Sep 5, 2023 - News

Welcome to locals summer, San Diego

A lone surfer at Windansea Beach at sunset. Photo: Donald Miralle/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Relax. We made it.

Driving the news: We're through Labor Day, bringing on the season affectionately known as "locals summer" — smaller crowds, less beach traffic, still-great weather and long days to enjoy it all.

Why it matters: It just got easier to take advantage of everything San Diego has to offer.

By the numbers: Sure, lots of San Diegans celebrate May Gray and June Gloom, or welcome

winter's slower pace — but the idea that September is the best time of year here happens to be irrefutable, according to science.

  • Water temperature? On average, just a tick below August's, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, when we sensibly avoid overcrowded beaches.
  • God love tourists — we welcome them with open arms — especially the September cohort, which was 44% smaller last year than July's peak , according to the San Diego Tourism Authority.
  • Trips to museums fall by roughly half, and visits to attractions like the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and LEGOLAND fall by nearly 60%, according to the same Tourism Authority figures.
  • And yeah, when your out-of-town friends say San Diego is 72° and sunny every day, they're talking about September and its average temperature of 71.7°.

Yes, but: We know it's hotter inland, and it's still fire season. Take precautions.

What we're watching: Some great ways to enjoy our favorite month of the year in San Diego.

You've seen the kayakers at the La Jolla Coves, of course, but have you ever taken a tour or rented a boat to go out yourself?

  • September is mating season for the harmless leopard sharks at La Jolla Shores, making it the best time to see them in huge numbers, either while kayaking or snorkeling.

💭 Andy's thought bubble: It's been 16 years since I led kayak tours in La Jolla, and every September I still make a point to get out there at least once.

What about you? What else around town suddenly gets better after Labor Day? Reply and let us know (if you don't mind letting others in on the secret) and we'll share some over the month.


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