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15 Best Things to Do in San Diego in the Off-Season

Top tourist spots worth visiting in winter, plus tips on lesser-known local favorites for family fun


Published on: December 07, 2021

dock and water view in san diego

Sorry Hawaii and Mexico — we're going to San Diego this year

It’s not just the birds that know the secret to surviving the drearier months in the Pacific Northwest: Every Puget Sound family knows it’s essential to head south to warmer climes in winter whenever you can. For most families I know, favorite havens include Hawaii and Mexico, where sunshine is guaranteed and family accommodations are plentiful. But I’m still surprised that for many Seattleites, San Diego doesn’t make the list of top destinations quite as often. I grew up in San Diego, so forgive me for my bias when I say that it comes by its nickname honestly: It really is “America’s Finest City.”

San Diego’s weather is reliably good, and the city offers a plethora of affordable entertainment, local culture and learning opportunities everywhere you turn. Airbnb options abound, and you can usually find great flight deals year-round.

So, forget Hawaii and Mexico! I’ve compiled a list of my top picks for family fun in my favorite city. Some are typical tourist spots worth mentioning, while others are more off the beaten path. All are sure to score you major vacay planning points with your crew.

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