The great thing about Southern California is that it doesn’t matter what time of the year you go, there is always plenty to do: from sightseeing on land to San Diego boat tours off the coast. While tourism may slow down after the summer, the weather is still fantastic, and the great outdoors is always available to keep you busy. Whether you are a local making the most of a staycation or an autumnal visitor taking advantage of the smaller crowds, a fantastic time awaits you with any of these memorable activities in San Diego.
You may think the best time to book San Diego whale watching tours is late winter, but the truth is that whales are around this area of the Pacific coast any time of year. While you may miss the blue or gray whales that migrate along the shore from December to April, humpbacks and other smaller whale species are frequent visitors, even in the fall. Plus, the skies tend to be clearer with less fog or haze in autumn, making visibility better than you may expect.
Landlubbers have no shortage of activities in the San Diego area, especially if you prefer your sightseeing on foot or two wheels. Because of its rocky coastline, San Diego has plenty of great hiking locations, especially near Julian, where you can see the leaves changing colors or stop for apples after your hike. For biking, you cannot go wrong with a ride along the Silver Strand on Coronado Island for lovely scenery or Mission Trails Regional Park for a mountainous workout.
When it is low tide along the beaches of San Diego, ocean treasures abound in the tidal pools, just waiting to be discovered. Tide pooling is a favorite activity for people of all ages, and you never know what you might find, from starfish to crabs to the occasional small octopus. Two locations to check out are La Jolla Shores and Cabrillo National Monument, both of which are beloved for tide pools and other outdoor adventures. Be sure to check the tidal charts before you go!
Fishing is yet another outdoor activity that is just as good during the fall months as it is any other time of year. Schedule one of the local San Diego private boat charters and head for open waters to see what’s biting. In the fall, yellowtail, bonito, and skipjack are plentiful, and you may even see the occasional barracuda. Even if you do not catch anything, you are bound to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views.
Kayaking is another year-round activity that becomes magical in the fall. That is when leopard sharks migrate to the waters of San Diego. If you are not feeling brave enough to approach them while snorkeling or scuba diving, then kayaking is your best bet. Stick to La Jolla for your best chance to see these sharks in numbers that may surprise you.
Keep in mind that temperatures can dip after sunset and the winds may turn cool, so bring a light jacket along on your fall outing to stay warm. No matter how you plan to spend your fall visit to San Diego, you will not be disappointed.