San Diego in Fall

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    San Diego in Fall: September, October, November

    Yachts across San Diego Bay at sunrise, looking towards downtown.
    Sunrise in Downtown San Diego. Witold Skrypczak / Getty Images

    The first day of fall is traditionally defined as the Autumn Equinox, which happens in mid-September. The fall - September through November - is a good time to visit San Diego.

    After school starts. fall brings few school holidays. Downtown, it brings fewer conventions and summer-like weather through September. It will be mostly dry through October and often into November. In fact, September could easily be the best month all year for a trip.

    If you want more detailed information by month about things to do and what to expect, you can find that in the guide to  San Diego in SeptemberSan Diego in October, and  San Diego in November

    Reasons to Visit San Diego in Fall

    • Beaches: The water is still warm in September, but much of the crowds are gone.
    • Clear Skies: San Diego beaches can be foggy in the early summer, but in fall the skies will be clear. 
    • Lower Costs: Hotel rates are average or lower, and with fewer people in town, it gets easier to find bargains, packages, and incentives.
    • Leopard...MORE Sharks: Hundreds of harmless leopard sharks migrate to La Jolla Shores coastal waters from August to October. Here's how to see them.
    • Fall Apple Harvest: If you dropped into the city of San Diego without a calendar, you might have a hard time knowing that it's fall, but the nearby town of Julian is in the mountains and fall is a good time to visit, during the apple harvest.

    Reasons to Avoid San Diego in Fall

    • Attraction Hours: With fewer visitors, attractions may cut back on their hours and activities, and some of them may be closed weekdays.
    • Colder Water: The ocean water temperatures start to cool off, making an ocean swim less fun that it might have been in the middle of summer.

    Cost Considerations in Fall

    Fall is a good time to get a really good hotel rate and an especially good time to use these unexpected tips to get a better rate than you might expect.

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  • 02 of 03

    Fall Events Worth Planning Ahead For

    USA: Military: Blue Angels Perform During Miramar Air Show
    Blue Angels Perform During Miramar Air Show. Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

    Fall holidays include Halloween (October 31) and Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.  You can also  honor your lost loved ones and immerse yourself in traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

    San Diego Restaurant Week: In September, local restaurants offer some special deals during San Diego Restaurant Week, making it a good time to sample some of the city's best cuisine at reduced prices.

    Airplanes and Boats: Fleet Week is the city's annual tribute to our seagoing military, held in September. You can also watch the aerial acrobatics — including the famous Blue Angels precision flying team — at the Miramar Air Show in October.

    More Seasons in San Diego

    To pick the season that's best for you, check the guides to  San Diego in SpringSan Diego in Summer, and San Diego in Winter.

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  • 03 of 03

    What to Expect in San Diego in Fall

    San Diego weather in Fall
    Moderate rain for San Diego is approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) per month. ©2013 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    The graphic above covers the basics about San Diego in Fall, with temperature, rainfall and sunshine averages, hotel occupancy information for recent years. A few additional facts and tips:

    Average hotel occupancy is more than 70% in the fall. That means you may find some bargains and probably won't be frustrated by No Vacancy signs.

    Averages are interesting, but the most important thing is what's going to happen during your trip. Check the current forecast to get a better idea.

    Water temperatures stay near summer highs - a little below 70°F (21°C) - through September but it drops sharply in October. By November, its almost 15°F colder than it was in September.