Residents of many cities in the United States get irritated with San Diego, California, for its chipper weather. During the winter, the SoCal hot spot boasts sea breezes and sunshine, while the rest of the country gets dumped with snow. 

We’ll let you in on a secret: San Diegans dread the months just before the summer solstice because May Gray and June Gloom hit the city. During this period, the sun goes on hiatus, leaving a foggy marine layer looming over the coast. 

However, with the start of summer near the end of June, the sunshine returns. Locals and tourists eager to summon the sun are beginning their summer celebrations early on June 20th this year. They’re welcoming the sunny months with carnivals, art festivals, and beer tastings. Take a look at the some of the best things to do in San Diego to help ring in the solstice: 

Sunrise: Wake up with the sun at 5:41 a.m., and get ready to shine. Coronado Ferry Landing offers a spectacular view of the sunrise over the downtown San Diego skyline. 

Morning: On your mark, get set, go! Race through the Del Mar Fairgrounds at the San Diego County Fair 5K from 8-10 a.m. This 3-mile race stretches around the carnival games, thrill rides, and funnel cake stands, before the fairgrounds open to the public. 

Viewfinder Tip: Clare Bowen and Charles Esten are performing at the San Diego County Fair at 7:30 p.m.

Midday: Put on your Picasso hat for the La Jolla Festival of the Arts. Warren Field at UCSD will transform into an art show with eye candy galore. More than 200 artists are showcasing their masterpieces, while musicians such as Gayle Skidmore and Tom Griesgraber serenade on stage. Torrey Pines Kiwanis Club, which supports locals with disabilities, is hosting the event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 



: A trip to America’s Finest City isn’t complete without getting a taste for the craft beer scene, and the San Diego Beer Fest is just the place to sample the local hops. From Amplified Ale Works to Golden Coast Mead, there’s a huge brewery lineup. The fest features unlimited tastings, food trucks, and live music at Liberty Station from 2-5 p.m. Prefer to visit the source of the beer? Join one of the many San Diego brewery tours instead. 

Sunset: Since it was probably torture running through the fairgrounds without spinning on the rides or smacking the Whack-a-Moles, head back to San Diego County Fair to experience the carnival in all its glory. Root for the Swifty Swine Racing Pigs, hop on the Ferris wheel at 7:59 p.m. for the sunset, and then stick around for the Billy Idolized tribute show at 9 p.m. 

Regardless of whether the sun decides to make an appearance, the solstice festivities will have everyone distracted with celebrations and merriment. For vacationers visiting the city, stay at one of the beach hotels in San Diego for easy access to the sand and surf. 

Here’s what you missed during the 2014 San Diego summer solstice:

-We hiked Cowles Mountain and then chowed down at The Cottage La Jolla.

-After a dip at La Jolla Cove, we hit the rides at the family-friendly San Diego County Fair.

-San Diego International Beer Festival featured 400 different brews at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

-Pacific Beach’s Crystal Pier provided the perfect place to watch the sunset.

 How are you celebrating the longest day of the year in America’s Finest City?

Feature and Thumbnail Image Attribution: Flickr/Creative Commons/Tim Buss/Via/
Body Copy Image Attribution: Flickr/Creative Commons/Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/Via/