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Fun Things To Do Over Winter Break in SD 2021

a close up of a sign

The greater San Diego area is full of activities for practically any walk of life. While some of them are only available when they are in season, others are always there for you when you have free time. If you are in town over the winter break for local colleges and you’re looking for something to do while the social scene at school is down between semesters, there are a lot of places to check out in the area.

Go To Your Favorite Restaurants

There are food options for practically anyone in town, including fine dining choices such as authentic Italian and French cuisine. Of course, if you’re looking to make the most of the local specialties, you’ll want to check out the local hot spots for the foods that reflect the culture in the San Diego area.

  • The Taco Stand in La Jolla is fantastic for a grab and go burrito or taco
  • Mitch’s Seafood is the best Mexican seafood in town
  • Tajima Ramen on Convoy Street is famous 
  • The Dumpling Inn has amazing Chinese food 
  • Fig Tree Cafe has the best farm to table experience 
  • Old Venice in Point Loma is a quaint delicious Italian spot 

If you moved to town for school, the local hot spots for these types of food will really let you taste what it means to live full time in the area.

Whale Watching

Winter break coincides with the first few weeks of gray whale season in San Diego. Take advantage of the holiday season and book a whale watching tour. Get up close and really see how these majestic creatures behave as they migrate to their summer habitat. Even if you don’t have time to swing a boat tour, you can head out in the morning to take advantage of the visibility early in the day and spot a few from shore. Remember to bring binoculars or a camera with a telephoto lens to get the details!

animal on the water

Visit the Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is world famous for its unique exhibits and contributions to international conservation efforts. Even if you have been before, there is always something to see on a zoo trip because the animals behave differently from day to day. Check out an old favorite or see some of these top attractions for the first time:

  •     Scripp’s Aviary
  •     Elephant Odyssey
  •     Giraffes in the Urban Jungle
  •     Koalas in the Outback
  •     Polar bears at the Northern Frontier
  •     Gorilla Forest

It’s also worth checking out the announcements and updates near the entrance to see if there are any daily exhibitions you have not seen. You’ll also learn about new exhibits that open by checking there.

Picnic at the Beach

There are tons of places to go to the beach around the San Diego area, including a few choice places in La Jolla such as the beach around Birch Aquarium. Consider planning a day trip out to see the fish at the aquarium with a picnic for lunch or dinner. There’s also morning whale watching with a basket brunch if you feel like changing things up.

Farmers Market

With nice winter weather, the farmers market in San Diego is incredible. Little Italy has a farmers market on Saturday morning that has food, art, fabulous holiday gifts, live music, and food trucks. Be sure to get there early to find parking. It is also dog friendly, so bring your pup for some morning shopping. 

Winter Hikes

If you are already planning on some morning whale watching, a hike is a great idea because many of the local trails also provide great vantage points for spotting by eye or with tools, including binoculars. Check out the nearby nature preserves and state recreation areas for starter trails that take you near shore. Cabrillo National Monument offers fabulous views. If you’ve been around those sights, it’s worth checking out local hiking blogs and message boards to see what’s been exciting this season. That way, you can learn about the quiet trails that locals tend to keep off the major tourism guides. Don’t forget to bring a good camera, because, between the view and the whales, you’ll want something to remember the hike.