Winter Events for a Luxury Vacation in San Diego, California

San Diego is a great city for luxury winter travel; culinary affairs and theme park Christmas celebrations are just some activities to liven up a vacation.

The luxury of getting warm and toasty for a winter vacation can’t be underestimated. Southern California is always a popular travel destination, but never more so than when our northern neighbors are feeling frigid. San Diego is particularly enticing for a luxury travel vacation, with a selection of high-end and/or family-friendly resorts and hotels, fun activities, and, of course, the famous Southern California coast. Here are some of the terrific activities that people traveling to San Diego this winter can choose from.

Fun for Foodies

The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival is the area’s largest annual culinary wine event. In 2010 the festival runs November 17-21, with 70 of San Diego’s top chefs sharing their creations. Around 170 wine and spirit purveyors will also be on hand to provide sips of their beverages as well; this can get to be quite a lively affair. The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival is held at restaurants, upscale bars and eateries throughout downtown San Diego. The celebrity chefs, gourmet food and wine tastings make this a wonderful culinary festival.

San Diego Restaurant Week is just as fun as the Wine and Food Festival, with a stronger emphasis on food, and more restaurants participating. San Diego Restaurant Week is January 16-21 in 2011 (it’s always in the winter season). Around 180 of San Diego’s top restaurants will offer fixed price three-course dinners – and guests can choose from $20, $30 or $40 per person menus, making even the most upscale restaurants accessible for people who prefer to spend less on meals out. San Diego has quite a few fantastic seafood restaurants and steakhouses; they are regionally famous, and usually much more expensive.

Theme Park Parties

LEGOLAND California celebrates the season for the entire month of December. Holly Jolly Holidays is an annual party at the Carlsbad theme park, with Christmas lights and decor making LEGOLAND even more of a happy place for younger children than usual. Thousands of Legos make up a 30-foot tall Christmas tree (replete with Lego ornaments, of course), and the spirit of the winter holiday is seen throughout the park in a myriad of ways. There is also a firework show every night from December 26-31, and life-size Lego displays of Santa and his reindeer mark the season as well.

The San Diego Zoo celebrates Christmas during December 10-23 and 26-30 with its annual winter event called Jungle Bells. Get it, Jungle? Anyway, many of the San Diego zoo animals are represented by large, pretty, artistic light displays . Zoo guests can see a California condor taking flight, elephants spraying water, monkeys playing around in trees, and more. The San Diego Zoo also features special winter holiday entertainment near various on-site restaurants and shops during these times.

SeaWorld San Diego has its Christmas Celebration every winter season. This year, the Christmas Celebration returns November 26-28, December 4-5, December 11-12, and December 18-31. Families vacationing in San Diego often consider SeaWorld a must-do activity, and the shows really pull out all the stops during the Christmas Celebration days. Children love the show “Clyde and Seamore’s Night Before Christmas,” and parents and kids alike are amused by the seasonal sea lion and otter comedy show. The Shamu Christmas presentation (with human choirs and musical soloists) is a special show that can’t be seen during the rest of the year. All of SeaWorld San Diego is done up in seasonal decor in winter, and the Polar Express 4-D Experience is worth the wait on line.

It’s always fun in San Diego, but when it’s bitterly cold in other parts of the country, this terrific Southern California city is even more enticing. Anyone considering spending a winter vacation in San Diego should be assured that they will not run out of things to do during their time there.