California in September: Top 6 Things To Do For Fun

california in september

September is a fantastic time to visit California with its perfect weather and a wide range of events and attractions. The state offers diverse landscapes and activities that cater to all types of travelers. Whether you want to explore the iconic cities, relax on beautiful beaches, or venture into the stunning national parks, California has something for everyone. With mild temperatures and fewer crowds, September is an ideal month to plan your California vacation. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable trip to the Golden State!

Key Takeaways:

  • September offers perfect weather for a trip to California
  • The average daily high temperature is around 70°F, with lows in the 50s°F.
  • California provides diverse landscapes and activities
  • Mild temperatures and fewer crowds make September an ideal time to visit
  • Explore iconic cities, relax on beautiful beaches, and venture into stunning national parks
  • Plan ahead to make the most of your California vacation in September

Weather in California in September

In September, California experiences pleasant weather with warm temperatures and little rainfall. In coastal regions, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, the average daily high temperature is around 70°F, with lows in the 50s°F. The coastal areas are also known for their fog, which can create a mystical atmosphere, especially in the mornings. Inland areas, like Palm Springs and Death Valley, tend to be hotter with temperatures reaching the 80s°F or higher. Overall, September offers comfortable weather throughout the state, making it a great time for outdoor activities and exploring the various attractions.

Whether you’re planning a coastal getaway or an adventure in the inland areas, California in September provides the perfect climate for your vacation. You can enjoy the pleasant temperatures and less crowded tourist sites, giving you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Golden State.

Coastal Regions

  • San Francisco: Enjoy the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and explore the vibrant neighborhoods while experiencing the cool coastal breeze.
  • Los Angeles: Visit world-famous attractions like Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, and the stunning beaches of Malibu.
  • San Diego: Relax on the beautiful beaches, explore the historic Gaslamp Quarter, and visit the renowned San Diego Zoo.

Inland Areas

  • Palm Springs: Indulge in luxury resorts, play golf on world-class courses, and explore the unique desert landscapes.
  • Death Valley: Witness the striking beauty of the hottest and driest place in North America, known for its surreal landscapes and unique geological features.
  • Yosemite National Park: Discover the stunning waterfalls, granite cliffs, and breathtaking scenery in one of the country’s most iconic national parks.

“September in California offers a fantastic balance of warm weather, fewer crowds, and diverse landscapes to explore. Whether you prefer the coastal regions or the inland areas, there’s something for everyone in the Golden State.” – Traveler’s Journal

Things to Do in California in September

California is brimming with exciting events and attractions in September. Some of the top activities and festivals include:

1. Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

September is the harvest season in Napa Valley, making it the perfect time to indulge in a wine tasting adventure. Explore the picturesque vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample a variety of world-class wines. Don’t miss the annual Napa Valley Wine Train, a unique experience that combines a scenic train ride with gourmet food and wine pairings.

2. Music Festivals in San Francisco

San Francisco comes alive in September with a variety of music festivals catering to different genres. From the electronic beats of Outside Lands to the soulful sounds of the Fillmore Jazz Festival, music lovers will find plenty of options to groove to their favorite tunes. Experience the vibrant atmosphere, discover new artists, and dance the night away.

3. Coastal Road Trip along Highway 1

September is an ideal month to embark on a scenic road trip along California’s iconic Highway 1. Marvel at the breathtaking coastal views, stop at charming seaside towns like Carmel-by-the-Sea and Santa Barbara, and soak in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Don’t forget to make a pit stop at the famous Bixby Creek Bridge for a photo opportunity that will leave you in awe.

4. Outdoor Adventures in Yosemite National Park

September is a great time to explore the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park. Enjoy hiking amidst towering granite cliffs, stand in awe of the majestic waterfalls, and witness the beauty of the changing colors as autumn approaches. Don’t miss the chance to photograph the iconic Half Dome or spot wildlife like black bears and coyotes.

5. Hollywood Glamour in Los Angeles

Experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood in September. Visit the Walk of Fame, where you can find the stars of your favorite celebrities, or take a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Warner Bros. Studio. For classic movie lovers, catch a show at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre or attend a film screening at the American Cinematheque.

6. Cultural Festivals in San Diego

San Diego hosts a variety of cultural festivals in September, celebrating the city’s rich heritage. From the vibrant Latino flavors at the Latin Food Fest to the lively music and dance performances at the San Diego Bay Festival of Moms, immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Wine TastingNapa ValleyThroughout September
Outside Lands Music FestivalSan FranciscoSeptember 10-12, 2022
Highway 1 Road TripCalifornia CoastThroughout September
Yosemite National ParkYosemiteThroughout September
Hollywood AttractionsLos AngelesThroughout September
Cultural FestivalsSan DiegoThroughout September

With so many exciting activities and events, September is the perfect time to explore California’s diverse offerings. Plan your trip, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Golden State!

Things to Do in California in September

California Road Trip Itinerary in September

Embarking on a road trip is a popular way to explore the diverse landscapes of California. In September, the weather is ideal for a road trip adventure. The mild temperatures and clear skies make it a perfect time to hit the road and soak in the beauty of the Golden State. I have curated a suggested California road trip itinerary for September that will take you through some of the most iconic destinations in the state.

Day 1: San Francisco

Start your road trip in the vibrant city of San Francisco. Explore iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Take a stroll along the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf and indulge in delicious seafood. Don’t forget to visit the colorful neighborhoods of Chinatown and Haight-Ashbury for a taste of San Francisco’s diverse culture.

Day 2-3: Yosemite National Park

Head east from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, a natural wonderland known for its towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and giant sequoia groves. Spend a couple of days exploring the park’s hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and breathtaking vistas. Don’t miss iconic landmarks like Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.

Day 4-5: Big Sur

Continue your journey down the picturesque Highway 1 to Big Sur. This rugged coastal stretch offers majestic cliffs, pristine beaches, and enchanting redwood forests. Take your time to stop at scenic viewpoints like Bixby Creek Bridge and McWay Falls. Enjoy hiking, camping, and soaking in the beauty of this breathtaking coastline.

Day 6-7: Santa Barbara

As you travel south, make a pit stop in Santa Barbara. With its beautiful beaches, Spanish architecture, and vibrant arts scene, this coastal city is a must-visit. Explore the historic Mission Santa Barbara, wander along State Street for shopping and dining, or simply relax on the sandy shores.

Day 8-9: Los Angeles

Finish off your road trip in the dazzling city of Los Angeles. Discover the glamour of Hollywood, stroll along the Walk of Fame, and visit famous attractions like the Griffith Observatory and Universal Studios. Spend a day exploring the eclectic neighborhoods of Venice Beach and Santa Monica, where you can soak up the California sun and enjoy the lively beach atmosphere.

The suggested itinerary is just a starting point, and you can customize it based on your preferences and the time you have. Remember to check road conditions and any travel restrictions before your trip. With its stunning landscapes and exciting destinations, a road trip in California in September is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

Where to Stay in California in September

California offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, budget-friendly options, or unique accommodations, there is something for everyone. Here are a few suggestions for where to stay in California in September:

1. San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its iconic landmarks, vibrant arts scene, and diverse culinary offerings. Stay in the heart of the city, near Union Square, to be close to popular attractions like Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. There are plenty of boutique hotels and trendy Airbnb rentals to choose from.

2. Napa Valley

If you’re a wine enthusiast, consider staying in the picturesque Napa Valley. September is the beginning of the harvest season, making it an ideal time to explore the vineyards and indulge in wine tasting. There are charming bed and breakfasts, luxury resorts, and vineyard estates where you can relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings.

3. Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara offers a relaxed coastal vibe with beautiful beaches and Mediterranean-style architecture. Stay in downtown Santa Barbara to be close to State Street, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and galleries. You can also choose beachfront resorts or cozy inns for a tranquil getaway.

4. Yosemite National Park

If you’re looking for a nature-focused vacation, consider staying near Yosemite National Park. September is a great time to visit, as the weather is still pleasant, and the park is less crowded than in the summer months. You can choose from camping in the park, staying in rustic cabins, or booking a hotel in nearby Mariposa or Oakhurst.

No matter where you decide to stay in California, be sure to book your accommodations in advance, as September is a popular time for tourism. Take advantage of the wide range of options and find the perfect place to stay during your California vacation in September.

where to stay in California in September

Tips for Traveling in California in September

Traveling in California in September can be an incredible experience. Here are some travel tips to make the most of your trip:

1. Pack layers:

California’s weather in September can vary throughout the day, so it’s best to pack layers. Mornings and evenings might be cool, especially near the coast, while the afternoons can be warm. Be prepared for temperature fluctuations and dress accordingly.

2. Plan outdoor activities:

September in California offers fantastic opportunities for outdoor adventures. Whether it’s hiking in Yosemite National Park, exploring the stunning coastline, or biking through wine country, make sure to plan outdoor activities and take advantage of the pleasant weather.

3. Check event calendars:

California has a vibrant event scene, and September is no exception. Check local event calendars to see if there are any festivals, concerts, or special events happening during your visit. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in California’s culture and have a memorable experience.

4. Consider booking accommodations in advance:

September is still a popular time for tourists in California, so it’s advisable to book your accommodations in advance. Whether you prefer luxury hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, or budget-friendly options, make sure to secure your reservations before your trip.

“Traveling in California in September allows you to enjoy pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and a wide range of activities. Whether you’re exploring iconic cities, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or hiking in national parks, September is the perfect time to visit.”

– California travel expert

5. Stay hydrated:

California’s warm temperatures, particularly in inland areas, can be dehydrating. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re outdoors or engaging in physical activities. Stay hydrated to fully enjoy your trip without any health concerns.

6. Rent a car or use public transportation:

To make the most of your California adventure, consider renting a car. Having your own transportation gives you the flexibility to explore different regions and attractions at your own pace. Alternatively, if you prefer not to drive, cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles have efficient public transportation systems.

7. Embrace the local cuisine:

California is renowned for its diverse and delicious food scene. From world-class restaurants to street food markets, make sure to savor the local cuisine. Don’t miss out on trying fresh seafood, farm-to-table dishes, and iconic Californian specialties like In-N-Out Burger or a California burrito.

8. Be aware of wildfire risks:

September is still part of California’s wildfire season. Stay informed about any current wildfire risks and adhere to local authorities’ guidance. If you plan to hike or camp in areas prone to wildfires, make sure to follow safety protocols and be prepared for potential changes in plans.

By following these tips, you’ll have an unforgettable experience traveling in California in September. Enjoy the perfect weather, explore the stunning landscapes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the Golden State.

Explore the Beauty of California in September

September is a wonderful time to explore the natural beauty of California. With its diverse landscapes, the Golden State offers a wide range of outdoor activities and stunning scenery. Whether you want to hike in the national parks, relax on the pristine beaches, or admire the breathtaking views along the coast, California has it all. From the majestic mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the picturesque coastline of Highway 1, September provides the perfect weather for outdoor adventures and sightseeing. Soak in the beauty of California’s nature and create unforgettable memories in the great outdoors.

Hiking TrailsBeachesCoastline
Yosemite National ParkSanta Monica BeachHighway 1
Sequoia National ParkLaguna BeachBig Sur
Joshua Tree National ParkPfeiffer BeachMorro Bay

Experience the breathtaking beauty of California’s national parks. Hike through the towering trees of Yosemite National Park, marvel at the massive sequoias in Sequoia National Park, or wander amongst the unique Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park. Each park offers its own unique landscapes and trails to explore.

For those seeking relaxation, California’s beaches are second to none. Enjoy the sun, sand, and surf at Santa Monica Beach, known for its iconic pier and vibrant atmosphere. Laguna Beach offers pristine shores and picturesque coves, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or exploring tide pools. And Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is renowned for its stunning purple sand and stunning coastal scenery.

Don’t miss the chance to drive along California’s breathtaking coastline. Take a scenic drive along Highway 1 and be awed by the dramatic cliffs, rugged shorelines, and panoramic ocean views. Stop at iconic spots like Big Sur, where the mountains meet the sea, or Morro Bay, known for its picturesque harbor and iconic Morro Rock.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a beach lover, or a fan of stunning coastal views, California in September offers an abundance of natural beauty to explore. Immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes, take in the awe-inspiring sights, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


September is the perfect time to visit California, offering a delightful combination of pleasant weather, diverse attractions, and fewer crowds. Whether you’re planning a scenic road trip along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, exploring the vibrant cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, or immersing yourself in the stunning natural landscapes of Yosemite National Park and Joshua Tree National Park, California has something for every type of traveler.

Make sure to pack accordingly for the mild temperatures and plan your itinerary ahead to make the most of your trip. September is also a month filled with exciting events and festivals throughout the state, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture and vibrant atmosphere that California has to offer.

With its perfect weather, endless opportunities for exploration, and the chance to avoid the peak summer crowds, California in September truly becomes a dream destination for any traveler. So, don’t miss out on this incredible time to experience the beauty and wonders of the Golden State!

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What is the weather like in California in September?

In September, California experiences pleasant weather with warm temperatures and little rainfall. Coastal regions have average daily high temperatures around 70°F, with lows in the 50s°F. Inland areas, like Palm Springs and Death Valley, tend to be hotter, with temperatures reaching the 80s°F or higher.

What are some things to do in California in September?

In September, California offers a wide range of activities and attractions. Some popular options include attending festivals, exploring national parks, visiting iconic cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, enjoying outdoor adventures like hiking and surfing, and relaxing on the beautiful beaches.

What is a suggested road trip itinerary for California in September?

A suggested California road trip itinerary for September could include starting in San Francisco, driving along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, visiting destinations like Big Sur, Santa Barbara, and the beautiful coastal cities of Southern California, and ending in San Diego.

Where should I stay in California in September?

California offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs. Some popular places to stay in September include luxury hotels in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, beachside resorts in coastal areas, cozy cabins in national parks, and budget-friendly options like motels and vacation rentals.

What are some travel tips for visiting California in September?

When traveling to California in September, it’s recommended to pack layers, as the weather can vary. It’s also a good idea to book accommodations and attractions in advance, as September is still a popular time to visit. Additionally, be prepared for potential traffic, especially in major cities, and make sure to check for any road closures or restrictions in national parks.

Why should I explore California in September?

California in September offers perfect weather, fewer crowds compared to the summer months, and a wide range of activities and attractions. Whether you’re interested in nature, culture, or city life, California has something for everyone. It’s a great time to explore the state’s stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse culture.