California in the Springtime: May Gray and June Gloom is Definitely a Thing.

I wanted to write this post because I’ve seen it time and time again: travelers arriving in my beautiful home state expecting sunny days at the beach and instead being greeted by cloudy, overcast skies and a chill in the air. So what gives? These travelers made the mistake of visiting in May or June.

Conventional wisdom tells us that May is when things start heating up here in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun is out longer and Summer is on the horizon. By June, Summer is in full force in many places and my Facebook feed is full of comments like, “Pool Day!!” and “Summer Vacation, Here I Come!“.

And then there are those of us who live by the coast. For us, we’re probably getting a little antsy because we haven’t seen the sun in over a month and it’s about time to start popping those Vitamin D pills.

You see, we have the marine layer by the coast here, which is a big, thick blanket of clouds that shows up any time it feels like it year-round, but seems to enjoy sticking around for the entirety of May and June. Drive a few miles inland and the clouds will part, resulting in beautiful, warm sunshine. But by the beach, no such luck. I’ve been known to get in the car and head straight inland until the sun makes an appearance when it just becomes too much for me.

Not that I’m complaining. I love where I live and I love the beautiful sunshine and gorgeous beaches that I’m able to enjoy year-round, but it does get a little tiresome during May Gray and June Gloom (the official nicknames for them in these parts).

Mostly I just wanted to write this post because every year, I see swarms of travelers arrive from places like Arizona, Nevada, the rest of the country, and even abroad expecting beautiful days in the sand and instead end up shopping for a thick sweatshirt and woolen socks. I’ve had visitors show up at my place to spend a weekend (even visitors from Los Angeles) ask if they can borrow a jacket while they are here because they didn’t realize they would need one. Not that it’s freezing at this time, because it’s not. It’s just….gloomy and a little chilly.

If you’re planning a trip to Southern California and you’re looking for sunshine, I would recommend September. It’s the most lovely month of the entire year, in my opinion, because the sun is out, the days are still long, and most importantly, the kids are back in school so the crowds are considerably thinner (unless you show up Labor Day Weekend, in which case watch out!).


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