September is an excellent time to visit San Diego if your schedule allows. As soon as the Labor Day holiday weekend is over, San Diego's tourist attractions get a lot less crowded than they were during the summer. The weather is even nicer, with little chance of fog or rain.
Labor Day in San Diego
San Diego Weather in September
September has some of San Diego's best weather, warm but with little chance of rain, with clear skies and little fog.
- Average High Temperature: 76 F (24 C)
- Average Low Temperature: 65 F (18 C)
- Water Temperature: 67 F (19 C)
- Rain : 0.15 in (0.4 cm)
- Sunshine: 69 percent
- Daylight: 13.5 hours
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. You can also get more tips about visiting San Diego in the fall.
The weather information above is best used as a general idea of what things may be like. The only rain all summer could fall on your perfect picnic or a winter day could be so warm you'll wish you packed your shorts.
Averages are helpful for planning ahead, but don't count on your trip being "average." Check the San Diego weather forecast before you leave home.
What to Pack
There's little chance of rain in September, but evenings near the ocean can feel chilly. Take a light to mid-weight jacket or an extra layer to stay comfortable.
Otherwise, you can wear short-sleeved shirts and lightweight pants, with an extra layer for cooler days and places, but you'll find you need fewer shorts than earlier in the year.
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.
September Events in San Diego
School starts in early September, and it may feel like summer is over, but you'll still find plenty of events to attend and things to do all month long.
- Del Mar Races: Del Mar has been the place to see thoroughbred horse racing since 1937. Going to a race is lots of fun, and if you go on a weekend, your admission price may include an evening concert.
- Miramar Air Show: An annual salute to marine aviation, this show often features the Blue Angels. Free admission.
- Festival of Sail: Every three years, a fleet of tall ships join the Star of India, Californian and other ships at the Maritime Museum for a big celebration.
- Humphreys by the Bay Concerts: Humphreys hotel hosts a fun outdoor summer concert series held on Shelter Island from June through mid-October.
- Old Globe Theatre: Mid-June through late September, they stage outdoor Shakespeare productions and other plays in a reproduction of his original Globe Theatre.
- Restaurant Week: January and September are great months to sample some of the city's nicest restaurants, with special tasting menus and prices.
Things to Do in September
- San Diego's best surf season is August through November.
- If you'd like a chance to catch a really big (and tasty) fish, June through October is the tuna sportfishing season.
- Watch a Padres Game: The Padres' pretty downtown baseball stadium is a great place to watch a game. If you don't like them, go anyway and root for their opponents.
- Between July and September, leopard sharks gather just off the La Jolla coast of La Jolla. These beautiful spotted creatures are timid and docile. You see them and wade alongside them at La Jolla Shores. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps hosts leopard shark snorkeling adventures and La Jolla outfitters like Hike Bike Kayak and Everyday California offer leopard shark snorkeling tours.
September Travel Tips
- Hotel occupancy is lower in September than it was in the summer. That makes it easier to find a reasonable rate at a hotel in your preferred area.
- 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.
- You can save money on airfares to San Diego in September, compared to peak season (June). No matter what month you fly in, time your ticket purchase between 45 and 30 days ahead of time, when fares dip.
- Sign up for a free account with Goldstar to get access to discounted tickets for local performances and save on some San Diego attractions.
- For a look at local events, check the San Diego Union Tribune's entertainment section.
- The San Diego Reader keeps a big list of groups performing at local live music venues.