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7 Things to Do this December

Discover an Outdoor Not-So-Wintery Wonderland

This December, get out and enjoy San Diego's holly jolly good vibes with plenty of space to explore, play and just getaway.


Windansea with Christmas lights

Enjoy Holly Jolly Good Vibes and Sunshine

Experience holiday cheer, San Diego-style. Holly jolly good vibes and sunshine help you warm up and chill out this holiday season.

Gray whale migrating past a Hornblower Cruise

Go Whale Watching

Each year, more than 20,000 gray whales make a 10,000-mile round-trip journey from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California, where the females give birth to their calves. After spending time in warm Baja California waters so the young can grow strong, they make the journey north again in spring. The longest known distance any mammal migrates annually, it is truly an extraordinary spectacle to observe. With 70 miles of coastline directly along the migration path, San Diego is an ideal destination to see this impressive parade of gentle giants.

Fashion Valley Mall in Mission Valley San Diego

Shop Outdoors

Enjoying the holiday sights and San Diego's warm December sun goes hand in hand with shopping. Malls here aren't your typical retail experience; they're all about the outdoors.

Woman hiking Cedar Creek in San Diego

Take a Hike

Thanks to a mild, sunny climate and wide array of landscapes and natural features, San Diego County contains diversity so spectacular it takes even local residents by surprise. Hiking is one of the best ways to get close to nearly all of it. With more than 2,100 plant species, over 500 species of birds, and hundreds of species of reptiles and mammals, the county's 4,261 square miles are the most biologically diverse in California, if not the United States. In few other places can you watch the sun rise from a palm grove in the desert, build a snowman in a pine-shaded meadow at noon, and watch the sun set into the Pacific Ocean.

Young lady on a Wildlife Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Learn and Play Outdoors

San Diego invites you to play and learn outdoors this December. Meet animals from around the world in safe outdoor settings at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego and Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Learn about plants at the San Diego Botanic Garden and Japanese Friendship Garden. Walk the outdoor decks aboard the USS Midway Museum and the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Or explore San Diego's diverse natural settings at Cabrillo National Monument, Mission Trails Regional Park or the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Family sailing on San Diego Bay

Number 6

Set Sail

A mild climate and steady winds make San Diego the ultimate playground for boating of all kinds. From sabots to super yachts, cruise ships to catamarans, and recreation to racing, San Diego is the place to get out on the water. Add sailing and boating to your vacation itinerary. It's a breeze with numerous safety-first charter, rental and instructional services.

Lake Poway in North Inland San Diego

Escape to the Lakes

Mostly known for its pristine beaches, San Diego County is home to more than 20 freshwater lakes and reservoirs. These bodies of water offer a variety of recreational opportunities away from the coast and the city. Lake fishing aficionados can hook catfish, bluegill, carp, crappie, sunfish bass, and trout. Water enthusiasts can enjoy kayaking, boating and rowing on the calm waters. For families, barbecue and picnic areas offer the perfect excuse to spend the day by the lake.

Surfing in Pacific Beach 25 Free things to Do in San Diego

Bonus: 25 Fun & Free Things to Do

Having fun in San Diego doesn't require a lot of money; in fact, many things to see and do are absolutely free. This December, visit San Diego for a fun and inexpensive getaway with these 25 free things to do.

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