sunglasses and a Hat: For when the sun peeks through the fog.

Dining Out Without the Doubt

San Francisco’s laid-back but loves a bit of flair:

  • Smart-Casual Attire: Leave the tank tops at home.

Tech Up!

Being tech-savvy in San Francisco is as essential as loving burritos:

  • Chargers and Power Banks: Keep your devices alive.

  • Local Travel Apps: Navigate like a native, not a freezing tourist!

Just a Few More Things

  • A Scarf and Gloves: I’m not joking about the cold evenings.

  • Umbrella: Rare, but handy.

  • Sunscreen: Even the fog can’t protect you from a sunburn.

 Be Like a Native, Not a Nippy Tourist!

With these insider packing tips about how to pack for San Francisco, you’ll not only be ready to explore the beautiful city of San Francisco, but you’ll also blend in like a local. Gone are the days of standing out as the freezing tourist in a tank top!

But hey, there’s more to San Francisco than just packing right and not freezing! It’s all about the experiences and the places you visit. And since I’ve got the insider knowledge, why not let me guide you a bit further?

I’ve curated some amazing tours around the city that cater to every interest. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, art enthusiast, or simply looking for stunning views, there’s a tour for you.


Check out the amazing San Francisco tours listed below for an unforgettable experience. You’ll see the best that our city has to offer and have fun while doing it. So go ahead, click on the link, book a tour, and make your San Francisco trip the adventure of a lifetime. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

And remember, if you see a tourist shivering in a tank top, give them a knowing smile; you were once that close to being them. But now, you’re not only well-prepared but also well-guided. Happy exploring!


Best San Francisco Tours: 

Best San Francisco Food Tours

Best San Francisco Sailing Tours

Best San Francisco Bus Tours

One More Thing…..

And If you think  you will need a rental car while in town – Search here and compare prices.

If you enjoyed this piece on San Francisco, you’ll appreciate some of our other articles on San Francisco: 


What is the Worst Time of Year to Visit San Francisco?


Do You Need to Rent a Car in San Francisco?