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Hi, I'm Georgina! A coffee-loving adventure enthusiast here to share my favorite travel tips with you! My goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Georgina D'Angelo

The Ultimate San Diego Packing List

Updated: Apr 1

What to Wear in San Diego | Ultimate San Diego Packing List - Alpacka My Bags

San Diego is a beautiful coastal city in southern California, about two hours south of Los Angeles. From oceanside cliffs to unbeatable seafood, a historic downtown to weekend farmer’s markets, San Diego has a lot to offer.

This West Coast city is perfect for those looking for a city getaway, but is also a great vacation destination if you enjoy hiking and scenic ocean views. Plan a weekend getaway to San Diego and explore this nature & city gem for yourself.

Find out what to wear in San Diego below so you can stay comfortable and stylish while exploring this California coastal city.

The weather stays fairly consistent year-round, so luckily, you’ll most likely always experience good weather in San Diego, maybe a cloudy day or a light drizzle. 

In this article...

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of them. Read our affiliate disclosure. Thank you for your support!

Best Months to Visit San Diego

San Diego is beautiful year-round. Winter is a little rainy and slightly cooler, summer is generally sunnier and a little warmer. Fall and spring are cool, and these seasons are less busy than summer (San Diego’s busy season). 

The best months to visit San Diego are April, May, September, and October. These months are warmer and less rainy than winter, but not as busy as summer, June through August.

Summer in San Diego gets very busy and hotel rates soar. While this is a nice time to visit weather wise, especially if you want to swim in the ocean, it’s far busier than other months of the year. 

As you can see in the weather chart below, the weather doesn't vary much through the seasons in San Diego. The "rainy" months have an average of 4 days of rain, so it's still likely you won't experience rain if you visit during these months.

Best Months to Visit San Diego | Monthly Temperatures

Ultimate San Diego Packing List

This San Diego packing list is perfect for women visiting in the shoulder seasons, April, May, September, and October. The city is cool and less rainy during these months.

Below the packing “basics” are essentials for visiting in every season including San Diego outfits to inspire your trip!


No matter what time of year you visit San Diego, these basics are essential. Start your San Diego packing list with the necessities below.

Short-Sleeve Shirt

It's easy to layer short-sleeve shirts any time of year in San Diego. You can wear them in the summer months, or underneath a cozy cardigan in the cooler months.

The linen button-up is great for travel, it's light and comfortable. The short sleeve shirt is a classic and great for wearing with warmer layers.

Shop Linen Blouse: Backcountry || Shop Short Sleeve Top: Backcountry

Joggers or Long Pants

While San Diego doesn't get freezing, it is often cool here, only reaching the high 70s in summer. No matter what time of year you plan on visiting, make sure you pack a pair of long pants.

My go-to pants for travel are these joggers. They're super comfortable, yet still cute. You can dress them up for a day on the town or wear them on your travel days. The jeans are also great for dressing up on chilly days in San Diego.

Shop Joggers: Amazon || Shop Jeans: Amazon

Comfortable Walking Shoes

There is a lot to explore on foot in San Diego. Make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes so you can enjoy the scenic ocean views and vibrant downtown.

While it's helpful to take Ubers between places in San Diego, you won't want to miss walking down picturesque streets to see what you can find or strolling down the coast to find the best views.

My go-to shoes for travel are Allbirds. They have so many styles and colors, are machine washable, sustainable, and are so comfortable!

Allbirds | San Diego Packing List

Shop Shoes: Allbirds


While San Diego can often get a little cloudy, it's a good idea to bring sunglasses anyways. They're light and easy to pack.

When it is sunny, you'll want to wear them, especially if you're by the coast. The pair below are my go-to sunglasses for travel.

Sunglass | San Diego Packing List

Shop Sunglasses: Amazon

Jacket or Cardigan

It can be chilly any time of year in San Diego, especially in the evenings. I recommend packing a thick cardigan or a jacket in case it gets cold.

Plus, it's good to have one on the plane if you're flying here. There's a good chance it will get freezing on your flight to San Diego.

Shop Columbia Lined Rain Jacket: Amazon || Shop the Cardigan: Amazon

Day Bag

To make the most of your time in San Diego, bring a day bag with you so you can explore all day and have your essentials on hand (think water bottle, camera, jacket, etc.).

I love traveling with the bag below it has both a purse strap to be carried on your shoulder as well as backpack straps for hands-free carrying.

Leather Backpack Purse | San Diego Packing List

Shop the Backpack Purse: Amazon

Water Bottle

If you plan to explore all day in San Diego, I recommend bringing a reusable water bottle. the 32 oz Hydroflask is perfect because it fits in the day bag above and will keep your water cold all day.

Tip: Most hotels have a water and ice machine. Fill up your bottle in the morning with nice cold water and you'll be ready to explore San Diego!

Hydroflask Water Bottle | Things to Pack for San Diego

What to Wear in San Diego: Seasonal Inspiration

Summer - San Diego Outfits

  • Tank Tops 

  • Shorts

  • Dress

  • Long Pants (like linen)

  • Jacket or Cardigan

  • Sunglasses

  • Comfortable Sneakers

  • Swimsuit

  • Tevas or Birkenstocks

Summer - San Diego Outfits

Fall - San Diego Outfits

  • Short Sleeve Shirt (to layer)

  • Jeans or Long Pants

  • Long Sleeve Shirt

  • Sherpa Lined Rain Jacket

  • Ankle Boots

  • Comfortable Sneakers

Fall - San Diego Outfits

Winter - San Diego Outfits

  • Long Sleeve Shirt

  • Lightweight Sweater

  • Jeans or Long Pants

  • Ankle Boots (or comfy sneakers)

  • Sherpa Lined Rain Coat

Winter - San Diego Outfits

Spring - San Diego Outfits

  • Short Sleeve Top

  • Jacket or Cardigan

  • Rain Coat

  • Ankle Boots

  • Comfortable Sneakers

Spring - San Diego Outfits

Other Things to Pack for San Diego

Now you know what to wear in San Diego every season, don't forget to pack the following essentials too. They'll help you make the most of your time in this beautiful coastal city.

Things to Pack for San Diego

What to Wear in San Diego: FAQ

What do people wear in San Diego in the summer?

Summer in San Diego is generally between 62 and 77°F. It rarely rains in the summer, so sun protection is a must. You can pack a pair of shorts and a swimsuit if you want to brave the ocean (the water is always cold here) or sunbathe on the beach. 

Tank tops are a good idea as long as you have a cardigan or light jacket with you. The evenings can get chilly, and if it’s cloudy it will be much cooler. 

  • Short Sleeve Shirts

  • Tank Tops

  • Shorts

  • Long Pants (Joggers, jeans, linen, etc.)

  • Dresses

  • Cardigan

  • Light Jacket

  • Comfortable Shoes

  • Sandals (Birkenstocks or Tevas)

Can I wear shorts in San Diego?

Shorts can be worn in summer in San Diego. However, I recommend packing long pants as well. If it’s sunny and in the 70s, shorts are perfect, but if it gets cloudy, you will likely want to wear pants.

I also recommend bringing a cardigan or jacket if you’re wearing shorts. You can always put it on your lap if you’re eating outside on a chilly evening, etc.

What’s the average weather in San Diego?

Summer Weather in San Diego | June through August

Average High: 76°F

Average Low: 64°F

Fall Weather in San Diego | September through November

Average High: 73°F

Average Low: 61°F

Winter Weather in San Diego | December through February

Average High: 66°F

Average Low: 50°F

Spring Weather in San Diego | March through May

Average High: 68°F

Average Low: 59°F

What to Wear in San Diego

San Diego is a scenic city located on California’s far southern coast. Just two hours south of Los Angeles, you don’t want to miss what San Diego has to offer. Plan a few days in San Diego, prepare for your trip with the packing list above, and enjoy your Cali getaway!

Now you know what to wear in San Diego in every season. The weather is fairly constant year-round here, but winter is slightly rainy, and summer is slightly warmer. 

The ocean views here are breathtaking. Make sure you leave some time to explore San Diego’s most scenic locations. Walk around the historic Gaslamp Quarter, eat fish tacos by the harbor, grab drinks downtown, and enjoy all that San Diego boasts. 

Share this ultimate San Diego packing list with a friend who’d like to visit, or plan a girl’s weekend here. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

You might also like to read…

San Diego Packing List | Alpacka My Bags Pinterest Cover


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Hi, I'm Georgina, adventure enthusiast and creator of Alpacka My Bags. I'm here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 


I've been exploring this beautiful planet since I was a child, so I decided it was time to share my travel tips with others to enjoy. After college, I knew the "traditional career path" was not for me.


I needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer. It sounds cliché but you do only live once. So I made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that I wanted to share them with others so you can enjoy them too! 

My passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join me, and often my partner and my dog, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as I have, I hope you find my tips useful for all of your future travels.

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