Winter in San Diego Travel FAQ

Although “America’s Finest City” is a fantastic vacation destination any time of year, the winter months hold a special appeal for many guests. That’s largely due to the fact that while much of the rest of the country is enduring snow and freezing temperatures, Southern California remains as mild and sunny as ever. So if you find yourself in the mood for a break from dealing with Jack Frost nipping at your nose, here’s a quick primer for what you can expect from winter in San Diego.      

Q: What’s winter weather like in San Diego? 

(Photo: @visitsandiego)

A: The weather in San Diego is legendarily comfortable, with temperatures typically ranging from 60°F – 80°F all year round. There are usually warm sea breezes well into evening, and the city receives around 266 days of sunshine per year (well above the national average). While temperatures can get a little chilly at night, it never truly gets cold here. So if you’re looking to escape the chill, there’s no better place to visit. 


Q: What should I pack for a winter visit? 

A: That somewhat depends on where you’re from. While many Southern Californians might consider a 65°F December day to be fairly frosty, a guest from Minnesota might be tempted to break out shorts and sandals! Overall, it’s a good idea to pack for spring or summer temperatures no matter when you plan to visit. Just be sure to bring a hoodie or sweater in case the mercury dips along with the sun. We wouldn’t want you to be uncomfortable.


Q: What is there to do in San Diego in the winter months?

(Photo: @belmontparksd)

A: Just as much as there is to do any other time of year! Thanks to our agreeable Mediterranean-style climate, San Diego’s outdoor attractions never really stop drawing visitors regardless of where we are in the calendar. Whether you want to experience the old-fashioned boardwalk amusement park vibe of Belmont Park, Balboa Park’s gorgeous green space and fantastic museums, the best animal habitats in the country at San Diego Zoo, or the amazing eateries and nightlife of Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego has your back! And if you get a bit homesick, you can even ice skate near the beach here!


Q: What are the holidays like in San Diego? 

(Photo: @rizzatyann)

Planning to visit during the “most wonderful time of the year”? You won’t be disappointed! Our holiday events calendar has a little something for everyone. Some can’t-miss yuletide events include Balboa Park’s December Nights, the Ocean Beach Holiday Parade, The Bay Parade of Lights, Seaworld’s Christmas Celebration, and Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo,  


Q: Is San Diego good for whale watching in the winter?

A: Absolutely! San Diego is one of the best spots along the West Coast to spot pods of gray whales as they make their annual 10,000-mile migration to cooler northern waters. December is the beginning of the season, but the migratory patterns of these majestic ocean behemoths can last for months. Spotting whales from shore is not uncommon, but area visitors can also charter tour boats that get them up close to our marine neighbors. 


Q: Is San Diego an expensive place to visit in winter? 

A: Not comparatively, no. To be fair, while the cost of traveling to many coastal towns can be somewhat pricey, San Diego visitors are often surprised at how reasonable San Diego can be — especially in contrast to some other California cities. In any case, we’re of the opinion that the experiences you’ll discover in our world-class beach city are pretty priceless. And if you’re looking for some low-cost things to do while here, check out a post from our sister property Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle, “Fun and Free Things to Do in San Diego” for some travel inspiration.


Enjoy Your Winter at Holiday Inn Bayside 

If staying warm while you chill this winter is starting to sound appealing, then you’ll want to start planning your visit! Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside offers competitive rates, gust-first amenities and first-class service. Take a look at our Special Offers page, and select the San Diego travel deal that’s right for you. See you soon!