Of all the things San Diego is known for, being a winter wonderland is not one of them. The city may never see a white Christmas, but that doesn’t stop it from trying its darndest to spread some holiday cheer. If you happen to be in the area during winter months, here are some activities to get you in the holiday spirit … even when it’s a balmy 75 degrees.
Skating by the Sea at Hotel Del Coronado (Through Jan. 1, 2019)
Perhaps the most iconic San Diego holiday tradition of all is Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado. Where else can you ice skate under palm trees gazing out over the ocean? The beachfront rink introduced rink-side lounges this year complete with a cozy firepit and holiday-themed libations.
December Nights at Balboa Park (Dec. 7–8)
This free annual festival is a favorite way among locals to kick off the holiday season. Fill your cup with hot cocoa (and Bailey’s) and stroll around the expansive grounds of Balboa Park while eating county fair-style treats, sipping on holiday cocktails from around the world at the International Village and being dazzled by the strings of lights sparkling through the night.
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights (Dec. 9 and 16)
The Parade of Lights is the San Diego boating community’s time to shine. More than 80 extravagantly decorated boats float past in procession from Shelter Island through Seaport Village, Cesar Chavez Park and end at the Ferry Landing in Coronado. This year’s theme? Tropical Island Christmas.
Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo (Dec. 8–Jan. 1, 2019)
San Diego’s world-class zoo turns into a wild wonderland every winter with twinkling lights, carolers, festive foods and a Twinkle Light Trolley that spins through the grounds after dark to see lighted displays and winter-loving animals.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.
Ice hotels are becoming increasingly popular as a unique adventure for dedicated travelers. If you've ever wondered what kind of gusto it takes to join the polar bear club by jumping into frigid waters in your speedo, imagine the thrill of spending the night on a bed of ice inside your own igloo wrapped in warm blankets and furs.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
Oymyakon, Siberia, is literally the coldest inhabited town on Earth. The town of only 500 residents is nicknamed “The Pole of Cold” and has witnessed temperatures as low as -98 degrees. Here, where eyelashes freeze in mere moments, cars must be kept running continually to avoid a dead battery, and vegetables cannot grow naturally; locals have managed to eke out a quaint, and oddly endearing, existence.