San Diego in Spring

  • 01 of 03

    San Diego in Spring: March, April, May

    Cherry Blossoms in Balboa Park
    ••• Cherry Blossoms in Balboa Park. Steven Bevacqua/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    There is no doubt that San Diego is a fantastic place to visit. With a variety of entertainment, beautiful beaches and an abundance of parks and attractions to visit, there is something for everyone.

    March through May is one of the best times to visit San Diego, especially if you avoid crowded spring break school holidays. The rainy season winds down by April in most years, and skies are frequently bright and sunny. In fact, the beaches are less likely to be foggy and cloudy than they are in the early summer.

    This guide covers how to visit San Diego in the spring in general, but you can get more in-depth information for each month of the spring season in the guides to San Diego in MarchSan Diego in April, and San Diego in May.

    Reasons to Visit San Diego in Spring

    • Summer-Like Hours: During spring break weeks, local theme parks and animal attractions will be open longer, following their summer schedules.
    • Beaches are Great: Beaches are uncrowded during the week and sunnier than they'll...MORE be in early summer.

    Reasons to Avoid San Diego in Spring

    • Spring Break Crowds: San Diego's sunny climate attracts a lot of families, but it also draws a considerable number of college students, many of them intent on consuming as much alcohol as they can. Spring break may be held around Easter1 where you live, but in California (where many San Diego visitors live), the schedule is more staggered. California schools schedule their breaks anytime between mid-March and the end of April.
    • Off-Season Hours: Except during spring break, theme parks, and other attractions will likely reduce their hours and offer fewer extra activities than they do in the summer.

    Cost Considerations in Spring

    If you plan your trip before or after spring break and avoid the big conventions, spring is a good time to get a lower hotel rate and a particularly good time to use these unexpected tips to lower your rate

    San Diego is one of the country's most popular convention locations, and the big ones can fill hotels and drive up rates. The busiest convention months times are late May through July. Use this convention calendar to plan your trip during dates when fewer conventioneers are in town.

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  • 02 of 03

    Spring Events Worth Planning Ahead For

    Sea Of Color Spreads Out At Flower Fields Of Carlsbad Ranch
    ••• Spring Flowers at the Carlsbad Flower Fields. Donald Miralle / Getty Images


    Spring holidays include Easter (a lunar holiday which can occur between March 22 and April 25) and Mardi Gras (which happens 46 days before Easter and is celebrated as Carnevale in San Diego), St. Patrick's Day (March 17) and Cinco de May (May 5), a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

    • Carlsbad Flower Fields: It's not a particular event, but the springtime flowers in the commercial fields are a unique sight.
    • Whale Watching: Whale-watching season usually ends after March.
    • Grunion Runs: March is the beginning of the annual grunion run when thousands of tiny, silvery fish mate by the light of the full moon (or the new one). See the schedule. La Jolla Shores is a good place to see it, or Birch Aquarium offers guided trips.

    More Seasons in San Diego

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

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  • 03 of 03

    What to Expect in San Diego in Spring

    San Diego Weather in Spring
    ••• Max rain for San Diego can be 2 inches (5 cm) or more in a month, moderate rain is approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm). ©2013 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

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

    • Average hotel occupancy is more than 70%. The average San Diego hotel rate in 2016 was $130 per night. Rates will be higher when they're near capacity and lower when they're less busy. Rates typically increase about 5% per year.
    • Weather 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 temperature remains near its winter lows through March and April, warming slightly in May but still too cold for all but the hardiest swimmers. The beach will be a better place for walking than water play.
    • All of the popular tourist attractions will be crowded during spring break. Otherwise, expect a leisurely pace in spring and fewer people around.