Wonderful Winter Activities in San Diego

Here in San Diego, winter just hits different. Maybe it’s our famously mild weather. Could be the relaxed vibe. Or the fact that the sun still shines no matter what the calendar says. In any case, the winter months in “America’s Finest City” offer a range of amazing things to do that just wouldn’t be possible in places where blustery cold would have you scrambling for the cocoa and bulky sweaters. Here’s a closer look at some of the winter activities in San Diego you can look forward to during your visit.


Whale Watching


(Video: @noemicabre)

Thanks to our location adjacent to the seasonal migration route of several whale species, San Diego is one of the most specimen-rich locations in the world when it comes to spotting these majestic creatures in the wild. This means seeing them while they make their way past us is a near-certainty. Several local tour companies offer nautical treks that can get you close enough to spot these amazing animals, and their cruises embark just steps from our front door, including: 

Just dress warm when you go — the water can be chilly.



Tide Pooling

San Diego is notable for many reasons. One of the most interesting? Our abundance of tide pools; small elevated reservoirs of inland ocean water that retain their depth even after the tide goes out. The best times to visit are during the fall and winter months when tides are low, so be sure to get out and explore. We recommend starting in La Jolla Shores Park or at Children’s Pool, where some of the city’s most famous are located. 


See Some Snow

(Photo: @princetepher)

While it’s true that San Diego isn’t exactly known for abundant snowfall (the city hasn’t had measurable snow since 1967), that doesn’t mean you can’t see some winter white ays during your visit if you’d like to. Thanks to the area’s varied topography, you can see the beach, desert, and snow all in the same day! Neighboring mountain communities like Julian, Mt. Laguna, and Palomar Mountain are all within about 90 minutes of downtown, and almost always have lovely winter days where you can enjoy some soft ground cover. So why not spend the day at the beach, then go make a snowman in the mountains?  


Safari Park Sleepover

(Photo: @sdzsafaripark)

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park in nearby Escondido is an absolute treasure. There, guests can observe hundreds of animals in a habitat much like one they’d inhabit in the wild. In addition, the park offers guests some amazing experiences like their “Roar & Snore” sleepovers, where families are invited to camp on the grounds, tour the habitats to check out the animals’ nocturnal behavior, and enjoy up-close encounters with wildlife. 


San Diego Brew Festival

(Photo: @sdbeerfestival)

In recent years, San Diego’s burgeoning brewery scene has earned us the title of “Craft Beer Capital of the World” — and for good reason. The area is home to more than 150 fantastic beeratoriums, with new outlets opening regularly. The city’s brewing culture has given rise to several excellent festivals celebrating this emerging tradition, and the San Diego Brew Festival is one of the biggest and best. Now in its 12th year, this frothy fest will welcome more than 70 breweries to the area, along with entertainment, games, fantastic food and much more. So raise a glass, and enjoy a hearty glass of cheer. 


Warm Up at a Secret Speakeasy

(Photo: @halloscream_queen)

Speakeasies — a.k.a. hidden bars — began out of necessity during America’s prohibition era. But since there’s something that just feels a little taboo about them, their popularity has persisted to the present day. The entrances to these hush-hush hideaways are often less than obvious (such as obscured doors behind bookcases, or false lobbies leading to expansive interiors), and many even require passwords for entry. Want in? Take a look at our previous post “The Coolest Speakeasy Bars in San Diego” for an insiders’ peek. 


Enjoy a Winter Wonderland at The Dana

(Photo: @danamissionbay)

Planning a visit to San Diego over the winter months? There’s no better spot to stay than The Dana. We’re centrally-located on beautiful Mission Bay, and our exceptional accommodations, service and amenities make us the ideal place to enjoy the season. Take a look at our special offers, and plan your visit today!