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Female packing list for California in Fall: California, the golden state, is world famous for the sights and stars its cites hold. San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are the major cities in this region, and are all much less crowded and smoggy as Fall enters the region.
Weather in fall calls for slightly warmer clothes – jeans and long sleeved blouses will be your best friend here. With the state being quite fashion forward, especially California, now is the time to break out pieces that show off your individual style. Oh, and don’t forget to leave some space in your suitcase as California is a great spot to go clothes shopping.
Learn what to pack in California in fall to look stylish and travel light while visiting California’s national parks and spotting celebrities.
If you’re visiting NYC in the next few months, check out our winter New York City packing list as well.
When to visit California: Weather and Seasons
What to Pack for Spring in California (March, April, May): While California is a great place to visit year round, spring is when the state is at its most picturesque. After winter the city starts to warm back up to around 15-19 degrees C / low to mid 60’s F, with clear blue skies replacing rain clouds. As temperatures rise, the snow melts on higher ground revealing hiking trails, forest canopies and wonderful national parks.
If you plan to engage in outdoor activities, be sure to pack some light layers and a pair of sneakers. It generally gets cooler during the night time so don’t forget to include a jacket or cardigan in your luggage.
What to Pack for Summer in California (June, July, August): During summer in California, temperatures are at their highest, averaging about 21-24C / 70-76F degrees. In August, ocean temperatures average around 20 degrees (high 60’s F) making summer in California perfect at the beach. That said, smog is common during summer especially during the month of June. You’re likely to spend most of your time on a beach so pack shorts, t-shirts and light dresses. Don’t forget to include sunscreen, sandals, your swimsuit and a pair of shades in your luggage.
What to pack for Fall in California (September, October, November): Fall in California experiences ideal temperatures with days averaging between 17-23C / 62-75F degrees with a little chance of rain. Fall is when the festival fun comes to California. Night temperatures can get as low as 12C / 53F degrees, so you’ll want to pack a warm jacket to keep the chills at bay. Include in your luggage a number of layered clothing items that you can easily peel off should it get warm.
What to pack for Winter in California (December, January, February): While snow is quite rare in California, rain is rather common during the winter months. At this time, temperatures range at a mild 15C / 59F degrees, but can drop to the single digits at night. Most locals spend winter indoors shopping for Christmas, while others make the most of the chilly weather by heading out to the ice skating rink.
If you plan to enjoy some winter activities in California, pack layering clothes like jeans, a jumper and long-sleeved tops. Don’t forget to include a jacket, scarf and umbrella in your luggage. See the winter version of this Cali packing list on this page.
What to Wear in California in Fall?
How to dress for California in Fall
- 1-2 x flats: While California is a fashionable state, remember that shoes can take up a bit of space in your luggage
- 1 pair of sneakers: Perfect if you plan on doing some hikes in the national parks, but choose ones that are stylish enough to wear in the cities
- 4-5 x socks – wash these in the sink
- 6-9 pairs of underwear
- 3-5 bras
- Cardigan x 1-2
- 1-2 x jacket/ coats: These will be great for cooler days
- Tops x 4-6: A good mix of long and short sleeves, make sure they all match the jacket and cardigans you bring
- dresses x 1-3: Swap these for tops if you’re not a dress type of girl
- Bottoms x 2-4: Longer pants are your best option but skirts with stockings will also work
- Leggings x 1-2: Great for hikes and lounging around your hotel room
- Stockings x 1-2: Wear them underneath dresses and skirts
- 1x Scarf
- 1x beenie: For cooler evenings
What to Pack for California in Fall: Other Items
- If you’re bringing prescribed medicine with you, be sure to also carry your prescription in case its asked for when going through customs.
- A basic first aid kit if you have space. Make sure it includes rehydration sachets, as well as headache and stomach medication. That said, you shouldn’t have a problem purchasing medicine here. Just expect to pay slightly more than you would back home.
- Phone and charger
- Camera and lenses. If you plan to shoot a lot of scenery and beautiful buildings, I’d recommend a wide angle. That way you can get more in the shot. I normally take my Sony a6500 and 19mm 2.8 lens.
- Batteries and charger for your camera
- International adapter for power points
- Portable battery. This is great for charging your camera or phone when you don’t have access to a power point.
- 2-3 8GB memory cards. It’s better to spread out the storage of your photos in case of memory card failure. Just be sure to keep the cards in a safe spot.
Makeup & Toiletries
- Toothbrush and toothpaste (travel sized)
- Your normal make up, but keep an eye on how much space you have. You could pack them in a makeup bag that is custom made for travellers, and pay attention to the USA’s strict carry on rules if they’re going in your carry on.
- Solid shampoo or travel sized shampoo and conditioner. Solid shampoo is better as it won’t leak through your bag if you knock the lid off accidentally. You can also use solid shampoo as soap and for hand washing your clothes.
- 2 bank cards – Bring one Visa and one MasterCard as not all banks in California will accept your card. It’s also advisable to have two just in case one gets misplaced.
- 2 x photocopies of your passport – Leave one at home and the other in a different spot from where you keep your actual passport. This will come in handy should your passport get stolen.
- A lock for your bags in transit or for the lockers in dorm rooms.
- Suitcase: You’ll be fine traveling with a suitcase as long as it meets your airline’s carry on limits. Be sure to check the dimensions if you don’t want to check a bag.
- Backpack: If you prefer, take a backpack which is equally suitable for traveling in California.
Don’t Forget to pack Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is always a good idea, and experienced travelers never leave home without it. Travel insurance is important for any trip as it protects you from the numerous things that could go wrong while on an overseas holiday. There’s always a risk of cancelled reservations, lost luggage, or other issues whenever you travel.
I really like World Nomads, as they’re reliable and have great service and reviews. What I like most about World Nomads is that the claim process is relatively straight forward. You can purchase cover even if you’ve already begun your trip, and it’s one of the most affordable insurers for the coverage it offers. See prices here, or get a free quote above.
Packing list for California: Safety and Health
Being a state inside a first world country, you shouldn’t have a problem finding medicine in California or visiting an English speaking doctor. Safety wise, you shouldn’t feel afraid while in California, as the people are quite friendly and willing to help. You’ll often find people will start chatting to you out of nowhere whether you’re wandering round the local Walmart, or a national park. So don’t be afraid to ask for directions if you get lost.
That said, the same safety precautions you have in your home country apply. Avoid going out alone late at night and don’t leave your valuables unattended. Ask your hotel receptionist how safe the area surrounding your hotel is, and don’t make overly visible displays of wealth.
Popular day tours for Fall in California
- Enjoy early access to Universal Studios in Hollywood before the main gates are opened. Go on thrilling theme park rides, see fun shows and tour a working movie studio. After that, visit the best restaurants and shops in Los Angeles. See the latest prices here.
- Escape the city and spend the day in a desert oasis at Palm Springs. Immediately you arrive, you will understand why Hollywood stars made it their playground. Ride a cable car 1,790 meters up to see the Living Desert Zoo. Conclude your day with a shopping trip at fashion outlets. Find more information here.
- Sail along the breathtaking waterfront of San Francisco, under the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge and around the infamous Alcatraz Island. Learn the history of San Francisco through an award-winning audio commentary. Get more details and see prices here.
- The Napa and Sonoma Valleys are famous around the world for their exquisite wines and wonderful scenery. Learn more about wine from knowledgeable guides as you travel north towards California’s premiere wine country. See prices here.
- Experience the spectacular scenery at Yosemite National Park and a walk among the Giant Sequoia trees all in one day. You’ll have plenty of time to explore. Admire the Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and incredible Giant Sequoias before your return to San Francisco.
See more information here.
- Explore the natural scenic beauty of San Diego. Soak up panoramic views from the peak of Mount Soledad then tour La Jolla’s coastal region. Experience California’s southern coast as you walkalong its famous sandy, surfing beaches. Find more details on this tour here.