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6 Reasons Why This Is The Top Winter Destination In California This Year

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Heading somewhere warmer for the winter is something we can all appreciate as travelers, and luckily for Americans, there are such places not too far away.

One great example is the Californian city of San Diego, which is emerging as one of the best places to spend a few sun-drenched days this winter.

woman in front of san diego skyline at sunset

Blessed with a Pacific shoreline of beautiful beaches and rugged cliffs, San Diego is a multicultural city with a laid-back vibe and plenty to entertain travelers of all persuasions.

Here are six reasons why it should be first on your list this winter:

Packed Winter Program

The San Diego Tourism Authority has created an awesome list of all the events and attractions that are taking place in the city throughout winter this year.

Highlights include the illumination of San Diego Botanic Garden by Lightscape, an ice rink at Hotel del Coronado called Skating by the Sea, and a special Christmas celebration at SeaWorld San Diego – all three of which are active from November 17 to January 1.

lightscape show at san diego botanic garden in winter

Winter is also a great time to check out San Diego Zoo, which will have a host of its own festive celebrations and entertainment shows over the season.

More And Better Places To Stay

A lot of money has been spent in San Diego on not only opening new hotels but also refurbishing existing ones too.

Popular hotels such as the Lafayette, Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton, Wayfairer, and Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina are all subject to recent renovation projects that should vastly improve the experience of travelers.

san diego skyline at sunrise

When multiple projects like this are going on, you know that a city is popular and that its local businesses care about making sure travelers have a great time when they visit.

Internationally Recognized

The San Diego Tourism Authority claims that 2023 has been a record-breaking year in terms of tourism revenue, and it should be no surprise when you consider the recent accolades the city has received.

It was voted as the second-best big city in America by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler and rated the second-best warm destination for winter travel by WalletHub.

historic heart of san diego sign

When a place keeps popping up in these kind of studies and rankings then you know that it’s probably worth adding to your future travel list.

More Ways To Get There

San Diego International Airport is currently undergoing some renovations of its own, but more interesting than that is that it’s added a raft of new flights recently.

You will now be able to fly to the Californian city from Atlanta, Georgia on a new daily non-stop service, while flight paths from London in the UK and Munich in Germany are also being increased.

plane coming in to land at san diego airport at sunset

San Diego also has good road links with Highways 5, 15, and 8 all leading into the center of the city.

Experience Through Eating

San Diego is influenced by many parts of the world when it comes to its cuisine – from Mexico just over the border to Japan on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll find great eateries for both these cuisine styles, as well as a relaxed vibe to many of the restaurants and cafés in the city.

chef preparing sushi in san diego

As well as permanent fixtures, there are many pop-up places to eat around San Diego in its parks, markets, and other open spaces – and these certainly don’t stop in the winter.

It Can Be Affordable

Despite California not being the cheapest place in America to visit, it’s still possible to visit San Diego on a budget due to the wide range of free things to do there.

Balboa Park, which is one of the city’s best-known areas, is free to enter, as is the nearby Anza Borrego State Park.

Perhaps the most obvious affordable thing to do in San Diego is hang out at the beach.

view of a beach in san diego

Even in the winter, it’s a great place to while away a few hours, and some beaches even allow you to have bonfires – now what could be cozier than that?

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