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Where To Find Snow And Ice Near San Diego

Ice skating San Diego

We all love San Diego’s mild winters: Temperatures in our fair city tend to be in the 50s or 60s during the coldest time of year, a far cry from the subarctic gloom that settles over so much of the country. That said, there’s always a time and place for snow, and the beautiful thing about Southern California is the easy access to the white stuff—just head for the mountains.

If you’re enjoying a wintertime stay at the Sofia Hotel and have a hankering for some classic seasonal outdoor activities, never fear: We’re about to point you to some perfect places near at hand.

Ice Skating

You actually don’t need to leave town to take part in winter sports. San Diego, for example, includes some of the country’s most unique ice-skating opportunities—how about rinks under the swaying canopies of palm trees?

Some great options include the seasonal rink at Windsor Lawn, where skaters weave within a stone’s throw of the Pacific Ocean; the UTC Ice Sports Center, where you can get both your general ice-skating and your hockey on; and Sycuan’s “Fantasy on Ice” outdoor rink right downtown at Horton Square.

Mountaintop Bliss

One of the greater San Diego area’s most treasured getaways is the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, perched up in the Laguna Mountains of the Peninsular Ranges. Pacific storms can dump heaps of beautiful snow in the Laguna high country, and you—basking in the mildness of downtown San Diego—are but an hour’s drive away.

There are plenty of opportunities for fun in the snow, from sledding and tubing to snowman-making and snowball-battle strategizing. Up here among the pines and the drifts, you’ll be amazed how close you are to the balmy coast.

Just remember to come prepared for winter weather—bring along tire chains, a shovel, a blanket, and other essentials.

When you’re pining for it, a winter wonderland is much easier to find in and around San Diego than you might think at first blush. Hit the rinks and the mountain snowpack, and then warm up in the cozy elegance of the Sofia Hotel!

Image: SD Dirk