February in San Diego, outside of President’s Day weekend, is still a shoulder month when hotel rates are lower before spring breakers and warmer weather arrives.

With Mardi Gras celebrations, Museum Month, Valentine’s Day, and more, you can easily make it a family-friendly trip or a romantic getaway in the cooler but sunny climes of San Diego.

Through my affiliations, you can save on tickets, tours, and hotels. I may be compensated if you purchase through some links in this post—our editorial guidelines.


San Diego February Weather

The sign for Little Italy San Diego in February with blue skies
Sunny skies in Little Italy San Diego on a February evening.

San Diego weather in February typically serves up some rain. It’s cloudy and ‘cold/chilly’ (for San Diego) with bursts of sunshine and low relative humidity — though the weather is crisp even if the skies are blue.

Our Microclimates

February San Diego weather is also when you see more dramatic weather changes throughout our microclimates: coastal, inland valleys, mountains, and deserts.

I often drive between San Diego and Orange County, and while it’s usually jeans and T-shirt weather along the coast in February, the hills and mountains to the east are often covered in snow and completely white. This is when residents take San Diego day trips to the mountains to see snow.

Pack warm layers when heading to the inland valleys. I went to San Diego Zoo Safari Park last February and it was sunny but very cold in the morning. We could shed our jackets toward the afternoon.

Some Blue Skies and Some Rain

San Diego in February, to me, is cold. But, those of you on the East Coast will probably laugh at me after reading the below San Diego February weather statistics:

  • February average temperature (high/low): 66°F/51°F
  • Rainfall: 2 inches
  • Days of rain: 7
  • Days of sunshine: 21
  • Daylight: 11 hours
  • Ocean temperature (high/low): 58.8°F

Can You Go to the Beach in February?

Yes, you can go to beaches in San Diego in February. They’re as beautiful as ever and lots of people are walking their dogs on the beaches, exercising, surfing, and kayaking.

In fact, you’ll see people on our beaches year round (especially with an average high temperature of 60F), but in particular, popular Ocean Beach and Solana Beach are always busy.

The hearty are sunbathing on sunny days. Most residents leave the swimwear at home.

Ocean Tips

As noted above, the average water temperature means you will need a wetsuit to swim in the ocean in February. If you don’t have one to pack, you can rent them at various surf shops and surfing schools around San Diego. Kids’ sizes are available, too.

You CAN and should still take surfing lessons or learn how to stand-up paddleboard. Our water sports are available year-round.


Advice for Booking Hotels in February

I’m stepping in here to say that if you are thinking of coming to San Diego during the summer of 2024, please book your trip now. Our hotels are already booked up for some summer dates.

Prices for San Diego hotels in February tend to be very reasonable outside of President’s Day weekend.

As I mentioned in my San Diego in January review, there are advantages to visiting in the off-peak winter season. Aside from lower rates, it’s a bit more pleasant to sightsee when average temperatures are not as hot outside. Our San Diego theme parks like LEGOLAND California and SeaWorld San Diego are also less crowded as it’s low season.

Beach valet services may be limited in February at some resorts, but you can ask me or call the hotel in advance to see what is on offer.


San Diego February Events in 2024

February events in San Diego are back this year in full force and here are some you will want to check out.

San Diego Museum Month

San Diego Museum Month provides locals (and tourists) the opportunity to visit over 60 museums at half-off the normal price of admission for the entire month.

This fun event is a chance to save money while visiting San Diego attractions that is hard to pass up – plus, it’s the perfect idea for indoor activities on rainy days.

Find more information on San Diego Museum Month, visit these social media platforms:

Lunar New Year in San Diego

San Diego in February also marks Lunar New Year with many festivals and events happening around town. The backbone of many cultural celebrations involves food, and Lunar New Year is no exception! Here are a few new San Diego restaurants open just in time for the new year.

  • Haidilao San Diego: Head to Haidilao at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, a famous Chinese hot pot restaurant from Sichuan province. During our most recent visit, performers (like traditional face changing) were handing out lai see to guests.
  • QiWest Noodles: Quick service and casual is the name of the game at this popular Chinese chain from L.A., also located at Westfield UTC in La Jolla. Noodles are often eaten to celebrate the new year and to represent long and uninterrupted prosperity and life. With classics like chicken chow mein, beef noodle soup and cold noodles with cucumbers, your meal will bring good fortune for the rest of the year.
  • White Rice Bodega: This Filipino rice-bowl chain has made a splash on the San Diego foodie scene not only for its crispy pork belly, tofu sisig and ube milk tea, but the fact that every meal purchased means one donated to San Diegens facing hunger. Mixing delicious food with a fantastic cause is the definition of winning in our book.
  • Market on 8th: This food hall hosts a variety of food genres, including a Filipino kitchen, Thai street food, ramen, and poke. No matter what you choose, there is something here for everyone. 

Prefer a quiet, at home affair? Order some takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant.We like several in the Convoy area (we used to live in Hong Kong), including Shanghai Saloon, Jasmine Seafood, and Emerald Chinese Cuisine.

Maybe stop for Taiwanese shaved snow at Iceskimo while you’re there (conveniently located in the same parking lot as the former two restaurants).

chinese new year fair

Head to downtown San Diego on 24 & 25 February for this family-friendly festival featuring live music, a parade, lion and dragon dancing, activities for the kids, and plenty of delicious food options. 2024 marks the fair’s 41st annual celebration.

Valentine’s Day in San Diego

The mild San Diego weather in February means our beautiful city is excellent for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway.

Stroll the beach with your Valentine and take in one of San Diego’s restaurants (advanced reservations are always a good idea), or visit the San Diego Maritime Museum and take to the seas for a sailing adventure.

Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K, 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run

Love to run with your loved one? You can head to beautiful Coronado Island on February 4, 2024, for this fun annual event. There are various options for race distances depending on your stamina. And as an added romantic bonus, all participants in any race can participate in the Wedding Vow Renewal, which takes place just before the race starts while everyone is lined up on the start line!

Black History Month in San Diego

One of my favorite initiatives for Black History Month is by the San Diego History Center. You can visit their exhibition page to nominate a Black hero and submit milestones and memories that are important to our Black community’s history in San Diego.

Take a few minutes to scroll through the timeline they’ve already pieced together, starting in 1798.

SAN DIEGO CELEBRATES MARDI GRAS

Live music, creole and Cajun cuisine, and of course, beignets, can all be found on the weekends through February 26 at SeaWorld while the Gaslamp Quarter in the city celebrates Mardi Gras on February 9, 10 & 13 in 2024, as the New Orleans inspired carnival takes life in San Diego. 

CARDIFF KOOK RUN — 5k, 10k and costume contest

Enjoy breathtaking views along the Pacific Ocean on Super Bowl Sunday, February 11, and walk or run either the 5k or 10k. There’s even a kids’ race and no matter what you do, make sure to join the costume contest for a chance at a prize.

OCEANSIDE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2024

Indie filmmakers share their talents along the north county region from February 20-24 as the community celebrates the unique artistic community.

2024 SAN DIEGO BIRD FESTIVAL

Avid birders and wildlife enthusiasts gather annually in San Diego to enjoy some of the best birding in the country. The San Diego Audubon Society will be presenting this festival from February 21-25, with proceeds going to education, conservation, and sanctuary programs.

SAN DIEGO JAZZ PARTY

Renowned jazz musicians play all weekend long at this party guaranteeing smooth vibes you won’t find anywhere else. You can join the party from February 23-25 in 2024.


Things to Do in San Diego in February

In addition to fun events, those who visit San Diego in February will find theme parks, attractions, tours, and museums open for outdoor operations. Visitors with families will want to know all about things to do in San Diego with kids.

Look for Baby Seals

Baby harbor seals and parents on the sand at Children's Pool Beach in La Jolla
One of my favorite winter and early spring (free) activities.

It’s pupping season at Children’s Pool Beach in La Jolla. Bring your zoom camera lens and get ready to be entertained by harbor seal babies in this very rare urban rookery.

And, don’t go without reviewing my guide to visiting the La Jolla seals and sea lions.

Head to the Tide Pools

Always check the tide charts ahead of time so you can catch low tide to visit the pools. We’re slowly heading to the end of tide pooling season, so use this as a chance to go out and safely explore.

Please leave the tide pools as you found them, though. I’ve been a few times and have noticed people taking large quantities of shells and other items home. This is permitted outside of the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, but remember that the shells are often animal homes.

La Jolla is one of our favorite spots for tide pools and if you choose to explore the tide pools in La Jolla along Coast Blvd, you can very easily see the baby harbor seals at the same time.

For other spots, see my list of where to go tide pooling in San Diego.

Walk Through a Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is a lovely place for a Zen walk. (Did you know that you can adopt one of their Koi fish?)

For fun in the Hamilton Children’s Garden or to clock some miles on a mild or moderate walk, head over to the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas.

San Diego Zoo & San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Rhinos that you can see with discount San Diego Zoo Safari Park Discount tickets.
Rhinos sleep on a February morning at San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

We love visiting the Zoo and Safari Park in the winter as the animals are often more active (which is always more fun!)

Don’t forget I have the BEST PRICES on San Diego Zoo tickets and San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets.

GET MY EXCLUSIVE SAN DIEGO ZOO PROMO CODE!

I have the best final price on San Diego Zoo tickets available to the general public, with no membership required. For this reason, we can’t publish the promo code online, but can send it by text or email. The discounted price is $66/adult and $56/child (ages 3–11) — all taxes and fees included! This is up to 11% off of gate prices!

*By texting the word SDZOO to 1-833-490-0799 you agree to receive automated promotional messages with how to secure my deeper ticket discount and this agreement isn’t a condition of any purchase. Msg and data rates may apply. 2 msg/mo. Reply STOP to cancel. Read my full privacy policy.

Go Gray Whale Watching

A whale tail sticking out of the ocean with a boat of onlookers in the distance

Gray whales are on their annual migration during February here, which makes it a great time to go gray whale watching in San Diego.

Whales are a little more difficult to see from land in February though, because they’re already in Mexico or heading back north with their calves (when they swim further from shore).

Popular places to try to see them from land include:


What to Wear in San Diego in February

Your San Diego packing list for February should include sweaters, long-sleeved T-shirts, jeans, and jackets.

Here’s what I recommend you put in your suitcase:

  • Medium-weight jacket for the afternoons and evenings (I wear a Patagonia or Lululemon puffer jacket)
  • Athleisure and hiking shoes for outdoor activities
  • Portable umbrella and/or light rain jacket
  • Bathing suit and warmer cover-up for the beaches
  • Rashguard or UV shirt for sun protection and warmth
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Flip flops for the beach and pool
  • Shorts for beachgoing
  • T-Shirts (mostly long-sleeved)
  • Pants or jeans
  • Sweaters or sweatshirts
  • Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing
  • Casual wool/warm dress or collared shirt, sweater, and nice jeans (if you plan to dine in one of our nicer restaurants)
  • Sweaters and sweatshirts
  • Ugg boots
  • Wetsuit (or you can easily rent one)

Leave the fur coats and accessories at home as they are usually not well received here.


Lifestyle: What Residents Are Up To

San Diego weather in February makes it a great time to visit, and staycations and vacations are booming!

If you’re planning to visit San Diego during spring break or the summer of 2024, please book now for this reason. And, if you’re headed anywhere else in the world, you’re better off booking that now, too.

If you are a local, please share your thoughts about San Diego in February!

Weather and temperature sources: seatemperature.org, currentresults.com, NOAA

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

Explore More Things to Do in San Diego

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.