When to Visit San Diego

by SmarterTravel Staff

With a warm climate and festivals throughout the year, San Diego is a happening destination in any season. The most popular time to visit is from Memorial Day through Labor Day when schools are on break and family travel peaks. Spring and fall can be pleasant times to visit. Winter brings rain and cooler temperatures, but also lower prices and fewer crowds.

  • high season: June to August
  • low season: November to January
  • shoulder season: February to May, September to October

Weather Information

San Diego experiences an average daily temperature of 70 degrees, with low humidity, even during the summer months. Winters bring slightly cooler weather, but temperatures rarely fall below 40 degrees. Rain averages less than 10 inches and falls primarily between December and March.

Crowd Information

San Diego celebrates many festivals throughout the year that attract large crowds to events such as Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp Quarter in February; The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in June; the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade, Rally, and Festival in July; Fleet Week in August, September and October; and the San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival in November. Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day are also very busy for leisure travel, especially for vacationers who drive to the city.

Closure Information

Hotels, restaurants, and attractions remain open throughout the year. However, certain businesses, such as Legoland California, may reduce hours of operation during the winter months. Some museums may close for major holidays such as New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

When to Save

Prices are generally lower from November through January when leisure and convention visitation drops. Visitation picks up in February when demand begins to rise with the return of conventions. Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day may also see a surge in prices and visitation.

When to Book

For airfare, flexible travel plans may make it possible to take advantage of low last-minute fares. However, those with a set schedule should book at least three weeks in advance to obtain lower prices and ensure availability, especially for travel during the high season of June through August.

For hotels, last-minute lodging can typically be found, but it's a good idea to book at least one month in advance. Book at least three months in advance for visitation during the high season or during popular events to ensure availability.

Information provided by the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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