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Take some time away during the Thanksgiving holiday and start ringing in the winter holidays with loved ones surrounded by plenty of sand, sun, water, and fun. The beach towns of San Diego County have something for everyone during a Thanksgiving trip. Relax and unwind indoors or out or find something fun and exciting to do on-shore or off-shore when you spend Thanksgiving in San Diego.

Father Joe’s Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk

Get ready for the meal ahead with some exercise. Run for Hope on Thanksgiving Day in Balboa Park. The annual event benefits St. Vincent de Paul Village – the largest homeless charity in San Diego. The 5K race begins and ends in the park, and all are welcome. Sign up now on their website and start collecting donations! The race is from 6:30-10 a.m. at Balboa Park on November 23, 2023.

Oceanside Turkey Trot

Take your pick of races. Head to Oceanside and take part in their Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Options include a 5-mile run, 5K run/walk, or 1-mile “fun run” for the kids. Pass landmarks like the Oceanside Civic Center, Oceanside Harbor, and Oceanside Pier. Race times vary based on the race entered, but all races finish at The Strand near Oceanside Pier.


You can prepare and serve the holiday meal at your or your vacation rental. All of our rentals include a fully equipped kitchen ready to handle any size Thanksgiving meal. If you came to get away from all the fuss, there are a myriad of local restaurants serving up the feast! Check with places like Hotel del Coronado, The Marine Room, or Vigilucci’s Italian Restaurant. Please make reservations in advance.

Laguna Beach Sawdust Winter Fantasy

Enjoy local art, crafts, handmade gifts, and more to start off your holiday shopping. The holiday festival includes all that as well as live music, community performances, puppeteers, and even visits with Santa. This year’s event takes place November 17-19 & 24-26. Other dates available in December include December 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17 for those on an extended break. Hours are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. each day of the event.

The Parks

Thanksgiving kicks off the winter holiday season, even at San Diego County’s many theme parks. Parks including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, and more are open 365 days a year – so that includes Thanksgiving. Experience your favorite parks as they gear up for holiday fun. Your favorite characters may be dressed in their holiday best, and their holiday shows and events will be getting underway.

Ice Skating by the Sea

Head to the iconic Hotel del Coronado, or The Del, for some ice skating! The typically cold weather activity takes place outdoors at Coronado Beach. Get a view of the Pacific Ocean while you skate. To top off the winter experience, there will be hot chocolate and other holiday drinks available. More information is available on the hotel website. The event begins November 17, 2023, and runs through January 7, 2024.

The Beach

Enjoy swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Switch the calmer activities for some adrenaline-pumping ones like jet skiing, parasailing, or surfing. Bring the adrenaline back down with some sunbathing or a sunset walk on the sand.

Coronado Island

Another can’t-miss experience on a trip to San Diego County, any time of year, is Coronado Island. Miles of beach accompany the historic Hotel del Coronado and other attractions. Get your holiday shopping started at the many unique shops or make reservations for Thanksgiving dinner at one of the many restaurants.

Witch Creek Winery

While the Carlsbad winery doesn’t grow its own grapes, it uses those grapes to create delicious and award-winning wines. The winery also offers live music, open mic comedy nights, a wine-tasting room where you can taste the one- or two-ounce taste, and more. Choose from an array of white, rose, red, and a variety of other specialty wines to make your Thanksgiving meal cooked right at your rental.

San Diego Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

When most people think of California trolleys, San Francisco may be at the top of their minds. There’s one in San Diego, too! The trolley isn’t just a fun mode of transportation, it’s an affordable way to get around the city without having to pay for or negotiate busy parking areas at popular attractions. Take a tour of the whole route, which includes 11 stops around the city. Your conductor is also a knowledgeable guide who can fill you in on everything there is to see and do along the route. Hop on or off at any of the stops to explore more.

Celebrate Thanksgiving in San Diego County

While planning all the fun activities and adventures for your Thanksgiving San Diego County retreat, make booking comfortable accommodations a priority! Book a vacation rental with Vacation Rentals By Kimberly has accommodations as small as 1-bedroom for a sweetheart or solo getaway, all the way up to a 7-bedroom home so you and all your loved ones can enjoy a beach retreat this Thanksgiving.

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There is so much to enjoy this Thanksgiving, especially in San Diego County. As the fifth most populous county in the nation, there is a fun way to celebrate in every city. From Thanksgiving feasts and turkey trots to beautiful pumpkin patches, you’ll experience a memorable Thanksgiving in San Diego. Find out below what makes San Diego County the perfect destination for fun and excitement this holiday season:

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Fun in the Sun

With an average high temperature of 70 degrees in San Diego, there is plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving day. Before diving into green bean casserole and classic stuffing, start your day by breaking a sweat with the entire family. For the 21st year in a row, Aya Healthcare is presenting the Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K at Balboa Park. As San Diego’s longest-standing Thanksgiving Day turkey trot, it’s the perfect way to start your day. This family-friendly event helps raise funds to feed the hungry in need through Father Joe’s Villages’ Food Services Program.

Take the year off by cooking Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy a dining cruise with the entire family. Hosted by Flagship Cruises and Events, experience an incredible cruise of your choice around San Diego Bay while enjoying a gourmet three-course meal. The menu includes turkey, gravy, whipped potatoes, sage stuffing, and options for vegans and vegetarians. On board, guests can enjoy complimentary boarding champagne, scenic views, a live soloist, and free Wi-Fi. Tickets for this two-hour cruise start at $89.50 for ages thirteen and up and $53.70 for children aged four and up. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind cruise here.

San Diego Thanksgiving Turkey San Diego Beach Area
Leave the cooking and cleaning to the professionals and experience a waterfront buffet this Thanksgiving. Hosted by Paradise Point Resort’s signature restaurant, Tidal, this event is fun for the entire family. The exclusive menu will include slow-roasted Diestel turkey, truffle mac & cheese, butternut squash bisque, fried oysters, wild berry & ginger cobbler, and more. The buffet is from 1 pm to 6 pm, and tickets start at $98 for adults and $48 for children aged five and older. Learn more about this delicious buffet here.

The San Diego Jazz Festival is returning for its 43rd year. Held at the San Diego Convention Center, this five-day event is from November 23rd through the 27th. Dedicated to the jazz music of the early 20th Century, this music festival features musicians performing traditional jazz, swing, blues, ragtime, boogie-woogie, gospel, and rhythm and blues. Tickets start at $20 for single-day passes and work upwards of $125 for all five days. Learn more about this exciting event here.

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Incredible Rentals

At Vacation Rentals by Kimberly, we feature an incredible selection of properties that will make San Diego County feel like home. Whether you’re visiting our coast with the entire family or a significant other, we have a property for you. With properties in 12 different locations, including San Diego, La Jolla, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and more, we have a property for every type of vacation. Despite the location, our properties have one thing in common – beautiful kitchens. As the heart of the house, all our kitchens are designed to make cooking a delicious meal easy. Our kitchens are fully equipped with upgraded appliances, such as stoves, ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers. When it’s time to eat, gather around our dining room tables and make lasting Thanksgiving memories.

Aside from beautiful kitchens, our southern California rentals have incredible amenities and features. Choose from oceanfront properties and spacious homes with private hot tubs. The best part about our selection of properties? Many of them are pet-friendly! We understand a family trip isn’t complete without your furry best friend, so we encourage you to bring them along. Speak to one of our team members to confirm your desired rental is pet-friendly.

Book Your Stay for Thanksgiving in San Diego

San Diego county has to be added to the top of your bucket list for its beautiful weather, incredible beaches, unique shops, and delicious restaurants. With an average high temperature of 70 degrees, it’s the beach getaway you’ve been dreaming of. At Vacation Rentals by Kimberly, we make sure the fun doesn’t stop when it’s time to wash all the sand off. We provide our guests with an unbeatable experience in one of our luxury vacation rentals. We can’t wait to see you this holiday season!

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California is home to tons of activities to do all year round. Whether you are someone who loves being outside, and eyes going surfing in the mornings, or you would prefer waking up and heading to the local cafe, California has it all. Plus, San Diego County is one of the most popular tourist destination spots – and for good reason! 

With proximity to the mountains, desert, and beaches, San Diego County is a tourist’s dream. If you come here during the summer months, you can enjoy surfing, water sports, walking along the boardwalk, headlight on one of the local mountain peaks, sitting outside in the green areas, and watching the boats go by. If you come here during the winter, you can head to one of the nearby mountains to test your luck skiing or snowboarding.  

But we think the best time to come here is during the fall months. Not only will you avoid the throngs of tourists who pack the beaches during June and July, but you can check out some other activities that you may not do during the summer or winter months. Check out some of our favorite fall activities in San Diego and festivals to attend during your upcoming holiday! 

Palomar Mountain 

Of course, you have to check out Palomar Mountain. This incredible natural area features coniferous forests, mountain meadows, and expanses of land with never-ending beauty. A trip to Palomar Mountain is one you certainly won’t regret! Make your way here and enjoy a nice and relaxing fall hike, a lovely picnic among the trees, some time to reflect and appreciate nature, and a chance to play some outdoor games with the whole family! 


Escape the crowds and the high prices of heading to SeaWorld in the summer — I mean, what is worse than standing in line to see a show just to get bad seats and not be able to see anything anyways? Instead, head here during the fall seasons to enjoy all the sights and shows without the thousands of people with you! Enjoy the place virtually to yourself and take your kids on an outing they will never forget.  

San Diego Zoo 

There is no better time to come to the Zoo than the fall season. Not only will you be able to enjoy the sunny skies and crisp fall breeze, but you can still see all of the animals in their natural habitat before they hibernate for the colder months. Enjoy a safari park with exotic elephants, a wildlife conservation area, and take a double-decker tour bus to the zoo to see every single animal you possibly can! 

Visit Balboa Park, San Diego 

San Diego is fun to visit in its own right. We love this unique and eclectic city for so many reasons, but one of the best is to visit Balboa Park. Get outside and enjoy nature in this incredible area — we highly recommend this as a half-day outing for you and your kids! 

Oceanside Pier 

The iconic Oceanside Pier is not just known for being an iconic landmark, but you can also attend events including surfing competitions, ironman triathlons, concerts, and a variety of other performances on a nice fall day. This pier is also known as being a fantastic place to fish. We love this area after taking a nice dip in the water, whether you want to go skimboarding, surfing, or just floating in the bright blue water.  

California Surf Museum 

Of course, if you head to San Diego County in the fall season, it could rain. That is just about likely anywhere in the world, but it rarely happens in California. However, if you do have a rainy afternoon or a cloudy day, then checking out the California Surf Museum can be a fun, interactive, and educational way to spend a day. We recommend heading here with your children to teach them about preserving the surfing community, ogle at all of the exhibits, and enjoy hearing the incredible stories.  

Enjoy our Accommodation and These Fall Activities in San Diego

Looking for somewhere to stay in San Diego County? We have you covered! Instead of looking online for hours and hours using search engines to find overpriced hotels, we have luxurious and spacious rentals in San Diego County that will make your vacation a 10 out of 10. Check out Vacation Rentals by Kimberly to browse modern and amenity-laden spaces that are sure to make the holiday one that you will never forget.  

We offer a wide range of properties and rentals, with ocean view condominiums, large-group homes, pet-friendly rentals, and expensive houses that can fit multiple guests. Whether you’re looking for a private balcony that opens up to the ocean in the morning, or you want an open floor plan living room in your 6-bedroom house, we have something for everyone. Contact us and book your reservation today!