Take some time away to celebrate the new year and enjoy time with loved ones surrounded by plenty of sand, sun, water, and fun. The beach towns of San Diego County have something for everyone this New Year. Relax and unwind indoors or out, on-shore or off-shore when you spend New Year’s Day in San Diego. Air temperatures hold steady in the mid-60s range, while water temperatures plunge down into the 60s, so unless you can brave the colder temperature, you may want to hold off on the swim until spring.

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Start the new year with a bang! Many towns throughout San Diego County are hosting celebrations that lead up to the midnight countdown. When the clock strikes, turn your attention skyward for a beautiful light show.

Skating by the Sea

When you think of ice skating, you may think of blistering cold, wrapping yourself in warm winter clothing, and skating in circles until you take a break for some hot cocoa and a snack in the warming house. With a trip to San Diego this New Year’s, get the skating experience, but in the warm beach weather. The historic Hotel Del on Coronado has been offering the experience on their beachfront skating rink for nearly 20 years. Skating by the Sea is available now through January 7, 2024.

Stop by Coronado Island in San Diego

Coronado Island

Come for the skating, stay for the island atmosphere. While your ultimate destination may have been the skating rink, the whole of Coronado Island is a day trip that’s not to be missed this New Year’s. Take a guided tour and learn about the island’s history, including the first military flying school, where sailors first learned to take off into the wild blue yonder.


The San Diego area is known for its myriad of theme parks. Kids and kids-at-heart on a New Year’s vacation to the area in 2024 will want to make sure to include a stop at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad. Based on the building blocks of the same name, the park offers rides, shows, and several other attractions, including a holiday festival. The water park is closed during the winter months, but the main park offers a fun, family-friendly holiday experience. On various dates now through January 7, enjoy their “The Jolliest Time of the Year” event. Experience the resort in all its holiday trimmings, meet holiday characters like Santa, the Toy Soldier, and the Gingerbread Man, then check out the 30-foot, fully decorated LEGO Christmas tree with over 400 LEGO ornaments or a seasonal show.

Whale & Marine Life Watching

While people flock to warmer climates in the winter months, so do animals. Starting in mid-December, the gray whales that called Alaskan waters home during the summer begin their migration toward Baja in Mexico. The trip is one of the longest taken by any mammal anywhere in the world. From their arrival until about April – so throughout your New Year’s trip, you can spot the majestic animals about 20 miles off the coast.


There’s more to the beach than the ocean. Lay out and sunbathe or build sandcastles with the kids of the group. Change up your exercise routine with a run or walk on the beach, or plant your beach umbrella, spread your towel, and kick back with a good book. Paddle your way through the water on a stand up paddleboard, kayak, or canoe. Up the adrenaline and the speed and take off on a jet ski or fly up to 500 feet above the water on a parasailing adventure!

San Diego Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

If you hear “California” and “trolley” in the same sentence, your mind may jump straight to San Francisco and their iconic system. There’s one in San Diego, too! It’s not just a fun mode of transportation for tourists and locals alike; it’s an affordable way to get around the city without having the headache of busy parking areas with expensive rates at popular attractions. Take a tour of the whole route: there are at total of 11 stops around the city. Your conductor is a knowledgeable guide who can fill you in on everything there is to see and do along the route. “Hop off” and explore an area further, then hop back on at a later stop or when the trolley loops around to your location once more.

Explore wine tasting in San Diego

Witch Creek Winery

The Carlsbad winery might not grow its own grapes, but it’s still a maker of delicious and award-winning wines. The winery also offers live music, open mic comedy nights, and more. Visit the wine tasting room where adults of the group can taste by the one- or two-ounce taste. Choose from an array of white, rose, red, or a variety of other specialty wines to pair with your next home-cooked meal. Don’t forget the champagne to toast the new year!

Ring in the New Year in San Diego County

When you start planning all the fun activities and adventures for your New Year’s San Diego County trip, make booking comfortable and fun accommodations a priority. Kick off the vacation planning when you book a vacation rental with Vacation Rentals by Kimberly. We have accommodations as small as 1-bedroom, all the way up to a 7-bedroom home so you and all your loved ones can enjoy a beach retreat full of New Year’s fun.

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