A winter-summer in San Diego, California

On December 16th, 2015

sandiegothumbThe 5th of December marks a year ago that we left New York for the west coast. Thinking we’d stick it out for three months of a warmer winter, it’s now been a year and we’ve yet to return permanently. Trading scarves and gloves for flip-flops and endless Vitamin D was a fabulous decision for both our respiratory systems and attitudes. There’s got to be a reason San Diego is called ‘America’s finest city’ and we wanted to find out why.

We arrived just shy of New Years last year, so this is our first full holiday season spent in the country’s southwest corner. If you’re looking for a place in the United States that’s a warm weather spot with outdoor living year round, this is it. There’s heaps to do year ‘round and the holiday season is no different. Having married an Aussie, it makes sense to us to be in shorts and tank tops at this time of year – but mostly when we’re on the other side of the world. This is different.
This is my kind of winter

If you want winter to feel more like summer, this is the place. Take advantage of the warm days and cool evenings while you continue to spend your days outside breathing the ocean infused air. Most restaurants and bars have rooftops and heaters so your summer attitude can continue 12 months of the year. Hang with the locals on the beaches, visit animal friends at the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, hike to Cabrillo Point to check out the tide pools and maybe see some whales, celebrate the holiday spirit at Balboa Park December Nights or Major League Baseball’s Petco Park’s Holiday Wonderland and enjoy a southern California play on winter while ice skating overlooking the sand at the Hotel Del Coronado.

Farmers markets continue, surfers rarely don anything heavier than a rash guard, waterside picnics constantly happen with limited layering if any necessary and Vitamin D reigns supreme. Golfers, hikers, paddle boarders, runners, kayakers, and triathletes share their paths with amateurs year ‘round. Life continues to happen outdoors. This does, of course, happen in other cities around the Northern hemisphere simultaneously; but, it’s that it happens here with continuous summer flair. The oddest thing to get used to is locals ‘freezing’ and donning socks, Uggs and scarves when the temperatures dip below 65 degrees Farenheit. Don’t get me wrong…I’m climatized and happy about it!

This is the place where you can go grab that white Christmas atop Big Bear or nearby Julian and have dinner sans jacket overlooking the sea at La Jolla cove all in the same day. Or trade the thought of white snow for white caps of waves and spend Christmas day with your toes in the sand as revelers celebrate around you doing exactly the same thing. If you’re looking to ditch the diving temperatures, deafening wind chills and ascending snow tallies, San Diego is a spot to kick off those gloves and jackets and jump right in to sunshine. Hope to see you here.

Suggestions for your San Diego experience year ‘round

  • Beaches: Pacific, Ocean, Mission, Coronado
  • Local trails: Balboa Park, Torrey Pines, Mission Regional, Cowles Mountain
  • Road trip to trails: Joshua Tree, Anza – Borrego, Big Bear, Julian
  • Eats: fish tacos at Blue Water, burgers at Hodads, southern California breakfast at Snooze or trendy spots in the Gaslamp
  • Drink: Craft Beer Breweries (Mission, Ballast Point, Stone plus others)
  • Experience: Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Old Town Trolley Tour, Seaport Village, Coronado, Gaslamp Quarter
  • Spots to hang: Point Loma, La Jolla, Downtown, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach
  • Farmers Markets: Little Italy, Hillcrest, La Jolla, El Cajon
  • Hop across the border: Visit Mexico

Suggestions for your holiday San Diego experience

  • Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park
  • Balboa Park December Nights
  • San Diego Zoo Jungle Bells
  • The Old Globe presents How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Hotel Del Coronado DELights
  • San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
  • Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade
Planning a RTW trip?

Follow more of Stacey’s musings on her blog.

Photo Credit: Blake Bronstad