Best time to visit San Diego

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San Diego

Best time of year to visit San Diego

Best time to visit San Diego runs from March to May and from September to November. The weather during these periods is balmy, and you might catch great deals. Spring is perfect for unforgettable scenic road trips and spotting flower blossoms. Autumn attracts foodies to San Diego Restaurant Week and cinema fans to San Diego Film Festival. June through August is the peak season with lots of summer festivals, Comic-Con and spiking rooms rates. Surfing, snorkeling, cycling, and kiteboarding during this period are at their best. Frequent showers and cold ocean waters explain well lower rates and fewer tourists from December to February. However, the winter season is mild anyway, and Potato Chip Rock hiking and whale watching can be brilliant.

16 THINGS TO DO IN SAN DIEGO (MARCH 05 - MARCH 14)

Super Bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert

Super Bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert

late February–April (best in mid-March) • nature

This unusual phenomenon proves that even dry and harsh places like deserts are actually alive!

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

March–late April • nature

Delicate sakura opens the tree blooming season in the Golden State

Scenic Road Trips

Scenic Road Trips

all year round • activity

Driving along a large number of picturesque roads with stops near the highlights and most unique spots can be a perfect vacation plan

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

March–early May • nature

Be ready to immerse yourself in colours: purple, pink, white and yellow!

Painted Lady Butterfly Migration

Painted Lady Butterfly Migration

March  • nature

The skies get filled with beautiful winged creatures

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

all year round  • activity

The world-known zoo surprises with a variety of entertainment for everybody

Seals and Sea Lions

Seals and Sea Lions

all year round (mid-May–mid-December, Children's Pool Beach) • nature

La Jolla is the best place to see seals and sea lions in San Diego

Potato Chip Rock Hike (Mt. Woodson)

Potato Chip Rock Hike (Mt. Woodson)

September–May • activity

The iconic rock is one of the most photographed places in the San Diego region

Cedar Creek Falls

Cedar Creek Falls

November–April  • nature

One of the most popular watefalls in San Diego County

Borrego Springs Metal Sculptures

Borrego Springs Metal Sculptures

October–April • activity

A very Californian desert attraction

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

mid-June–September | mid-December–April • activity

San Diego is a great place to see ocean-faring mammals

Kayaking

Kayaking

March–October • activity

A great way to discover the natural beauty and wildlife of San Diego County

Three Sisters Falls

Three Sisters Falls

all year round (Best time: March–May | December–February)  • nature

Enjoy the hike to one of the most beautiful falls in the area

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

March–October • activity

Go with the wind in Southern California

Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival

unconfirmedMarch 2022 • event

Enjoy the transcendent beauty of the cherry blossom together with endless family fun

Lane Field Park Market

Lane Field Park Market

all year round (Saturday and Sunday) • event

A weekend market with lots of food options and live music

43 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival

San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival

unconfirmedSummer 2022 • event

Relaxing jazz music by the waterfront is the perfect pastime during summer evenings

Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

out of rangeMay 21–23, 2021 • event

This three-day event can be the most romantic escape filled with the taste of good wine, spectacular flights, and pleasant time

4th of July Fireworks and Parade

4th of July Fireworks and Parade

out of rangeJuly 4 • event

San Diego is a great choice for an Independence Day celebration

San Diego Pride Parade

San Diego Pride Parade

unconfirmedmid-July 2022 • event

The largest single-day civic event in the region

San Diego Blues Festival

San Diego Blues Festival

out of rangeSeptember 10, 2022 • event

Fans of the blues flock to San Diego every fall

Surf Dog Competition

Surf Dog Competition

out of rangeSeptember 25, 2021 | August 6, 2022 • event

Dog surfers from all over the country gather along the Imperial Beach and Huntington Beach shoreline to take part in surfing competitions and win the first prize. You should witness it in order to believe it

California Fall Colors

California Fall Colors

out of rangelate September–early November • nature

Admire bronze and amber foliage throughout the Golden State

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

out of rangeJuly 22–25, 2021 • event

If you are a true comic fan this event should be number one on your list! Step into the world of fiction, act like your favourite hero, and meet your idols

Carlsbad Music Festival

Carlsbad Music Festival

out of rangeAugust 27–29, 2021 • event

Excellent and innovative music by the scenic beach

San Diego Chinese New Year Fair

San Diego Chinese New Year Fair

out of rangeFebruary 12–13, 2022 • event

A colorful carnival with plenty of entertainment

San Diego International Fringe Festival

San Diego International Fringe Festival

out of rangeJune 2–12, 2022 • event

Eleven days of the beautiful, the bizarre, and the unexpected

Bubble Run

Bubble Run

on holdlate October 2021 • event

A fun 5K race that will wake up your inner child

Miramar Air Show

Miramar Air Show

canceledSeptember 24–26, 2021 • event

The largest military air show in the country

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights & Other Holiday Lights

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights & Other Holiday Lights

out of rangeDecember 1–January 5 | December 10, 2021–January 2, 2022 • event

A beautiful holiday tradition which brings the Christmas spirit to the Bay area

Fleet Week San Diego

Fleet Week San Diego

out of rangeNovember 4–11, 2021 • event

A unique chance to observe and visit war planes and ships

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

out of rangeNovember 11–14, 2021 • event

Don't miss the West Coast's most popular wine and culinary celebration

San Diego Beer Week

San Diego Beer Week

unconfirmedNovember 5–14, 2021 • event

Time to drink the finest beer in the capital of craft

Snorkeling with Leopard Sharks at La Jolla

Snorkeling with Leopard Sharks at La Jolla

out of rangeAugust–September • activity

These species of shark are peaceful and calm creatures that love summer and enjoy warm waters

San Diego International Film Festival

San Diego International Film Festival

out of rangeOctober 14–24, 2021 • event

Be a part of the scene and party like a star

Cinco de Mayo in San Diego

Cinco de Mayo in San Diego

unconfirmedearly May 2022 • event

One of the largest celebrations of Mexican culture north of the border

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

out of rangeMay–September • activity

From Mexico to Canada or reverse, a crest of mountains follows along the western states of the USA, washed by the Pacific waters—it's one of the world's most scenic natural corridors

KAABOO Del Mar

KAABOO Del Mar

unconfirmedSeptember 2022 • event

San Diego's biggest music, comedy, art and culinary event

Tarantula Migration

Tarantula Migration

out of rangeSeptember–October • nature

Watch a fascinating natural phenomenon in California's parks and deserts

Cycling

Cycling

out of rangeApril–October • activity

Picturesque scenery, varied terrain, and gentle weather conditions attract cyclists to the Golden State

Del Mar Racing Season

Del Mar Racing Season

out of rangeNovember 3–28, 2021 • activity

Watch the races at one of the most beautiful racing tracks in the world

Fishing

Fishing

out of rangeApril–October • activity

Summer is marked by the long-awaited sportfishing season in San Diego

San Diego Restaurant Week

San Diego Restaurant Week

out of rangeSeptember 26–October 3, 2021 • event

Two weeks of the most delicious foods for bargain prices

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

out of rangeApril–October • event

Kayaking to a concert at Humphreys is a must-do summer experience in San Diego

Surfing

Surfing

out of rangeAugust–November • activity

Southern California has the biggest number of surfers in the world for a reason

Monarch Butterfly Migration

Monarch Butterfly Migration

out of rangeOctober 15, 2021–February 5, 2022 • nature

See beautiful black-and-orange butterflies at their wintering grounds

Paragliding

Paragliding

out of rangeall year round • activity

Go flying at Torrey Pines, and you'll see San Diego from a different angle

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

out of rangeall year round • nature

Rumoured​ to be the San Diego area's most haunted place, this mystic forest is popular with hikers

Great White Sharks

Great White Sharks

out of rangeAugust–September  • nature

As ocean waters warm up, white sharks start their annual migration between Mexico and Southern California

Paddleboarding (SUP)

Paddleboarding (SUP)

out of rangeMay–September  • activity

One of the most enjoyable and fun water activities is popular all along the California coastline

Beach Season

Beach Season

out of rangeMay–September • activity

Enjoy the sunny weather and warm ocean waters of Southern California

Halloween

Halloween

out of rangelate September–late October • event

The spookiest time of the year brings tons of attractions and events to San Diego

Christmas Lights and Events in Palm Springs

Christmas Lights and Events in Palm Springs

out of rangelate November–late December  • event

Winter holidays in the desert can be fun!

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

out of rangeDecember 31 • event

Rock in the New Year at one of the upscale parties in America's Finest City

Rock'n'Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Rock'n'Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

out of rangeOctober 23–24, 2021 | June 4–5, 2022 • event

A great summer race, one of the largest on the West Coast

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend

out of rangeMay 29–31, 2021 • event

A rodeo, a beer festival or a strawberry festival—choose your way to spend the long weekend in San Diego

St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival

St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival

canceledMarch 13, 2021 • event

The biggest celebration of the Patron Saint of Ireland west of Mississippi

San Diego Mardi Gras

San Diego Mardi Gras

canceledFebruary 12–16, 2021 • event

Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego is home to one of the merriest Mardi Gars celebrations in America

Poway Winter Festival

Poway Winter Festival

out of rangeJanuary 8–9, 2021 • event

Experience winter fun in Southern California

Last updated:
Jan
8.6
Feb
9
Mar
8.9
Apr
8.9
May
8.6
Jun
8.7
Jul
7.8
Aug
7.4
Sep
7.8
Oct
8.4
Nov
8.9
Dec
8.9

San Diego weather in January

8.6/10 score
Excellent
9° average
average temperatures
57.7 mm
precipitation
10h 05m
daylight duration
January is the second coldest and rainiest month in San Diego. However, it’s neither cold nor rainy. The weather is actually quite mild, dry and sunny. Temperatures drop to about 10°C (50°F) at worst, which means that you can still feel comfortable during long walks. Humidity is the lowest at this time. With over seven hours of daily sunshine, January is a good time for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor sports. Water temperature is about 14°C (57°F), too cold to swim, but you can still try surfing in a wetsuit. There will be about six-seven rainy days in San Diego in January, which means that rain is not a big problem for your plans. However, packing a waterproof jacket is a good idea.

San Diego weather in February

9/10 score
Ideal
8° average
average temperatures
9.1 mm
precipitation
10h 08m
daylight duration
Winter is on the calendar, but it already feels like spring in San Diego! Temperatures are rising and it’s possible to sit in an outdoor cafe enjoying eight hours of daily sun. Wildflowers start to bloom here and there. Even the nights are quite pleasant and warm. There can still be one or two cold waves, but generally, the weather is very moderate. Thanks to sunny days, moderate temperatures and low humidity, the weather is suitable for outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. February is one of the wettest months in San Diego, however, it rarely rains for more than seven days per month. Still, pack an umbrella, just in case.

San Diego weather in March

8.9/10 score
Excellent
9° average
average temperatures
5 mm
precipitation
10h 46m
daylight duration
Moderate and sunny spring weather dominates in March. Temperatures are getting warmer and stay within a comfortable range. With over eight hours of daily sunshine, it’s perfect weather to go hiking or cycling, look for wildflowers and enjoy the sight of awakening nature in the deserts. It’s still too early for swimming and sunbathing as the water stays cool at about 14°C (57°F), however, surfing in a wetsuit is possible. March is considered to be a wet month in San Diego with about seven rainy days on average. However, rains are usually short and not too heavy.

San Diego weather in April

8.9/10 score
Excellent
13° average
average temperatures
0 mm
precipitation
11h 44m
daylight duration
April is another month of moderate spring weather in San Diego. There are many sunny days, and temperatures often reach mellow 20°C (68°F). There are about eight hours of daily sunshine, which is perfect for outdoor activities like cycling, hiking or running. The nights are also warm so it’s nice to sit in an outdoor restaurant patio enjoying your meal. It’s still too cold for a dip into the ocean as the water temperature is just 16°C (65°F). The rainy season is almost over by April. There are just four wet days this month, which means that your chances to get wet are rather low.

San Diego weather in May

8.6/10 score
Excellent
14° average
average temperatures
0 mm
precipitation
12h 45m
daylight duration
May brings cloudy and dryer weather to San Diego. The temperature remains in the moderate and comfortable range close to the 20s°C (70s°F), but it’s not too hot. The days are long so you can plan plenty of outdoor sports activities. However, the skies are often cloudy in May. to 69°F (20.6°C) range. Fog is typical for mornings so it’s not a good time to enjoy the views. The water in the ocean is still too cold for comfortable swimming. May is also the windiest month in San Diego, which provides an opportunity for windsurfers and kitesurfers. May is a quite dry month with about three rainy days, which means that you have little chance to get wet.

San Diego weather in June

8.7/10 score
Excellent
16° average
average temperatures
0 mm
precipitation
13h 40m
daylight duration
Temperatures rise in June, and you can experience some hot weather in San Diego. The sky, however, is quite cloudy, and morning fogs continue to happen. The locals call it June Gloom. Despite that, the weather is quite pleasant with plenty of daylight hours for outdoor activities. The rain can only happen during a couple of days this month. Nights are pleasant and warm for going out. The ocean breeze is blowing in the coastal areas. However, the water in the ocean is still under 20s°C (70s°F), so you might need a wetsuit if you decide to go surfing.

San Diego weather in July

7.8/10 score
Very good
19° average
average temperatures
0 mm
precipitation
14h 13m
daylight duration
July brings summer-like weather to San Diego. Days get hotter and humidity is the highest throughout the year. At midday, temperatures are soaring, reaching high 20s°C (or 80s °F). It’s a great time to go to the beach even though ocean water is still a bit chilly, under 20°C (68°F). Still, July weather is suitable for hiking in the mountains, swimming, and fishing. There is just one rainy day this month, the weather stays dry. Skiers are clouded more often than sunny. Overall, July is a great month to explore San Diego and vicinity.

San Diego weather in August

7.4/10 score
Very good
20° average
average temperatures
0 mm
precipitation
14h 09m
daylight duration
August is usually the hottest month in San Diego. It also has high humidity and around 10 hours of sunshine. The seawater near the San Diego coast finally warms up to 20°C (68°F), which might seem not that much, but it’s the best you can get! Mornings are usually cloudy, and there can also be more clouds during the day. However, it’s not that bad if you plan to go hiking or cycling. Nights are also pleasantly warm at this time, so you can stay out late enjoying the dinner at a patio. No wonder August is such a popular time to visit San Diego!

San Diego weather in September

7.8/10 score
Very good
18° average
average temperatures
0 mm
precipitation
13h 32m
daylight duration
September is a warm, sunny and dry month in San Diego. At midday, you can still experience temperatures above 27°C (80°F). It’s a good time to go to the beach and enjoy over eight hours of daily sunshine. The days are usually warm enough for shorts and t-shirts. In the evening, an ocean breeze might make you put on a sweater. There are about two wet days this month. Dry and sunny weather is perfect for exploring canyons, cycling, sightseeing, and water sports. September overall is a great time to spend in Southern California.

San Diego weather in October

8.4/10 score
Excellent
17° average
average temperatures
1 mm
precipitation
12h 36m
daylight duration
October is still a wonderful warm month in San Diego. Even though temperatures drop, it’s very sunny and dry. Most days have up to eight hours of sunshine. The sky may be clouded in the morning, but clouds clear out by midday. You can visit the beach since some days may be warm enough for sunbathing. Water might be chilly, around 18°C (67°F), however, it’s never really warm in Southern California. The end of the summer brings great weather for hiking, sightseeing, cycling, and other outdoor activities. There are just three rainy days in October. However, there is a chance that you will witness a thunderstorm.

San Diego weather in November

8.9/10 score
Excellent
13° average
average temperatures
8.8 mm
precipitation
11h 36m
daylight duration
The fall season brings warm and mild weather in San Diego. Even though it might be too cold for sunbathing and swimming, there are still plenty of things that you can do with eight hours of sun and moderate temperatures reaching 20s°C (high 60s°F). You can go hiking or cycling in the mountains, explore canyons, walk by the ocean and even try watersports in a wetsuit. Chilly waters have a temperature of about 16°C (65°F). November brings the rains back to San Diego. However, there are just about five rainy days, so there are not many chances to get wet. November is very sunny and crisp with beautiful foliage colors all around San Diego. It’s a very pleasant time to visit the city and enjoy wonderful nature all around it.

San Diego weather in December

8.9/10 score
Excellent
10° average
average temperatures
17.5 mm
precipitation
10h 21m
daylight duration
Even though December is the coldest month of the year, it doesn’t feel like winter in San Diego. The temperatures drop but stay rather moderate. Due to warm ocean currents and low elevation it never gets colder than 9°C (48°F). On good days you can get sit in an outdoor cafe enjoying about seven hours of sunshine and mild 18°C (65°F). It won’t snow, but you can count on some rainfall. As December is one of the wetter months, there are about six rainy days. It is a good time for hiking and sightseeing. December is too cold for the beach. The water temperature is just about 14°C (63°F).