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When Is the Best Time To Visit Southern California?

October 6, 2023 By CityPASS

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes! People flock to Southern California for its beautiful weather and abundant sunshine all year round, but when is the best time to visit? The answer to that question depends on several factors, including your preferences regarding travel style, weather, and tolerance for crowds.

The good news is that no matter when you decide to visit, Southern California offers many choices for activities the whole family will love!

The Best Time To Visit Based on Your Preferences

When considering the best time of year to visit California, you have a few things to think about when planning. Are you looking for warm weather? The cheapest time to visit? Or do you want to maximize your time for sightseeing and visiting beach cities?

Each season in California has something fantastic to offer, so it’s just about weighing the pros and cons and deciding which season or month is the best for your ideal trip.

Best Time for an Affordable Visit

Considering your budget is an essential part of any vacation. To save a little money, visit in the winter months. If you’re flying into San Diego, for example, the most wallet-friendly flights are usually between December and February, with the best deals being in January, the cheapest month. You’ll also find similar deals if you decide to fly into Los Angeles.

Remember that while December is one of the best months to visit, the prices of both flights and hotels will likely spike around the holidays. This is common with most destinations, so try to schedule your trip either before or after the peak holiday travel rush.

Best Time To Enjoy the Weather

Unsurprisingly, you’ll find the best weather in the summer months. The wonderful thing about Southern California is that it has ideal temperatures for your favorite summertime activities without high humidity. The warm season is from July to October, with August being the hottest month.

Average temperatures in the San Diego area are pretty constant in the summer. If you visit in July through October, the temperatures range from 75℉ to just 77℉. Temperatures in Los Angeles can be up to 10 degrees warmer, though.

There is also very little humidity in Southern California, which is one of the reasons locals love the weather here so much. Even when the area experiences hot temperatures, the region has a Mediterranean climate that typically has dry, arid summers.

Summer is an excellent time to visit, but the spring months also offer beautiful weather. The weather in May is typically around 68℉ during the day, with cooler temps at night. June is slightly warmer, around 70℉.

Best Time for Festivals and Events

Because of the region’s warm weather, beautiful beaches, and lively atmosphere, there are plenty of events happening throughout the year. The busiest time for events and festivals is during the warmer months, from late spring through the fall. And there’s something for everyone, with festivals centered around arts and crafts, music, food and drink, and so much more.

Summer is the peak season for tourism, so locals and visitors alike can join in all the fun this time of year offers. Some exciting events to check out include:

  • San Diego County Fair (June)
  • Ojai Music Festival (June)
  • Orange County Fair (July)
  • Santa Barbara County Fair (July)
  • Oxnard Salsa Festival (July)
  • Sawdust Art Festival (August)
  • Ventura County Fair (August)
  • Old Town San Diego Beer Festival (September)
  • Fountain Valley Lobster Festival (September)

The list goes on and on and features family-friendly events and others better suited for adults.

Best Time To Avoid the Season for Tourists

If avoiding crowds sounds like your kind of vacation, you should visit Southern California during the off-season when the area has the mildest weather. Starting in September, the crowds begin thinning out as kids return to school and family vacations become sparser. For this reason, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of fall and early spring.

During these seasons, you can still get really lucky with the weather. Winters in SoCal are pretty mild, so it never gets truly cold in the fall or spring. If you don’t like rain, avoid visiting in January and February, as these are the wettest months. However, taking a chance with the rainy season is a great way to avoid the throngs of tourists that arrive in the summer.

Best Time for Sightseeing

Sightseeing is in full swing in the summer. This is the perfect time to see all that the area has to offer when it comes to museums, monuments, beaches, and more. As mentioned previously, there are all kinds of festivals and cultural events taking place through the late summer, so you won’t have any shortage of things to do during peak tourist season.

What Is Overall the Most Perfect Time To Visit Southern California?

Honestly? Any time that you decide to visit Southern California is the perfect time. The warm weather, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture make this area so desirable, and for good reason. No matter what kind of trip you’re looking to take, from a family vacation to a romantic getaway to a weekend away with friends, there are plenty of things to fill up the itinerary for all kinds of travelers.

Tailor Your Southern California Experience With CityPASS® Tickets

No matter when you choose to visit Southern California, the first thing you should do is purchase CityPASS® tickets. San Diego CityPASS® tickets will help you save up to at some of the area’s top attractions, including SeaWorld® San Diego, the San Diego Zoo®, and LEGOLAND® California Resort. With Southern California CityPASS® tickets you can get discounted tickets to the best theme parks in the area including Disneyland® Resort.

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