San Diego’s known for having nearly perfect weather pretty much all the time. So when the sun’s overtaken by a chilly, gloomy gray in the months of May and June, it takes many newbies and tourists by surprise. However, locals are quite familiar with this time, affectionately known as “May Gray” and “June Gloom.” There are plenty of scientific explanations for May Gray and June Gloom in San Diego, and you can research them all you want – but it’s not going to change the reality that summer feels more like Maine than sunny Southern California.
But fear not! Even when the beach is too cold for your two-piece, there are still plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep seasoned locals and first-time tourists happily occupied. Here are our best tips on how to escape May Gray and June Gloom in San Diego (and if we’re lucky, we’ll skip No-Sky July and Fogust this year)!
Check out a Famous San Diego Museum or Aquarium
If you’re near the seaport, check out the USS Midway Museum. Or check out Balboa Park, which is just as beautiful and a lot less crowded in overcast weather. There are also many museums in Balboa Park, and you can visit just about all of them with Passport to Balboa Park. You can check out 5 museums with a One-Day Explorer pass, go for a light hike, or grab a coffee and lunch at one of the cafes and restaurants.
Sip a Delicious Drink at a Niche Brewery or Coffeehouse
Check out some of the best beverages – whether you love hops or beans or both! With more than 80 breweries in San Diego and a coffee scene that rivals that of the Pacific Northwest, not to mention a long list of brews that combine these two passions, you really can’t go wrong. In certain neighborhoods (such as North Park, South Park, Normal Heights, and Miramar) it’s hard to go a few blocks without stumbling upon a micro brewery or tasting room. One of our all-time favorites is Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights for their fantastic craft beers and pizza. For coffee, check out one of these:
Solve a Live Puzzle
This is probably the least-well known thing to do in San Diego – and one of the most intriguing.Puzzalarium is a great stop if you’re hanging out with a small group. You and your team will attempt to escape from a room, just like in those virtual “Escape the Room” games. You’ve never truly tested your relationships before this.
Skip the mall (you can do that at home) and head to one of San Diego’s finest thrift stores. Mainly concentrated in Hillcrest, these thrift shops are not your usual completely disorganized stores with creepy dolls and questionable kitchen supplies from the 50s. You’ll actually find something you love at one of these clothing-centric spots:
See Live Music
Head to the famous Casbah for some of the most cutting-edge new acts – they’ve hosted some impressive acts in the past. Into jazz? Check out the Gaslamp Speakeasy downtown. Prohibition is also a great spot for good music. The coolest part? You’ll go through the door of the “Law Offices of Edward Joseph O’Hare, Esquire,” to get inside. Sneaky, sneaky.
Take a Hike
San Diego is full of interesting hikes of all levels, but they’re usually too hot during the summer months. Take advantage of the cloud cover and tackle Cowles Mountain, Lake Poway Park (trail to the famous Potato Chip Rock), and Mission Trails Regional Park. Save the hikes along the coast for a sunnier day because those coastal breezes will keep you cool.
Whatever way you choose to spend the chillier days in San Diego, they’ll be a lot less gloomy at these local spots. For more San Diego inspiration, follow us on Pinterest!