California in March [Weather, Tips, Things to Do] (2023)

There is perhaps no better month to visit California than March. Our California locals March guide to help you know what to wear, what to do, and the best places for a visit.

Except for spring break crowds in late March, you will encounter fewer tourists during your stay. We also love this month for the mild, dry weather.

Make sure to bring at least one California guide (via Amazon, affiliate link) for the region(s) you are planning to visit.

March in California is mild by day and night, with only a 50% chance of clouds and even less rain or wind. Of course, temperatures differ greatly between day and night and higher elevations where the snow is beginning to melt. However, this month is almost ideal for visiting California.

March Weather Overview

California in March [Weather, Tips, Things to Do] (1)

March is the end of the rainy spring season in California, and daytime temperatures are very pleasant throughout the month as skies clear. The average high temperature varies from around 50°F (10°C) degrees in Lake Tahoe to around 80°F (27°C) at Palm Springs.

The ocean is filled with traveling whales, the desert blooms with wildflowers, and the mountains are covered in fluffy snow, making California an idyllic spring destination. If you’re visiting from another state, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by California’s spring season with its flowers and warm days.

The Best March Events

California in March [Weather, Tips, Things to Do] (2)
  • Desert Wildflowers (Southern California): Local Californians look forward to March every year so they can photograph the many wildflowers, particularly in the desert, which blooms colorfully. There are multiple flower festivals, such as the month-long Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival. And many parks like Death Valley National Park and Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve dedicate websites to their flower conditions, so you’ll know before you go. Note: The bloom depends on weather conditions such as rainfall and heat, and the last “super bloom” was in 2019.
  • Whale Festivals (state-wide): In the spring, the warm coastal waters of California attract gray whales and orcas. In Dana Point, Southern California, celebrate the Festival of Whales in early March. Another excellent festival, the Whalefest, is held in Monterey Bay, Central California. And the multi-weekend Whale Festival is the pride of Fort Bragg in Northern California.
  • North Lake Tahoe Snowfest (North Lake Tahoe): Celebrate the end of the ski season with an eccentric week of events, including a dog sled contest, milk jug curling, snow sculpture competition, parades, fireworks, and various food events. Read more here.
  • Holi, the Festival of Colors (Los Angeles): Holi is a famous festival originating in India that celebrates colors and spring. Once you’ve attended a Holi festival, you’ll want to make it an annual tradition. Enjoy one of the nation’s largest celebrations with live music in El Monte, slightly east of Los Angeles. Read more about Holi here.
  • LA Marathon (Los Angeles): Cheer on runners attempting to complete the city’s most famous road race, the 26.2-mile LA Marathon. Better yet, run along! This marathon is one of the most-recognized races in the U.S., with over 20,000 visitors each March. Read more about LA Marathon here.

Northern and Coastal California | San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, San Diego, Santa Barbara

March in Northern and Coastal California brings temperatures between 61°F (16°C) and 67°F (19°C) degrees. One exception is Lake Tahoe, where daytime temperatures are about 10°F (5°C) degrees cooler and nighttime temperatures still drop below freezing.

(Video) Complete Guide to Disneyland in MARCH 2022! Rides, Crowds, Food, Special Events + Our Tips & More!

Tip: For the clearest and sunniest skies, visit Coastal California cities like Santa Barbara and San Diego.

What to Wear

This California region has a slim chance of rain during March, with less than 20% most days. In particular, the end of the month is dry and sunny in most Northern and Central California cities. However, with cooler morning temperatures and the occasional rainfall, you’ll still need to pack layers for a visit in March. Layers should include waterproof clothing.

Packing tips: Your wardrobe should consist of long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, long pants, and short-sleeved shirts for the middle of the day when the sun is out. You shouldn’t need much winter clothing unless you’re visiting Lake Tahoe; pack a puffer vest, leather jacket, or other similar shoulder season outer layers for other cities in this region.

Guide Book Tip

California in March [Weather, Tips, Things to Do] (3)California in March [Weather, Tips, Things to Do] (4)

Best Time | Crowds

March is one of the least crowded months to visit California unless you’re at a spring festival or visiting during the spring break season in late March. In addition, March is one of the most affordable months to book a hotel in California.

Nature and wildlife: March is the ideal month to experience nature, whether you’re whale-watching in Fort Bragg, snowshoeing in Lake Tahoe, or photographing wildflowers in San Francisco’s Mount Diablo State Park.

This month, you can visit almost any Northern and Coastal California location because it will feel like the whole state is celebrating spring. Some highlights include the North Lake Tahoe Snowfest and multiple whale festivals.

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San Francisco

March in San Francisco is pleasant, with clear days and mild temperatures. Daytime temperatures may reach up to 64 F° degrees, with the occasional day at 70 F° degrees or more.

Hotel Deals: Check e low price deals in San Francisco here: Hotels in San Francisco, California – Top Picks (via booking.com)

The evening and morning temperatures are around 50 F° degrees, meaning there is slight temperature variation throughout the day.

Napa Valley

The March temperatures in Napa are similar to that of San Francisco, though Napa has more variation. Daytime temperatures in Napa reach a high of 67 F° degrees while evening and morning temperatures drop to mid 40 F° degrees. This is a city for layers.

Lake Tahoe

March is still fantastic for visiting Lake Tahoe, as the ground is typically covered in snow and daytime high temperatures average 50°F degrees. Nighttime temperatures remain cold in the mid-20s.

With mild weather and nearly a 50% chance of sunshine during March, Tahoe is excellent for late-season skiers and other snow enthusiasts.

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

In Southern and Central California, March consists of warm days, cool nights, and maybe only a little rain. Temperatures reach an average high of 70°F (21°C) degrees. There is often only a 20% chance of rain, with even less in sunny Los Angeles.

(Video) What's the Weather Like in Los Angeles Year Round?

What to Wear

March is a warm, often dry, spring month. In Southern and Central California, plan to wear summer layers of short-sleeved shirts, loose pants or shorts, and sunscreen.

Colder regions/mornings: You’ll need warm sweaters, scarves, and jackets in the morning in colder regions like Yosemite National Park. In Yosemite, evening and morning temperatures drop to the mid-40s. Bring waterproof clothing for the occasional day of rain.

Best Time | Crowds

March is the low season for hotels in California, except for the spring break season in late March. You’ll see fewer tourists except at ticketed events like festivals and the LA Marathon.

Disneyland: At amusement parks like Disneyland, you’ll be happy to get on the rides sooner and encounter fewer crowds. However, try to avoid weekends as it’s always busier compared to mid-week.

Los Angeles

March is pleasant in Los Angeles, with sunny days for the majority of the month. By late March, there is a less than 10% chance of rain. Daytime temperatures reach an average high of 70 F° degrees.

Inland: Further inland, east of LA, you can expect temperatures in the 80s and even lower 90s. Temperatures vary significantly between night and day.

Hotel Deals: Search for the best hotels deals in November here: Hotels in Los Angeles, California – Top Picks (via booking.com)

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Morning and night: Morning and evening temperatures in Los Angeles are mild, with an average low of 52 F° degrees. As long as there is no rain, these temperatures will be comfortable. However, a light jacket is always a good idea for cooler evenings.

Yosemite and Central Valley

March daytime temperatures in Yosemite National Park are mild, around 60 F° degrees in lower elevations. At higher elevations and night, temperatures drop to the 40s.

High-elevation roads like Tioga Pass are still closed, so find out about road closures before visiting the park. There is a smaller chance of rain, ice, or snow in the park in March, and the above-freezing temperatures bring a melting, flowering landscape.

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

The California desert is vibrant in March. Temperatures are warm, sometimes even hot, in destinations like Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley. Most days are clear and sunny, with an average high temperature at mid-70 F° (mid-20°C) degrees, and some cities like Palm Springs in the mid-80s (up to 30°C).

Evenings and early mornings are mild, in the mid-40s or lower-50s. Freezing temperatures, even at night, are rare in March. These conditions allow for the most exceptional wildflowers.

What to Wear

In the desert in March, you’ll want to dress for the spring and summer with clothing like shorts, loose shirts, hats, and sunscreen.

Evenings and early mornings: At night, wear spring layers like sweaters and jackets. Most importantly, daytime temperatures vary significantly in spring, and all travelers should prepare for a shift between hot and cold.

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Best Time | Crowds

The high season in the desert runs from winter through spring, so you’ll still meet enough other visitors in locations like Joshua Tree and Palm Springs.

In March, many visitors travel to the desert to see California’s famous wildflowers like its state flower, a neon-orange poppy. Several of these wildflower sites like the Coachella Valley are crowded on weekends, so it’s best to visit wildflowers during a weekday if possible.

Remember to follow “wildflower etiquette” by leaving no trace but your footprints.

FAQs

How should I dress for California weather in March? ›

March is a warm, often dry, spring month. In Southern and Central California, plan to wear summer layers of short-sleeved shirts, loose pants or shorts, and sunscreen. Colder regions/mornings: You'll need warm sweaters, scarves, and jackets in the morning in colder regions like Yosemite National Park.

What is weather like in California in March? ›

Daytime high temperatures average in the upper 60s F to low 70s F (20 to 22 C) with a few of the warmer afternoons warming up into the low 80s F (27 to 28 C). Afternoon temperatures at or above 90 F (32.2 C) occur only about once every 2-3 years. The record high temperature for Los Angeles during March is 98F (36.7 C).

Is March a good month for California? ›

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.

Can you go to the beach in California in March? ›

Whether you want to lie on the beach for hours or want to walk around San Diego's many beach towns, the weather in this beautiful spring month is near-perfect. The temperature is warm and it isn't too dry.

How do females dress in California? ›

California girl style errs on the side of casual, comfortable, and carefree. Pair a sundress with flats or espadrilles; look for breezy fabrics; balance tailored pieces like a button-up shirt with jeans. It's all about feeling comfortable and confident in the clothes you're in too.

Does it rain a lot in March in California? ›

The tables below give monthly averages for rainfall during March at cities in California. Each place has a total for the amount of precipitation it usually receives this month.
...
Northern California.
Days16
PlaceEureka
Inches5.8
Millimetres146
17 more columns

What is the best month in California? ›

The months of September and October are ideal to visit California as they avoid the fog and the crowds and the temperature is ideal for spending time on the beach, sight-seeing, and attending festivals. One of the many appeals of California is that it's a great destination any time of year.

Is March winter in California? ›

Springtime (typically March through early May) is one of California's most beautiful times of year. Although it can still be cold at higher elevations, temperatures are comfortable and fresh throughout much of the state.

What is the best month to visit California? ›

The best time to visit California is summertime from June to August. This is the peak tourism season for the state for good reason. Every part of the state is accessible, making hikes and outdoor adventures in the northern regions possible with mild, comfortable temperatures.

What is the cheapest month to visit California? ›

High season is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to California is January.

Can you go to the beach in March in LA? ›

Whilst LA is a popular beach destination, in March the average sea temperature is only 15°C which most people will find far too cold for swimming. You will be fine just dipping your toes in the water, but we don't recommend going for a full-on dip unless you're a fan of cold water swimming.

How warm are California beaches in March? ›

Typical temperatures for beaches along the Pacific Ocean in California during the month of March are listed below in degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius.
...
Southern California Coast.
High °F69
Low °F48
PlaceLaguna Beach
High °C21
Low °C9
5 more columns

Is San Diego good in March? ›

The best times to visit San Diego are March through May and September through November. You can find some great deals on travel rates during the low seasons in comparison to the peak summer season.

Is San Diego hot in March? ›

Daily high temperatures are around 66°F, rarely falling below 59°F or exceeding 75°F. Daily low temperatures increase by 2°F, from 53°F to 56°F, rarely falling below 48°F or exceeding 60°F.

What is the warmest place in California in March? ›

The hottest cities in Southern California during March are: El Centro, with an average high of 80 degrees F. Anaheim, Riverside and San Bernardino, tied, with an average high of 73 degrees F. Irvine, Pasadena and Santa Ana, tied, with an average high of 72 degrees F.

Do people wear jeans in California? ›

Denim is an everyday staple, sneakers and flip flops are normal, and the way these items are worn will vary from person to person.

How do California people talk? ›

Their accent is indeed similar to General American, meaning it sounds to American ears like it isn't an accent at all. Everyone has an accent, however. As with most accents, the vowels are what really set Californians apart.

Is it warm enough to swim in California in March? ›

In march in California swimming conditions vary by city. Details below: Swimming in march in San Diego, San Clemente and Encinitas is possible... with a wetsuit! Indeed, the water is cold at this time of year with an average temperature of 60°F (min: 58°F/max: 62°F).

Is San Francisco good to visit March? ›

March is an excellent time to visit San Francisco, with smaller crowds than in summer. It's also an excellent time to get in a visit before the summer fog sets in. March is when many schools take their spring breaks. If you are planning a trip during that time and want to avoid crowds, San Francisco is a good choice.

Is San Francisco good in March? ›

The San Francisco weather in March is cool with some rain. Most days are pleasant with a little wind so it's a great time to visit. As you plan for your trip, you will want to prepare for temps in the upper 40s to the lower 60s.

What is California's rainiest month? ›

December, January and February are typically the wettest months in the Golden State, with 75 percent of the state's annual precipitation falling between November and March.

Where is the nicest weather in California? ›

10 Cities in California with the Best Weather
  • San Diego. Although the entire state of California has 300 sunny days a year, San Diego is one destination visitors will not want to pass up. ...
  • San Francisco. The Bay Area in the north features mild weather. ...
  • Sacramento. ...
  • Palo Alto. ...
  • Santa Monica. ...
  • El Dorado Hills. ...
  • Laguna Hills. ...
  • Irvine.
25 Apr 2022

How long should you visit California? ›

How Many Days You Should Spend in California? Five days in California is enough to see major attractions in San Francisco and Los Angeles. We recommend spending at least ten days in the state, as you can visit additional places like Big Sur and Lake Tahoe, as well as major national parks like Yosemite.

Where in California does it snow in March? ›

Lake Tahoe sees most of its snow in February and March. Although, it can start snowing in California (including other parts of the Sierra Nevada) as early as November and sometimes continues until April.

Is March a good time to visit Los Angeles? ›

The best times to visit Los Angeles are from March to May and between September and November, when the air is more breathable and the crowds are less oppressive.

What season is March under? ›

The seasons are defined as spring (March, April, May), summer (June, July, August), autumn (September, October, November) and winter (December, January, February).

What should you not miss when visiting California? ›

Top Attractions in California
  • The Getty Center. 14,637. Speciality Museums. ...
  • Alcatraz Island. 55,841. Historic Sites • Islands. ...
  • USS Midway Museum. 25,312. ...
  • Pacific Coast Highway. 1,670. ...
  • Disney California Adventure Park. 15,660. ...
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. 9,392. ...
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium. 14,347. ...
  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse. 2,988.

What should I know before visiting California? ›

What to Know for Visiting California
  • You'll have connectivity everywhere. ...
  • You'll pay for shopping bags. ...
  • Beat your credit card fees. ...
  • Plan for day trips. ...
  • You'll want a car. ...
  • Check the weather. ...
  • There are special-needs-friendly attractions. ...
  • Stop and enjoy the wine.
28 Feb 2020

What place in California gets the most visitors? ›

The Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco is one of the most visited tourist attractions in California and the US. Spanning over the San Francisco Bay for more than a mile, this famous landmark is one of the world's most photographed bridges.

What's the cheapest city in California to visit? ›

Sacramento

Sacramento, the capital of California is a great place to visit for a cheap vacation. The city has plenty of affordable hotels and restaurants, and there are also lots of things to do in the area. One of the best ways to enjoy Sacramento is by taking a walk or bike ride through the city.

Where should I go for a week vacation in California? ›

One Week in California Itinerary
  • Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • See San Francisco Bay.
  • Ride the cable car.
  • See the views at Twin Peaks.
  • Visit Alcatraz.
  • Relax at Golden Gate Park.
  • Visit Fisherman's Wharf.
  • See the sea lions at Pier 39.
28 Mar 2022

Which airport in California is cheapest to fly into? ›

The Cheapest Airport in California
Airport RankingAirportSearch Cheap Flights
First PlaceLos Angeles International Airport (LAX)Search Flights To Loas Angeles
Second PlaceSan Francisco International Airport (SFO)Search Flights To San Francisco
Third PlaceSan Diego International Airport (SAN)Search Flights To San Diego

What clothes to pack for LA in March? ›

Pack a mid-weight jacket, especially for evenings near the beach. Layered shirts and sweaters are your best fashion strategy. A winter day could even be so warm you'll wish you packed your shorts.

Is 4 days enough to visit LA? ›

How much time should I spend in LA? Let me start by saying that LA is a HUGE city and the landmarks are spread apart from each other. Ideally, you should try to spend 5-7 days here if you don't want to be rushed and want to see everything.

Is San Francisco hot in March? ›

March is a cool month in San Francisco with morning lows mostly in the mid to upper 40s F (8-9 C) with afternoon highs mostly in the low to mid-60s F (16-17 C).

Is Orange Beach warm in March? ›

Temperatures in March in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area average in the 60s and low 70s with night temperatures in the upper 50s. With such moderate weather, March is a great time for golfing, fishing and other sports.

What state is warmest in March? ›

The warmest states in March are Florida, Hawaii, Texas, California, and Arizona. The warmest cities based on average highs are: 85°F – Everglades National Park, Florida.

Is 3 days enough in San Diego? ›

We recommend planning at least 3 days for San Diego. This will allow you to explore the city center, visit one or two theme parks, and potentially also catch a glimpse of the beautiful coastal areas nearby. However, if you have more time, you can easily fill 5-7 days in San Diego and you'll find plenty to do.

Is San Diego crowded in March? ›

Spring in San Diego and La Jolla | March – May

Crowds are lower than fall so you'll have an easier time getting into restaurants without reservations and lower hotel prices.

What should I wear in San Diego in mid March? ›

The sun is out and the days are long. Average high temperatures are in the high 70s and lows average high 60s. There are usually many days in the 80s. What to wear in San Diego during these months is mostly beachwear, shorts, short sleeves and sweaters in the evenings.

What should I wear in San Diego in March April? ›

San Diego Spring Weather

Pack a sporty anorak for cooler mornings / evenings and a pair of comfortable sneakers and casual leggings for a day of exploring. In the evening, pull on some cool jeans to dress your outfit up for dinner out.

What's the best time to visit San Diego? ›

The best time to visit San Diego is during the summer months when you can take full advantage of the stunning beaches, which are the city's most prominent attractions. Late summer, especially September, tends to boast the best weather, warmest ocean temperatures, and smaller crowds.

Where is hot and cheap in March? ›

The best short-haul options in March are the Canaries (20ºC) and Morocco (22ºC), but if you want real heat you should fly a little further to The Gambia (34ºC) or the Arabian Gulf (28ºC). It's still high season in the Caribbean (30ºC), and also a good time for a city break in the southern Mediterranean.

What is Lake Tahoe like in March? ›

We think March is one of the best times to visit Lake Tahoe. Generally, Lake Tahoe enjoys plenty of snow and mild temperatures throughout March, making it the perfect time for skiing, snowboarding, and other outdoor activities. The mountains are calling.

How do people dress in Los Angeles in March? ›

Pack a mid-weight jacket, especially for evenings near the beach. Layered shirts and sweaters are your best fashion strategy. A winter day could even be so warm you'll wish you packed your shorts.

Is March winter or spring in California? ›

Springtime (typically March through early May) is one of California's most beautiful times of year. Although it can still be cold at higher elevations, temperatures are comfortable and fresh throughout much of the state.

What should I wear in 70 degrees in California? ›

  • Maxi Dress and Kitten Heels.
  • Duster Jacket, T-Shirt, Miniskirt, and Boots.
  • Wide-Leg Pants, Cropped Tank, Blazer, and Pumps.
  • Printed Top and Jeans.
  • Shacket, Tee, and leather pants.
  • Denim Skirt and Sweater.
  • Printed Pants, Tank, and Sneaker.
  • Mini Dress and Heels.
29 Oct 2022

What should I pack for spring in California? ›

What to Pack for California: Spring / Autumn. In spring/autumn, plan for sunny days with warm layers to keep you toasty when the temperature drops at night. Because of the sunny weather year round in Southern California, don't forget to bring sunblock and sunglasses any time you visit.

Can you wear jeans in Los Angeles? ›

Los Angeles Style

Just like our attitude, our clothing is also casual and laid-back. Denim is an everyday staple, sneakers and flip flops are normal, and the way these items are worn will vary from person to person.

What is March season called? ›

Spring begins March 1, summer June 1, autumn September 1, and winter December 1. A ritu is a season in the traditional Hindu calendar, used in parts of India.

How hot is too hot for jeans? ›

Jeans in summer? Not always recommended – especially when the temperature climbs above 90 and it's humid outside.

Are jeans good for 70 degree weather? ›

Naturally, it's best to find an outfit that's breathable and full-coverage to ensure no chills and sweats. Jeans, cardigans, t-shirts, and light sweaters should be considered.

Can you wear jeans when it's 70 degrees? ›

What to Wear in 70 Degree Weather? Since the summers are already in, there is no point in wearing woolen clothing or warm jackets anymore. You can wear a pair of comfortable jeans or shorts along with your favorite striped tops or embroidered dresses.

How should I dress for a California vacation? ›

The clothing style in California is laid-back and comfortable. Comfort is everything when people dress in California, so definitely bring clothes that make you feel comfortable and snug. Layer up. An important thing to remember when packing for your trip is to always dress in layers no matter your destination.

How should I dress to go to California? ›

So layers are the key to dressing for California's climate. It can be cool in the morning and hot in the afternoon or vice versa. So start with something thin, like a t-shirt. Then add a button-up shirt or sweater.

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