Summer Things You Can Still Do in the Winter in San Diego

Bobby Dyer

While we see the highest number of tourists throughout the summer months, the real gem is San Diego in the wintertime. You get to enjoy all the same attractions without the crowds.  

Here are a few of our favorite winter attractions: 

Beach Days

Beach Hostels San Diego


The water gets cooler in the winter months, but there is no shortage of beach or sunshine in San Diego. 18 miles of beach and a 70% chance of sunshine to be exact. Not to mention, some of the winter months have the highest number of sunny days. 

The best part about visiting the beach during the off-season you ask? It’s practically all yours! With the vanishing of the summer crowds, enjoy more beach access and easier parking. And with more court space and few players, you might even be able to jump in on a game of pick-up volleyball. So grab some sunscreen, a good book and a lounge chair to let the beach experience begin.


Balboa Park San Diego Accommodations

San Diego is a city that is meant to be explored! And the sites don’t change from season-to-season, as it’s sunny all year long. 


Here are a few top picks for sightseeing during the winter: the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Gaslamp and Little Italy. And the list goes on and on: Little Italy, the USS Midway, Sea World, Old Town, Farmer’s Markets and more! 


Some of the parks like the Zoo or Seaworld run end of the year promotions, either reducing tickets or turning your ticket into an annual pass good until the new year. 


Action & Water Sports


Paddleboarding San Diego

The action never stops here! We enjoy a yearlong season for sports, catering to all enthusiasts. If you packed your wet suit, then by all means take to the water and surf! But if staying dry is your motivation, then take the sea with a stand up paddle board, kayak, sail boat or jet ski. San Diego hosts a continual calendar of races, so pack your running shoes. And the beaches are speckled with yoga sessions all winter long. 

Itching for some snow sports? Big Bear makes for a killer day trip, or short getaway with our Big Bear Mountain Adventure Lodge.  


Whale Watching 


San Diego Whale Watching
Photo By: Adventure R.I.B. Rides

One thing the summer months can’t compete with is the height of whale season right smack dab in the winter months. While you have the potential to see a whale at any point, your chances go through the roof during December to April. Marking the main point of the whale migration season, over 20,000 whales will swim right past our shores as they make the journey from Alaska to Baja. And since the gray whales tend to swim in pods, whale watchers typically see not only one, but multiple whales. 



The best way to do San Diego is with a group of friends, regardless of the season. And if you are looking for your own tour guides and an awesome group of people to tour the city with, then International Traveler’s House is your place! 


We host FREE daily activities, from surfing to boating to sightseeing and more. Since our activities are open to all guests, you never have to worry about exploring on your own. And groups just have more fun, especially in a city as adventurous as San Diego. 


Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.