When autumn arrives and the summer beach crowds diminish, visitors to San Diego can relish in the region's sunny mild weather and enjoy a number of fun-filled Fall activities to enhance their vacation getaway. During San Diego's shoulder season, visitors can find a variety of annual festivals, fairs and diverse cultural entertainment.
Below is just a few of the festivals, parades and more that San Diego has to offer this Fall:
- San Diego's culinary community joins forces during September for San Diego Restaurant Week. More than 180 of the region's top restaurants offer prix-fixe, three-course dinner menus and two-course lunch menus. Visitors can sample the signature cuisine and sophisticated style that makes San Diego's dining scene one of the region's top attractions.
- Pacific Islander Festival showcases the cultures and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia with entertainment, food, music and specialty crafts.
- Adams Avenue Street Fair is SoCal's largest free two-day music festival held each year during the last weekend in September in the community of Normal Heights.
- Oceanside Harbor Days is two event filled days of sun, sand, and surf with fun activities including a sandcastle competition, Entertainment Stage, Arts, Crafts and Food booth areas, Nail 'n' Sail Competition, Military, Public Safety displays, and more.
- Be a part of history and welcome 16th century explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo as he steps ashore on Ballast Point during San Diego's Cabrillo Festival.
- The Julian Apple Days Festival at Menghini Winery features music and dancing, children's games and activities, gold panning demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, food and merchandise vendors, apple-related contests, the coronation of Mr. and Mrs. Apple Days and, of course, Julian's famous apple pies.
- The San Diego Film Festival brings a new wave of international culture to San Diego, and connects you to film makers, actors, critics and storytellers with studio premieres, award-winning indies, interviews with directors and actors, and the opportunity to meet other film lovers - all while enjoying a little red carpet treatment.
- Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors.
- Guests can also enjoy Fleet Week San Diego's annual MCAS Miramar Air Show showcasing several types of aircraft, including vintage biplanes, Air Force Raptors, a Navy Super Hornet and numerous stealth fighter jets. Held at the Marine Corps Air Station in inland North County, the event includes simulated combat demonstrations, a Twilight Show with the Great Wall of Fire and a firework grand finale.
- Pacific BeachFest has something for everyone including a fish taco contest, surf competition, beach volley ball, craft beer, kids activities and music!
- The Art & Craft Show Old Town San Diego features contemporary artists, fine craft, fashion and home décor artisans along with the Flavors of Old Town international foods, a wine tasting pavilion, and continuous live entertainment.
- Without Walls (WoW) Festival is an exhilarating weekend of immersive and site-based work designed to break barriers by moving beyond the boundaries of a traditional four-walled theatre space and the physical confines of the Playhouse's facilities.
- CRSSD Festival is a two-day electronic music festival at the 12 acre San Diego Waterfront Park featuring three stages and 36+ performers.
- La Jolla Art & Wine Festival features the works of over 150 established artists, a silent auction, roving entertainment, a gourmet marketplace, the family art center and a wine and beer garden which will include premier wineries in addition to San Diego's top breweries.
- Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is kicking off the fall season with its annual Fall Festival. The museums and merchants in the state park will host family friendly games, activities and entertainment reminiscent of an old-fashioned harvest celebration.
- Little Italy FESTA! offers a full palette of Italian cuisine is complemented by traditional and modern Italian music, arts and crafts as well as a tribute to San Diego's rich Italian American heritage.
- The Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase is renowned for its exquisite display of high performance, classic, and rare vehicles exhibited in the historic heart of Downtown San Diego.
- The San Diego Italian Film Festival feStivale showcases the best of new Italian film with a series of premieres ranging from dramas and comedies to documentaries.
- Spend a night on Coronado Island, indulging your senses and enjoying amazing bites prepared by local chefs during A Taste of Coronado.
- The San Diego Kids Expo & Fair is part businesses and non-profits on display, part fun fair and part music and dance festival. And definitely all kids!
- In one afternoon, Taste of North Park invites you to enjoy over 30 food tastes and 10 craft beer samples from some of San Diego's best restaurants and bars.
- Join us at Stone Brewing Co for their annual fall beer extravaganza, Pour It Black, and you'll be able to choose from more than 100 of the deepest, darkest brews gathered from all over the planet.
- The Escondido Grand Avenue Festival brings entertainment, vendors, children's rides, and food from around the world to the tree-lined streets of Escondido.
- The annual Harvest Festival, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, is one of the largest art and gift shows on the U.S. West Coast. The event includes gourmet food samplings, live music, Kidzone and more than 300 artists and craftspeople featuring unique handmade works.
- The cooler desert temperatures and vast landscape welcome visitors to the annual Borrego Days Desert Festival in Borrego Springs, East County's desert oasis town. The celebration includes a parade, the Miss Borrego Springs pageant, dance parties, live music, beer garden, arts and crafts exhibitions and more.
- Visitors can stroll down the sidewalks, while enjoying the Lamborghinis and pop into the various storefronts to explore what stores, eateries and galleries the Little Italy neighborhood has to offer during Bulls of St. Agata Charge Little Italy.
- The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla hosts the annual Celebrate the Craft culinary showcase. Renowned chefs, vintners and farmers from across California gather for gourmet cooking demonstrations which highlight an enthusiasm for natural ingredients and innovative cooking and winemaking.
- The annual Carlsbad Fall Village Street Faire's 900 vendors sell everything from clothes, accessories, plants and household products to art, antiques and home decor.
- Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show showcases over 50 leading international and national galleries. In addition to the gallery booths, special features include gallery-curated exhibitions, contemporary furniture design, art talks and performances.
- The San Diego Asian Film Festival is one of the largest exhibitions of Asian international and Asian American cinema in North America.
- During November, hundreds of beer-centric events will take place during San Diego Beer Week, a countywide festival that highlights San Diego's award-winning craft beer, breweries and pubs; event dates, times and locations vary throughout the week.
- The annual Gaslamp Quarter Fall Back Festival in November brings alive the history and culture of downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter in the 1880s. Three blocks are transformed into a western town of yesteryear, complete with Wyatt Earp, blacksmith demonstrations and panning for gold. It also features food, live music, children's arts and crafts, and spaghetti-, pie- and ice cream-eating contests.
- The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, the region's largest wine and culinary event, takes place in November at venues throughout San Diego. The festival includes gourmet food, celebrity chefs, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and more.
- In November, the annual Mother Goose Parade, the largest parade in San Diego County, brings crowds of spectators to the city streets of El Cajon. The parade kicks-off the winter holiday season and features whimsical floats, clowns, bands, equestrians and celebrity appearances.
- The laid back and charming beach community of Encinitas along Historic Highway 101 is home to the Encinitas Fall Festival in November. Visitors can stroll along the coastal highway and soak up the vintage surf culture while enjoying more than 450 unique booths featuring arts & crafts, children's rides, two stages of live entertainment, beer garden and more.