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12 Signs You're In San Diego

Enjoy a variety of fun-filled fall activities

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

  • The annual San Diego Festival of Beer goes on tap in September in downtown San Diego. Over sixty local brewers will be in attendance, providing samples and tastings of their signature and award-winning beers. The event will also feature live music, vendors, food booths and more.
  • 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 at just $20, $30 or $40 per person (two-course lunch menus are $10, $15 or $20 per person). Visitors can sample the signature cuisine and sophisticated style that makes San Diego's dining scene one of the region's top attractions.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The Spirits of Mexico Festival invites you to sample some of the top Mexican spirits on the market including: Tequilas, Mezcals, Sotols, Bacanoras and Raicillas among others. Attendees can also Meet The Masters, the chance to speak with the pioneers and heroes of the industry, the master distillers & blenders themselves.


  • At the annual Coronado Main Street Garden Party in September, visitors can explore the gardens of one of Coronado's historic homes while enjoying a "Taste of Coronado," featuring food from local restaurants, a wine tasting, entertainment and raffles. Ticket proceeds supporting Coronado's beautiful median gardens along Orange Avenue, its main thoroughfare.
  • In September, guests can enjoy free U.S. Navy Ship Tours along with fast-paced fun during the annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival, held at the Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado. Held in conjunction with San Diego Fleet Week, this thrilling spectator-friendly vintage auto race features over 200 classic cars racing a 1.6 miles course along North Island's runways.
  • Guests can enjoy "island fare in the ocean air" during the popular annual Taste of Coronado in October, featuring 20 local restaurants. Shuttles transport guests between restaurants and proceeds benefiting military families.

East County

  • Julian Grape Stomp Festa takes place in September at the Menghini Winery in Julian. The quaint country town celebrates the bountiful grape harvest with an authentic Old World-style grape stomp and festa with live music, food and wine.
  • A San Diego tradition "as American as apple pie" is the popular annual Julian Fall Apple Harvest, from September through mid October, celebrating this historic mountain town's famous homemade apple pies and ciders. Visitors can also enjoy acres of colorful fall foliage, apple picking in local orchards, charming bed and breakfast inns, art shows, quaint antique shops and live entertainment.
    Because of the warm spring, the fruit ripened early and some orchards may be closed for the season. Please contact or check their websites before heading out.
  • The popular annual Alpine Viejas Western Days Parade and Festival in September, celebrating the community spirit of Alpine. The day-long celebration features fun for the whole family, including a kids and craft fair.
  • The Julian Apple Days Festival in October 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 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.
  • 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.

San Diego North

  • In September, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • In October, 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.

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