November in San Diego marks the beginning of our (slightly) rainy season, but many people choose to visit during this time for many reasons that I’ll get into below. We are also a top-rated Thanksgiving break destination with fun, local events the whole family will enjoy.

Whether it’s Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Beer Week, Fleet Week, or the toe-tapping live music of the jazz fest, our November events have something for everyone.

This month-by-month series aims to help you decide when the best time to visit San Diego is for you. For residents, I add tidbits about what’s happening around town.

We can help you save on tickets, tours, and hotels. If you purchase through some of the links below, we may be compensated. Thank you for supporting our small business! Our editorial guidelines.

My dog runs on a leash toward the ocean at Law Street Beach in Pacific Beach.
Me walking the dog in Pacific Beach on a November morning.

San Diego November Weather

San Diego weather in November consists of overcast days, particularly in the mornings, which usually become sunny during the afternoon. You’ll need a jacket in the late afternoon, especially in the shade.

The Santa Ana heat waves that can grace San Diego in October have disappeared, and the air temperatures are overall cooler. With time change, plus shorter days and some periods of rain, November can be a sweet spot and the perfect month to visit San Diego before the cold winter weather settles in.

Our Microclimates

In November, San Diego weather for you to pay attention to depends on which of our four microclimates you’ll visit. The temperature changes between the coastal regions, inland valleys, mountains, and the desert become more drastic during this month.

Most tourists are still visiting our coastal regions because that’s where most San Diego attractions and San Diego resorts are.

It’s Less Sunny in November

Birds fly over the boardwalk at La Jolla Cove.
Late afternoon at La Jolla Cove (notice the person on the bench in a sweatshirt)

The days after Halloween in San Diego are still typically sunny, but as the month progresses, out come the sweaters. The sun might still be shining, but crisp air means that you’ll see people wearing shorts while others are bundled up and wearing UGG boots.

Here are the San Diego November weather stats:

  • Average temperature (high/low): 69°F/54°F
  • Rainfall: 1 inch
  • Days of rain: 4
  • Days of sunshine: 75%
  • Daylight: 10.5 hours
  • Ocean water temperature (high/low): 63.9°F/61.8°F

If you plan to visit San Diego in November, try coming during the first few weeks. The odds of capturing sunny beach days are higher during this timeframe but certainly not impossible for the rest of the month of Thanksgiving. There will be days of partial sun, some cloud cover, and a few rainy days.

What the Beach Is Like

Most locals (and tourists alike!) have shifted to using San Diego beaches for walks, running, water sports, and sunset watching. Not many of us are recreationally sunbathing or swimming in the ocean, but there are always a few exceptions.

Visiting families tend to ask whether they can go to the beach in November. Yes, but you may not enjoy the stereotypical Southern California beach day because of the cooler weather.

Rest assured that plenty of tourists who are coming from colder climates are sunbathing and swimming. To them, it’s delightful. Kids will probably plow right into the water. Just bring a sweatshirt and sweatpants for after, as wet bathing suits and hair in the crisper San Diego weather make you colder after swimming. You’ll go in, but may not stay as long as you would in, say, August.

Even though the weather has cooled down, you should still coat your entire body with sunscreen. You can still definitely get sunburned in November in San Diego.

Ocean Tips

The ocean temperature has dropped by several degrees, so you should wear a wetsuit.

The best way to enjoy the ocean in November is through water sports like snorkeling tours and surfing lessons. I would definitely plan to rent a wetsuit for either activity. You don’t need one for kayak tours, however. Just wear athletic pants and a jacket.


Use code LJMOM20 for a 20% discount on kayak and snorkeling tours, lessons, and rentals. Book now.

Advice for Booking Hotels in November

San Diego hotel rates are at off-peak levels, except during Thanksgiving week. This means if you’re looking for a getaway, most of November provides excellent value. 

And right now, quite a few incentives are floating around for mid-week stays making November the perfect time to visit San Diego.

Some beach valet services (shuttles to the beach, chair set-up at the beach, etc.) may pause in November and restart for San Diego’s Thanksgiving events.

The vast majority of hotel swimming pools are heated year-round, and of course, most pool decks also have Jacuzzis.

Taking place through the holiday season, many San Diego hotels begin their holiday festivities the week of Thanksgiving. 

At the top of our list is Hotel del Coronado. Nestled in San Diego Bay, Hotel del Coronado’s multiple events over the winter holiday season include Thanksgiving dinner, a holiday festival with live music, and everyone’s favorite — Skating by the Sea, which features a spectacular ice rink on Windsor Lawn by the ocean.

San Diego November Events

San Diego events in November typically focus on food and drink and gearing up for the holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving.


The annual San Diego Beer Week is happening between November 3 -13 this year. Events throughout San Diego County showcase our 130+ independent craft breweries.

Craft beer will flow from participating restaurants, bars, and a beer garden. Check the calendar.

san diego bay wine + food festival

This award-winning coastal food and wine fest brings together the finest chefs, winemakers, brewmasters, and culinary artisans all in one place. You can enjoy luxury tastings and unique happenings at this five-day event. The festival runs from November 8–12, and ticket prices vary according to each special event.

The Del Mar racing season

This coastal town hosts San Diego’s renowned horse racing season every November. Guests dress to the nines to attend this popular annual event at San Diego’s historic race track.

This year’s fall racing season, named the Bing Crosby Season, runs from November 10–December 3. Tickets went on sale in August, so check their website for availability.

In addition to the action on the track, fun special events throughout the festival include the Uncorked Wine Festival, Thanksgiving Brunch, and the Taste of the Turf Club meal option, where you can also enjoy bottomless mimosas.


Typically starting at the end of November, Jungle Bells ran from December–January last year. This year’s dates are still to be confirmed. The celebration includes lighted displays, seasonal food, live animal presentations, holiday decor, and more.


I have the best final price on San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets that is available to the general public, with no membership required. For this reason, we can’t publish the promo code online but you can get it by text or email. The price is $68/adult and $58/child (ages 3–11) — all taxes and fees included! This through my partnership with aRes Travel, an authorized San Diego Zoo ticket seller. Grab it now with password lajollamom or text SDZOO* to buy online now.

*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.

SeaWorld San Diego Red, White, & Blue Salute / Christmas Celebration

Through December 31, 2023, Active Duty and up to three direct dependents may enjoy one complimentary admission through SeaWorld San Diego’s Waves of Honor program. The offer also applies to all activated or drilling members of the reserves and National Guard. Former military personnel plus three dependents can enjoy complimentary admission through October 29, 2023. 

You’ll also be able to start celebrating Christmas at SeaWorld San Diego from November 13 through January 7, 2024! Meet Santa and Rudolph, catch Donner and Blitzen’s Lazer light show or enjoy the sounds of the Holiday Brass band. Admission is included with regular park admission.

Refer to my post about buying cheap SeaWorld San Diego tickets.

Fleet Week San Diego

Fleet Week San Diego celebrates the men and women in the military. This year, Fleet Week begins its San Diego events on November 3 and ends with a Veteran’s Day Boat Parade and Veteran’s Day Concert on November 12. 

In between, there are golf and softball tournaments, a military band concert, an art exhibit, and even a cooking contest between military members!


One of the longest-running annual musical festivals, this year, the San Diego Jazz Fest celebrates its 44th year. Whether you like it smooth and blue, jazzy and spunky, or soulful gospel, you’ll find it all (and more!) at this renowned musical event. This year’s festival runs from November 24–26.

Thanksgiving Dinner — Eat Out or Grab a Chef Meal for Home

If you’re among the many wondering if a high-effort, multi-course Thanksgiving dinner makes sense for just your immediate family, you can go to one of the many San Diego restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner.

Many of the same restaurants in that link also offer chef-prepared meals that you can pick up at home or in your vacation rental. These include:

  • Pendry San Diego
  • Hotel del Coronado
  • Rancho Bernardo
  • Rancho Valencia

Things to Do in San Diego in November

Things to do in San Diego in November that are worth considering include tide pooling and the beginning of our holiday activities. The first few weeks of the month are also excellent times to take a trip and visit San Diego theme parks because the crowds that came for Kids Free October are gone.

Go Tide Pooling

Tide pools in san diego
A La Jolla tide pool in November

November begins tide pooling season in San Diego because one of our twice-daily low tides happens during daylight hours. The best times to go are during minus tides. You can check the online tide charts to find out when these occur.

Refer to my list of best tide pools in San Diego to find out where to go. A few of the best spots are actually tide pools in La Jolla. The easiest place in my seaside community to view tide pools during a low tide is along the La Jolla seal trail to hit a few popular spots like La Jolla Cove and Shell Beach.

Remember to practice good etiquette. Touch, but don’t take. Even a pretty shell could be a sea creature’s habitat. You should be able to see plenty of sea anemones, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, and small fish.

Peep Fall Colors

While San Diego seasons sometimes feel like they’re all blending, a great thing to do in San Diego in November is to head over to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. Some maple tree leaves turn color into pretty reds and oranges.

You can also check out the current exhibit that honors the legacy of Makoto Hoshina. Select paintings and a screen are on display to illustrate Hoshina’s unique blending of Western and Japanese art techniques, described as ‘Realistic Modern Japanese Style Painting’ (Nihonga). The exhibit runs through February 24, 2024.


San Diego, California, weather may be nearly perfect year-round for a City Experience cruise, but we especially love their holiday cruises.

Gather your family and friends for a fun and unforgettable brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise this holiday season, and spend Thanksgiving dinner out on the water instead of slaving over a turkey! 


It’s also a great time for San Diego residents to consider wellness-centric resorts like Rancho Valencia, where there are many fitness activities. Or recharge your batteries at Golden Door, one of the best destination spas in the world. You’ll want to take advantage of my benefits at both places!

What to Wear in San Diego in November

Your San Diego packing list for a November visit will involve more pants and sweaters than you would need in October. It’s long sleeves weather. Right now, it’s November and sunny. Toward the end of the month, or on rainy days, I’m wearing a sweater and boots, but my husband is in a T-shirt and shorts. You’ll see a mix of both outfits around town.

Here’s what to put in your suitcase:

  • Portable umbrella
  • Bathing suit and warmer cover-up
  • Rashguard or UV shirt for sun protection and warmth
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Flip flops for the beach and pool
  • Shorts for beachgoing
  • T-Shirts (short-sleeved for exercise and beachgoing, but mostly long-sleeved otherwise)
  • Pants or jeans
  • Sweater or jacket for evenings
  • Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing
  • Casual dress or collared shirt and nice jeans (only if you plan to dine in one of our nicer restaurants )
  • Sweaters and sweatshirts
  • Wetsuit, if you have one (otherwise, they’re easy to rent)

You probably do not need a full-blown raincoat. Many San Diegans don’t even own one. I like to have a jacket that can double as a raincoat or get a little wet when I don’t feel like busting out an umbrella.

See also: Fall Things to Do in San Diego

Lifestyle: What San Diego Residents Are Up To

We locals start firing up our car seat warmers and bringing out the UGG boots, but it’s really not that cold.

Restaurant patios that have spanned into the streets still welcome diners. It’s important to remember to support these businesses which will likely see reduced numbers because of shorter days and local tendencies to stay homebound when temperatures drop. It’s a weird time, for sure.

Please share your thoughts about San Diego in November!

Weather and temperature sources:,, 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

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