Sunny days and mild nights make San Diego the perfect place to enjoy festivals year round. Unique and seasonal festivals happen throughout the year, taking place in the diverse and vast neighborhoods across San Diego County. Many festivals celebrate art, music, film, food, beer and wine, while others celebrate various ethnic and cultural holidays.
From a broad showcase of local artists at the San Diego ArtWalk festival in Little Italy, to the annual gathering of leading contemporary galleries from around the world at the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, San Diego celebrates the best of the best in visual art.
America’s Finest City is home to some of the finest restaurants, wineries and breweries in the country. Enjoy the region’s topnotch culinary spots at discounted prices during the bi-annual San Diego Restaurant Week (January and September), or get a taste of the quality microbrews made in the region during San Diego Beer Week.
Film buffs and movie lovers visiting San Diego will find exciting film festivals devoted to a range of genres. From Italian, Asian, Jewish and Latin film festivals, to the annual San Diego Film Festival, there is something for every movie-goer to enjoy and discover.
Seasonal celebrations are embraced every year in San Diego, from Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween block parties in the Gaslamp Quarter, to Cinco de Mayo in Old Town. When summer rolls around, the sprawling San Diego County Fair kicks off the season. The holidays bring some of the city’s most unique festivals, starting with the stunning San Diego Parade of Lights held on the Big Bay. December Nights is the largest community festival in the county and it’s a magical time to capture the holiday spirit as Balboa Park is transformed with lights and festivities. You won’t be disappointed if you choose to spend any of your holidays in San Diego.
San Diego’s lively local music scene kicks in to high gear during street festivals, where music fills the neighborhoods of Normal Heights during the Adams Avenue Street Fair in September. There are jazz festivals, a Cajun music festival, and the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops series where performances are held under the stars along San Diego's Big Bay. If you appreciate good music and enjoy outdoor festivals, the combination thrives throughout San Diego County.
Summer means Shakespeare at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Modeled after Shakespeare's Old Globe in London, it's a fitting host to the yearly Shakespeare festival, which offers three dynamic productions in nightly rotation. One of the best parts: the productions are staged in an outdoor theater set in a glorious eucalyptus grove.
Every July, the San Diego neighborhood of Hillcrest lights up with the colorful Pride Parade and Festival, for the largest LGBT celebration in the city.
San Diego pays tribute to the military with a variety of events each fall including a parade of ships, the Coronado Classic Speed Festival, and MCAS Miramar Air Show.
Browse the articles and listings below for great upcoming festivals and events in San Diego.