Things To Do In San Diego In December 2021

Leilani Salgado
surfing san diego in december

Enjoy Being Outside In San Diego In December

America’s Finest City is still a great place to be despite the Pandemic restrictions as long as you love being outside. The normal holiday festivities and events have been postponed or changed to virtual events. Although, if you love surfing, hiking, or just being active outdoors, you can still enjoy the beautiful landscape and scenery of San Diego.

Before you come to San Diego, it is best you review the current COVID19 restrictions so you can be prepared for what to expect. Guidelines are changing daily so be sure to keep up to date with what is going on.

Top Events happening in San Diego In December:

surfing in december in san diego

Surf Big Waves

All Winter

Pacific Ocean

The time of year has come that all San Diego surfers wait for. The big waves are finally in, crashing to the West Coast for those that seek thrills on the ocean. Tear it up as a beginner or an experienced surfer on a variety of different waves along San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline. Follow the winds to find what waves are breaking where on any given day. Check out this list of surf spots in San Diego for more information on where to go to find your perfect wave this winter.

san diego in december

Go Hiking

All Winter

Torrey Pines State Park or East County Trailheads

The wintertime is the best time of the year to take on San Diego numerous hiking trails. The cooler conditions and recent rainfall make it the perfect time of year to get outdoors and hike on the nature trails. Some of my favorite hikes in San Diego are Three Sisters Waterfall, Cedar Creek Waterfall, Iron Mountain, and Torrey Pines State Park.


san dieg in december 2 balboa park

Check Out a Film or Exhibition at Balboa Park

Visit a science exhibition like the Digital Me Exhibition where you can take a 16-foot long selfie-and visit a city that has learned about you through your browsing history.

San Diego in December

Ice Skate by the Beach

Nov. 22- Jan. 2th

Hotel Del Coronado

Skating by the Sea is back at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado. The stunning views of the Pacific Ocean are beside you as you skate. The Hotel’s iconic Victorian building gets adorned with twinkling lights and there is hot chocolate available to warm your chilly limbs. If you are looking for a magical winter wonderland here in San Diego this season, this is a must-do!


Parade of Lights

Dec 12 & 19

San Diego Bay

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights takes advantage of the waterfront location that makes San Diego famous. Watch the boats sail across the bay as the lights reflect off the water and shine for the entire pier to see. This event is a time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community.


Holiday Bowl Parade

Dec 28

San Diego

Every year on TV there are events that must happen, and this is one that both people in San Diego and across the U.S. look forward to.  It is America’s Largest Balloon Parade. It has everything a parade needs to be an exciting spectacle: world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and the main attraction, a procession of enormous balloons. Over 100,000 street-side viewers attend this parade annually and street-side viewing of the parade is FREE! Go watch this festive event that is truly something you can only experience in San Diego!

Wellness Activities To Do in San Diego in December

Go Whale Watching and Immerse Into Nature

Whale Watching San Diego (1)

Whales appear in San Diego from December until April, making it the perfect time to experience, disconnect and photograph these enormous creatures. Wildlife photographers will appreciate this beautiful scene of the Pacific Grey wales at La Jolla beach.

Healing Massage and Acupuncture in San Diego

Visit Place360 for a full-body approach to health and wellness while in San Diego. Place360 offers chiropractic services along with Chinese medicine.

Spiritual Wellbeing

Some people travel to disconnect for a bit and connect to their inner world, that’s exactly what The Copra Center for Wellbeing aims to do. With the everyday pace of life seeming to move faster and faster, more & more people are turning to mediation and yoga to silence the world around them and tune into their inner voice and amplify their intentions. The Copra has various wellness destination retreats, like a silence and 7 spiritual laws retreat.

Self-realization Fellowship

Just a 25 min drive north from downtown San Diego you will find a temple with meditation gardens specifically built for prayer and mediation.


Weekly Local Events in San Diego:

Tuesdays: Pacific Beach Farmers Market 

Wednesdays: Ocean Beach Farmers Market and Drum Circles

Saturdays: Little Italy Farmers Market

Sundays: Hillcrest Farmers Market

Everyday – Locals Ride Free – San Diego Trolley Tours


Federico Mata AgINSIZ8xfM Unsplash

San Diego is a great destination year-round. Many other extraordinary events are happening and listed on the San Diego Events website.

For info on the live music scene, the San Diego Reader has a great list of upcoming shows.

If you have any questions about other events happening in San Diego, please contact our receptionist at any of our local hostels.


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I am a content creator from Chicago with a passion for writing + lifestyle & travel photography. When I'm not creating content you can find me listening to podcasts on Spotify, reading, or exploring a new place. Join me on Instagram @leilani.jeanette to follow along with my adventures and read my blog!

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