July in San Diego: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Downtown San Diego from Coronado Island
Downtown San Diego from Coronado Island. JenniKate Wallace/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

July is the peak of San Diego's tourist season, with lots of families on vacation and Arizona residents looking to escape the heat. Despite being California's southernmost big city, San Diego stays cooler than Los Angeles, thanks to the effects of the ocean.

July 4 in San Diego

You can use the guide to July 4 in San Diego and the Rest of California to find fireworks shows and other ways to celebrate Independence Day.

San Diego Weather in July

It's hard to predict San Diego's July weather ahead of time. In some years, skies will be clear all month, but other times, the weather phenomenon nicknamed June Gloom can persist into the first few weeks of July. ​To find out more about that, use the guide to June Gloom and what to do about it.

Any time of year, evening fog comes in suddenly and can feel especially cold. 

  • Average High Temperature: 75 F (24 C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 65 F (18 C)
  • Water Temperature: 67 F (19 C)
  • Rain: 0.03 in (0.1 cm)
  • Sunshine: 68 percent

The weather information above is best used as a general idea of what things may be like. It can help you make general plans, but don't count on the conditions during your trip being "average." The best way to get prepared is to check the San Diego weather forecast before you leave home.

If you want to compare these weather conditions to what San Diego is like the rest of the year, you can find that all in one place in the guide to typical San Diego weather.

What to Pack

Pack short-sleeved shirts and lightweight pants, with a sweater for layering and shorts for the warmest days. Few places in San Diego require anything but the most casual attire.

If you plan to be near the ocean in the evening, it will feel colder than you might think and you'll be glad you took an extra layer or two.

If you’re going to the beach, you may want to wiggle those ten fine toes in the sand. But getting that sand off your feet and out of everything else you own can be hard. To make it easier, pack a little bit of baby powder or cornstarch to put into your day pack. Sprinkle it on your skin and the sand will brush off much easier.

July Events in San Diego

  • Comic-ConThe largest comic book and pop culture convention in the world.
  • Imperial Beach Sun and Sea FestivalThis oceanside festival includes a sandcastle competition and more activities.
  • Humphreys by the Bay ConcertsA fun outdoor summer concert series held on Shelter Island from April through mid-October.
  • Old Globe Theatre: Late May through late September, they stage outdoor Shakespeare productions in a reproduction of his original Globe Theatre.
  • San Diego LGBT PrideA festival and parade whose aim is "fostering pride in and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities."

Things to Do in July

  • San Diego's warm summers make it an excellent place for outdoor activities in the evening. Get some ideas here.
  • July is a great month to check out some of San Diego's best beaches. June through October is the tuna sportfishing season.
  • On Saturdays in July and August, the San Diego Zoo offers overnight campouts at the zoo. Most are geared toward families, but one weekend is an all-adult version.
  • March through August is time for a uniquely California event. During the annual grunion run, thousands of tiny, silvery fish mate by the light of the full moon (or the new one). See the schedule. The best San Diego beaches to see the show are La Jolla Shores, Pacific Beach between Tourmaline Park and Lifeguard Tower 20, Mission Beach between Lifeguard Towers 19 and 10, Ocean Beach between Mission Bay Channel and the Ocean Beach Pier and on Coronado between the Hotel del Coronado and Dog Beach.

The events listed above happen every year, but they're not all that's going on in San Diego in July. If you're looking for a fun concert, sporting event, or theatrical performance, try these resources:

July Travel Tips

  • Hotel occupancy reaches the highest levels of the year in July. To avoid sellouts and high rates, reserve as far ahead as you can, making sure that there are no cancellation penalties if you change your mind.
  • Anytime a big convention comes to town, hotels in the Gaslamp and downtown fill up, and room rates rise. To plan your trip during dates when fewer conventioneers are in town, use this convention calendar.
  • Avoid the week of Comic-Con if you can. So many people flock to the world's largest pop culture convention that hotel rates skyrocket while vacancies plummet. 
  • Any time of year. you can use these tips to be a smarter San Diego visitor who has more fun and puts up with fewer annoyances.
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