Check-In San Diego

A lifestyle guide by the Sofia Hotel

Seeking Out Snow in San Diego

As we’ve discussed in the past here at the Sofia blog, San Diego’s climate is a justifiably celebrated one: Indeed, it’s often called the best all-around of any city in the U.S. If you like sunshine and warmth (but not tropic mugginess), San Diego—and the Sofia Hotel, of course—is the place for you.

But it’s fun to play in the snow, too, right? Well, you can basically get the best of both worlds on a Sofia getaway to Downtown San Diego. Here in Southern California, after all, good-sized and gorgeous mountains are never far away, and in the high-country hinterland of San Diego County you can usually track down some awesome snowpack within an easy commute of our balmy bayfront.

Snow…in San Diego?

Before we get to a few likely options for getting your fill of the white stuff on an otherwise short-sleeved visit to the Sofia Hotel, here’s a little trivia for you. Though higher parts of San Diego proper have seen flurries more recently, the last time snowfall actually stuck in America’s Finest City was back on December 13th, 1967. Much of this was just a trace, though some surprisingly low-lying spots in the county, such as Carlsbad up north along the coast, received a couple of inches. (You can see some footage from that once-in-a-blue-moon meteorological event here, and eyeball front-page coverage from the following day’s San Diego Union here.)

Our firmly subtropical latitude and the moderating influence of the Pacific at our doorstep gives San Diego a Mediterranean-type climate of year-round mildness, and makes snow a scarce commodity indeed. This month, January, tends to be the coldest in San Diego, but that’s relative: Daytime highs this time of year are usually in the upper 50s to mid-60s, and we’ve only seen freezing temperatures a handful of times.

But our region’s mountains—part of the Peninsular Ranges—rise high enough to capture winter precipitation in the form of snow, though obviously in a given season the duration and depth of the drifts depend (alliteration!) on all kinds of climate variables.

Here’s where to head this winter to (hopefully) find yourself some trompable, sleddable snow while enjoying our luxury hospitality here in Downtown San Diego!

Mountain Snow

The Laguna and Cuyamaca mountains as well as Mount Palomar often get whitened during winter storms, as in fact they all did this past New Year’s Eve.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Laguna Mountain Recreation Area can be a great spot for some wintry fun on the heels of such snowfalls, as can Palomar Mountain State Park and Cuyamaco Rancho State Park. Just make sure to study the forecasts carefully and equip your vehicle with chains and emergency supplies.

If you’re really hankering for some slopeside action, a long day could see you enjoying the runs up at Mountain High and Big Bear Mountain resorts in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, respectively, both of which are less than three hours away.

Other Options for Winter Fun

If you’ll settle for ice rather than snow, you’ve got even nearer options for wintertime recreation as a Sofia guest, not least on the rinks at the UTC Ice Sports Center and the San Diego Ice Arena.

Take a gander at that National Weather Service forecast during your next stay with us here at the Sofia Hotel this winter, and maybe you’ll opt for a mountain mosey to play in the snow—meanwhile soaking up some friendly temperatures and a decided lack of iced-over sidewalks and streets here in Downtown San Diego!