5 Ideas for Celebrating Thanksgiving in San Diego

October 26, 2022


There’s never a bad time to visit San Diego, but with the Thanksgiving holiday’s extended weekend, you can enjoy our jaw-dropping setting without forgoing the traditional experience you crave. You’ll get a trip filled with sunshine, beaches, and fun without skimping on the major pig-out you allow yourself every year. We’ve compiled a few ideas for celebrating Thanksgiving in San Diego, from made-for-you feasts to parties out on the water.  


Enjoy a Thanksgiving Brunch Cruise on the Bay

Bring together two fabulous things—a delicious Thanksgiving feast and San Diego’s epic sunsets—on this holiday-themed dinner cruise along the San Diego Bay. City Experiences will whisk you on a two-hour excursion to see some of the best sights in the city. You’ll get a traditional Thanksgiving buffet, as well as complimentary tea and hot coffee (wine and cocktails available for purchase). Enjoy background music, free WiFi, and amazing views while you eat.


Let Someone Else Cook for Once

Thanksgiving dinner in San Diego is all about the food, but what if you don’t have access to a kitchen? Luckily, there are plenty of local restaurants planning elaborate holidays meals for dine-in and takeout. Giuseppe Fine Catering offers a full menu of items to choose from, including entrees and sides sized to feed a whole family.

The yearly Thanksgiving dinner at the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant is always popular. The feast starts at 11 am and goes to 6 pm; prices are $85 for adults and $40 for children ages 4-10. And at The Prado, Balboa Park’s stylish dining spot, you can enjoy a three-course dinner including items such as potato and corn chowder, oven-roasted brined turkey breast, and vanilla crème brulee. Prices are $64.95 for adults and $16.95 for kids.


Spend the day at San Diego Zoo

Open 365 days a year, the San Diego Zoo is one of the city’s best loved attractions. It’s a prime place to walk off all the calories you recently consumed. Home to more than 4,000 animals housed in over 100 acres, the zoo gives you plenty to explore, even if you’ve been there before. Some of the most popular exhibits are the Gorilla Forest, Polar Bears at Northern Frontier, Scripps Aviary, and the Skyfari Aerial Tram, which zips you to the other end of the zoo while allowing amazing panoramas of the Balboa Park and beyond.


Run the Turkey Trot

While it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea to rise early for an exhilarating run, The 21st Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K (also known as the Turkey Trot) put on by Father Joe’s Villages is a much-anticipated Thanksgiving event in San Diego, especially for active types looking to contribute to a good cause while working up an appetite for the day’s big meal. The event provides funds toward the organization’s efforts at feeding the unhoused in the community. The run starts at Balboa Park and moves through Banker’s Hill before ending back in Balboa Park. Check-in starts at 6:30, and the race starts at 7:30 am.


If you’re planning to spend Thanksgiving in San Diego, we welcome you to stay at Sunrise Inn San Diego, an affordable base in the middle of all the action. Enjoy amenities like free WiFi and free self-parking and take advantage of conveniences like in-room microwaves and fridges, perfect for storing and reheating your Thanksgiving leftovers!  

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