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San Diego in Fall: September, October, November
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.
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... 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.Continue to 2 of 3 below.
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Fall Events Worth Planning Ahead For
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 DiegoContinue to 3 of 3 below.
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What to Expect in San Diego in Fall
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.