Santa Monica Weather:
Tips for Planning Your Visit

Santa Monica weather is wonderfully predictable. The mercury rarely fluctuates more than 20 degrees F. either way, year round. Living here means we get to enjoy more than 310 sunny days each year. Summer temperatures average in the low 80s F (30s C); while winter temps can dip into the low 70s F (18-22 C).

Officially, Santa Monica's climate is classified as moderate Mediterranean, and that seems pretty accurate. The downside? Most of us who live here don't own a winter coat or gloves. (Or is that the upside?)

Either way, at least we're spared the chore of having to reorganize our closets when winter or summer arrives.  What that means for visitors is simply this - when timing your visit, you can choose hot or hotter (weather, that is) and to avoid crowds, you can time your visit to coincide with Santa Monica's least-busy seasons.

Santa Monica Weather is Fine Year Round

Biking along the beach.

Let's get this out of the way first: If it's sun you're seeking, skip June altogether. There's a reason the local lexicon includes the words "June gloom".  Most June days start with morning fog and overcast skies, which often doesn't burn off until around mid-day.

It makes for hazy, overcast days. Otherwise, since variations among the four seasons are minimal here (except for June), you can expect to sunny skies and 70 degree F temperatures most of the year.

The major things to consider are:

  • Seasonal cost variations. Hotels, tours, and virtually everything else in Santa Monica will be priced a little higher during summer season; lower in the winter and early spring.
  • Weather. There are sure bet seasons and cooler seasons. If sun-worshipping is what you're after, book your travel during the sure bet months, including July, August, and September.
  • Crowd tolerance. If crowds - at the beach, hotels, restaurants - leaves you frazzled, choose an early fall trip.

Summer is peak travel season. This means you'll find more crowds and higher prices on hotels and resorts. June, because of the June gloom phenomenon, is the exception.

Early fall is when Santa Monica weather is at its best. Prices drop a little, but the upside is you have a better chance of encountering consistently 80 degree F beach days, and lighter crowds.

Winter and early spring are the seasons with the lowest prices. They're also our coolest months, but have been know to bust out an 80-degree F day or two.

Balmy to Warm is in the Forecast

The day in, day out balmy weather practically puts our weathermen and women out of business. There are fluctuations, however - like when a warm front blows in from the desert to the east and temperatures skyrocket; or when a rare cold front blows down from Alaska and temperatures dip below 60 degrees F.  

Neither are regular occurrences, which means weather most anytime of year can be expected to be pleasant and then some.