How to Stay Active in San Diego During Winter

Baby, it’s cold outside…but not that cold! San Diegans are fortunate to live in a place the rest of the country envies during the winter. As others sit inside and watch the snow accumulate below the windows, San Diegans look out their windows to sunshine and mild temperature all winter long.

“Although you may require an extra layer of clothing during the winter, let’s be honest, mid-sixty degree temps and sunshine is not that bad.”

The mild weather makes San Diego an excellent winter wonderland for those who suffer from chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, pulmonary disease, and heart disease.

Moderate physical activity is one of the best and easiest things you can do to help manage your chronic health conditions. The pleasant San Diego winters enable those suffering from chronic health conditions to get outside and stay active during winter.

There’s no excuse to let the winter blues get you down when you live in San Diego. Take advantage of the sunny days and stay active year-round with these fun winter activities in San Diego!


Winter Activities the Rest of the Country Will Envy:


1. Plan a Day Trip to Julian.

San Diego provides those who live here with the unusual opportunity of being able to visit the mountains and the beach all in the same day. Take advantage of this and head east for the day.

Plan a day trip to Julian for fresh mountain air, a great place to be active during winter. Stop at Mt. Laguna if there’s snow to watch the sledders and have a snowball fight. Continue along the scenic drive to Julian for some warm cider and cozy antique shops. Have an adventure, stretch your legs as you walk around town, and stimulate your senses with the sights and smells of the mountains!


2. Walk on the beach during low tide.

San Diego is lined with nearly endless coastline that is fabulous for low tide beach walks. Winter is the best time to walk on the beach because the summer crowds are gone. The beach is quiet and peaceful, and you can walk down it without tripping on tourists and dodging Frisbees. Low tide leaves beaches with a flat, hard-packed surface easier for walking. Breathe in the fresh salt air as you explore and look for seashells.


3. Visit Seaport Village.

Seaport Village is magical during the winter. It is the perfect place for a stroll as you take in the holiday lights and decorations. Keep your body moving and stay active during winter as you walk along the Embarcadero and watch the boats in the marina. Enjoy expansive views of the Navy ships docked along Coronado Island.


4. Go Whale Watching.

Don’t worry if your chronic health conditions prevent you from getting on a boat! Whales can be seen through the winter from many vantage points throughout San Diego. One of our favorites is from the cliffs of Point Loma. Catch views of California gray whales as they migrate south to the warm-water breeding grounds off the coast of Baja, California. Take a walk around the Cabrillo Monument while you’re there for some extra exercise. However, If you choose to go on a boat, check out these tips to prevent sea sickness!


5. See the Desert in Full Bloom.

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park provides a 600,000-acre canvas where colorful wildflowers explode following winter rains (assuming we actually get rain!). The gorgeous blooms usually appear from mid-February through April and are a short two-hour drive from San Diego.

Take a day trip to this desert-style winter wonderland to soak in the sun and walk through the park. It’s a great experience for those suffering from chronic health issues to take an easy walk and breathe in the fresh, dry desert air. The stimulating colors and expansive views are powerful enough to erase your physical pain and lift your mood—even if just for an afternoon. For more information about how to make the most of your day trip to the desert, check out our Family Desert Day Trips From San Diego post!


6. Listen to a Free Concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

Head to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park every Sunday at 2:00 PM for a free concert. Thanks to the warm San Diego winters, locals can enjoy the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ year-round. While you’re there, take a walk around the elaborate grounds of Balboa Park where you can check out the lily pond, make a wish in the fountain or wind through the rose garden.


7. Pick Out a Farmers’ Market.

There are so many Farmers’ Markets around San Diego, it is very likely there is one happening near your home every week. Outdoor markets provide the perfect excuse to get up and be active during the winter. Taste seasonal produce from local farmers and find healthy choices for cooking. Many also have live music that you can dance to if you’re feeling extra frisky. The team at Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups put together this wonderful reference of San Diego’s best Farmers’ Markets where you can find one near you.

We understand that chronic health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes can be painful and may discourage you from being active. However, San Diego is full of reasons to get up and move all year long. There’s nothing like a bit of sunshine and a walk outside to brighten your mood and make you feel your best—even able to stay active during winter!


The team of doctors at Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups is here to help those suffering from chronic health conditions make the most of the San Diego lifestyle! Schedule an appointment today with our highly rated doctors to discuss specific concerns about your chronic health conditions.


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