Why Winter in Southern California is Hotter Than You Think

Why Winter in Southern California is Hotter Than You Think

Why Winter In Southern California is Hotter Than You Think.

I used to dread winter. As soon as September came around, the days would just fall off the calendar way too quickly.  All of the sudden - October, then November and then next thing you know you were smack-dab in the middle of Southern California Winter.  Now that I’ve lived overseas and in other States, I know that Southern California Winter isn’t necessarily a bad deal.  In fact, there are a lot of amazing things that happen in Winter and those things are why So-Cal Winter is hotter than you think!  So next time you’re lamenting shorter days and cooler nights, check this list and remember that So-Cal turns-up and turns-on in Winter.

Windnsea Southern california surf spots


  1. Waves

For a surfer, Winter is where it’s at! Summer is the doldrums for San Diego surfers.  You wait around month after month for a coveted South Swell to light up the reefs and points and when it does it’s overhyped and overcrowded. Meanwhile, our old friend Mr. Winter waits to deliver as the northern hemisphere kicks up consistent swell and perfectly clean conditions that light up every spot in San Diego County. The need for neoprene and the lack of tourists decreases the number of heads in the water resulting in YOU getting more waves and scoring!  Options abound - Blacks, North County and even Mexico.  So embrace the cold, get a good wetsuit and get some!


Southern California snowboarding skiing mountain

  1. Snow

Southern California has got to be one of the few places in the world where you could ski and surf in the same day.  You could ride Mt. Baldy or Big Bear and book it to the coast after lunchtime and still get a sunset surf session in, that same day.  I’ve seen it done.  If the novelty of skiing and surfing in the same day is lost on you, then the fact that January 2017 was the snowiest month EVER at Mammoth Mountain is enough to stay put and get some pow.  We’re spoilt for choice in Southern California in so many ways and the ski and snowboarding department is one of them with Mammoth, June, Bear, Snow Valley, Snow Summit, Mt. Baldy and Mountain High offering shreddable peaks for all within a few hours drive.  

southern californai surfer Morgan Sliff @bumpsetsurf Photo credit


  1. Fewer People

No Zonies, no Okies, no Vacation Rental Dwellers.  Locals only.  The hordes of people from all over the world that make San Diego the tourist destination it is are pleasantly absent during Winter.  This means more waves, more parking spots, more peace for the people that call San Diego home.  

cold water surfing southern california winter

  1. No Distractions

Summer can be distracting.  Beach days, beach bods, and beach parties are some of my favorite things but they often wreak havoc on my working, creative and even surfing life.  It’s hard to stay home and finish that piece of art, kill it at work or even surf seriously when the weather is hot.  Use the time of year when it’s acceptable and sometimes preferable to spend time inside to get your ducks in a row for those Santa Ana dog-days of summer.  

southern san diego california sunset surfer

  1. Epic Sunsets

Winter is the time for cracker sunsets.  Fire red skies mingling with purple and orange clouds left over from a passing storm paint a beautiful picture.  Put on your puffy jacket, beanie and Ugg boots and make sure you watch a few Winter sunsets.  They are spectacular.  

large cozy thick yoga mexican blanket

  1. Great Snuggle Weather

Winter is a great time for grabbing your significant other, your baby or your dog and cuddling up with a West Path blanket.  Even better if you’re watching a breathtaking sunset over pumping surf after skiing all morning.  Just saying.  During Southern California Winter, you can do it all and still find a parking place.  

Author Audrey Hill

Audrey is a 5th generation Californian who called La Jolla home for most of her life before moving to Sydney, Australia.  She now splits her year between Manly Beach, Australia and La Jolla.  You can usually find her surfing, body surfing, camping and adventuring when she’s not working on her blog www.surfstokedmoms.com or chasing after her 2 year old daughter, Valentina.  

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