Thanksgiving In San Diego – Best Things To Do + Events + Activities in 2023

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Planning Thanksgiving in San Diego is worthwhile for its diverse range of festive events, from the Big Bay Balloon Parade and jazz festivals to dinner cruises with stunning waterfront views, offering a unique and vibrant holiday experience. 

MUST READ👉🏻: Interesting San Diego Itinerary 3 Days (Best Things To Do + Hotels + Day Trips)

thanksgiving in san diego - San Diego for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving In San Diego – San Diego For Thanksgiving

San Diego offers a variety of festive events and activities during Thanksgiving. So read some of the best San Diego Thanksgiving events, things to do, San Diego Thanksgiving buffets, hotels to stay and all festive tours to book.

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San Diego Thanksgiving Weather

On Thanksgiving in San Diego, you can expect mild and pleasant weather, with daytime temperatures averaging 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius). The city often experiences clear skies, making it conducive for outdoor activities and enjoying the holiday in a comfortable climate.

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San Diego’s mild November weather also allows for outdoor activities and exploration, enhancing the Thanksgiving celebration with a touch of Southern California charm.

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Things To Do In Thanksgiving in San Diego – San Diego Thanksgiving Events

  • Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot: Participate in a local Turkey Trot or 5K run/walk. It’s a great way to start your Thanksgiving morning with exercise and a sense of community.
  • Big Bay Balloon Parade: Attend the Port of San Diego’s Annual Holiday Bowl Parade. It features giant balloons, floats, drill teams, and marching bands along the scenic San Diego Bay.
  • Thanksgiving Dinner Cruises: Enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with a view by taking a dinner cruise on San Diego Bay. Several companies offer special Thanksgiving cruises with traditional meals and entertainment.  thanks giving in san diego - san diego thanksgiving events
  • Harbor House Thanksgiving Buffet: Indulge in a festive Thanksgiving buffet at Harbor House in Seaport Village. Enjoy a traditional meal with a waterfront view.
  • San Diego Jazz Festival: If you’re a jazz enthusiast, check out the San Diego Jazz Festival, which often takes place over the Thanksgiving weekend. It features a lineup of talented jazz musicians.
  • Farmers Markets: Visit one of the local farmers markets to pick up fresh, seasonal produce and artisanal goods for your Thanksgiving feast. The Little Italy Mercato is a popular option.
  • Holiday of Lights at Del Mar Fairgrounds: Kick off the holiday season by visiting the Holiday of Lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Drive through a dazzling display of holiday lights and festive scenes.  san diego thanksgiving events - San Diego Thanksgiving weather
  • Balboa Park: Take a stroll through Balboa Park, which is beautifully decorated during the holiday season. Many museums and attractions offer special holiday-themed events and exhibits.
  • Ice Skating at Hotel del Coronado: Experience the magic of ice skating by the beach at the Hotel del Coronado. The hotel often sets up an outdoor ice rink during the holiday season.  thanksgiving in san diego - san diego thanksgiving weather
  • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park: Explore Old Town’s historic charm, which may have special Thanksgiving-themed events and decorations. Visit the restaurants for a taste of traditional and Mexican-inspired Thanksgiving dishes.
  • SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration:  SeaWorld often starts its holiday celebrations in late November, offering festive lights, shows, and seasonal attractions.
  • La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival: Attending an early Christmas parade can be a delightful way to enter the holiday spirit.

ALSO READ 👉🏼: Perfect Weekend Day Trips From San Diego 

Festive Tours – Thanksgiving In San Diego

Check out some amazing tours to book in San Diego on Thanksgiving weekend. 

  • Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise: Book a memorable cruise on San Diego Bay. Enjoy a traditional feast while taking in the scenic views of the waterfront and city lights.

    thanksgiving in san diego - things to do in Thanksgiving in san Diego
    Credits – Port of San Diego, CC BY 2.0 <;, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Holiday Lights Tour: Join a guided tour to explore the beautifully decorated neighborhoods and festive light displays. 
  • Old Town Trolley Holiday Lights and Sights Tour: The Old Town Trolley Tours often offer a special holiday-themed tour that showcases San Diego’s landmarks and neighborhoods adorned with festive lights and decorations during Thanksgiving.
  • San Diego Beer and Wine Tours – Holiday Edition: Check out specialized beer or wine tours during Thanksgiving, where you can visit local breweries or wineries that may offer seasonal brews or wines paired with holiday-themed treats.
  • Thanksgiving Weekend Harbor Excursion: Take a harbor excursion during the Thanksgiving weekend, which may include narrated tours highlighting the area’s history and seasonal touches to celebrate the holiday.
  • Seaport Village Festive Stroll: Explore Seaport Village on a guided tour focusing on festive decorations, holiday music, and seasonal events in this picturesque waterfront shopping and dining district.
  • Culinary Walking Tour in Little Italy:  Little Italy is known for its vibrant culinary scene. Consider a specialized Thanksgiving-themed walking tour, exploring the district’s best restaurants and tasting holiday-inspired dishes. Thanksgiving In San Diego - San Diego for Thanksgiving - things to do in Thanksgiving in san Diego
  • Thanksgiving Day Parade Viewing Tours: Book a tour with premium viewing spots for the Big Bay Balloon Parade, ensuring you have a prime location to enjoy the festivities without worrying about finding the perfect spot.
  • Private Yacht Charter with Thanksgiving Catering: For a more intimate experience, consider chartering a private yacht for your Thanksgiving celebration. Some companies offer catering services, allowing you to enjoy a festive meal while cruising along the coast.

These are some fantastic tours to book during Thanksgiving in San Diego for all festive vibes and spirit.

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Thanksgiving San Diego Dinner – Thanksgiving Buffets San Diego

San Diego offers a variety of dining options for Thanksgiving dinner, ranging from traditional feasts to unique culinary experiences. Here’s a list of Thanksgiving dinner options in San Diego.

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  1. The Westgate Hotel Elegant Thanksgiving buffet with traditional favorites.
  2. The US Grant Hotel – Grant Grill:  Thanksgiving dinner featuring a gourmet menu with seasonal ingredients.
  3. Coasterra:  Thanksgiving brunch with panoramic views of the San Diego skyline.
  4. Hornblower Cruises & Events: Thanksgiving dinner cruises on San Diego Bay. 
  5. Mister A’s:  Elegant Thanksgiving dining with a view of downtown San Diego.
  6. Cafe Sevilla Spanish-inspired Thanksgiving dinner options.
  7. Cucina Sorella (Kensington): Italian-inspired Thanksgiving feast.

Make sure to make reservations well in advance, as Thanksgiving is a popular dining day in San Diego, and these restaurants often fill up quickly. Enjoy a delightful Thanksgiving dinner with your loved ones in San Diego at one of these excellent establishments.

ALSO READ 👉🏼 : Thanksgiving In Las Vegas – Best Things To Do + Events + Activities in 2023

Where To Stay In San Diego During Thanksgiving

Check these hotels to stay in San Diego for a festive and cozy atmosphere during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hotel del Coronado: Famous for its picturesque setting on Coronado Island, it is known to have festive decorations and often hosts Thanksgiving events and dinners. OR

The US Grant, a Luxury Collection HotelThis historic hotel often embraces the holiday season with elegant decor, and its Grant Grill is known for offering a special Thanksgiving dinner.

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Now you know what to do in San Diego on Thanksgiving day with these best Things to do during Thanksgiving weekend in San Diego. I hope you plan a trip to San Diego with many fun Thanksgiving events and fantastic San Diego Thanksgiving dinner options. Save this and enjoy this Thanksgiving in San Diego.

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