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Major Events in San Diego

Plan your trip around one of San Diego's signature events

San Diego is packed with exciting events throughout the year. Below is a brief summary of some of the biggest events of the year, but there are also many more events to discover in the San Diego Calendar of Events


San Diego Events Not to Miss

Restaurant Week – January and September

San Diego is getting national press as an exciting new dining destination. Each year, for a week in January and a week in September, the city's finest chefs from more than 180 of San Diego’s best restaurants prepare amazing menus designed to give food lovers an opportunity to explore the region’s exciting dining scene for a fraction of the normal expense. 

Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tournament – January/February

One of the top golf tournaments in the country, this annual PGA Tour event, hosted in stunning Torrey Pines with sweeping views and ocean breezes, features marquee golfers including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jon Daly, Fred Couples and Mark O'Meara.

San Diego Museum Month – February

Enjoy half-off entry fees at 40 San Diego Museum Council membership museums and explore a variety of arts, culture and science-oriented destinations. From Oceanside Museum of Art to the Tijuana Estuary, these museums provide ample opportunities for "edutainment," creating memories and fun for the whole family.

Flower Fields Ranunculus Season – March & April

Flowers, flowers as far as you can see. Every March and April, the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch blossom into a spectacular sea of brightly colored ranunculus flowers. Tours are offered, and photographers, professional and amateur alike, set up for stunning closeup buds in bloom. Located about 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego.

San Diego Crew Classic - April

Regarded as the first major competition of the year, this annual regatta event brings rowers from across the country to Crown Point Shores on Mission Bay to participate in one of the most distinguished rowing competitions in the U.S. Collegiate, junior and masters athletes compete in more than 100 races over two days.

Rock and Roll Marathon & Half Marathon – June

What would make running 26 miles even more fun? How about having a different rock band positioned every mile or so who play music to help you pick up the pace? This popular foot race brings out thousands of runners and sideline supporters each year.

San Diego County Fair – June

San Diego's annual county fair features outlandish foods, garden shows, livestock tents and a midway complete with carnival rides and concerts held throughout the beautiful Del Mar Fairgrounds in oceanfront Del Mar.

Big Bay Boom – July

Fireworks are discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around San Diego's Big Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park, Coronado Ferry Landing and Imperial Beach. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 15 minutes.

LGBT Pride Parade and Festival – July

San Diego Pride brings together the skills, talents and vision of a diverse community to produce an annual LGBT Pride Celebration which attracts over 200,000 participants to Hillcrest and Balboa Park for America's Finest Pride Parade and Festival.

San Diego Comic Con – July

The largest comic book and pop culture convention in the world. Started as a modest comic book collectors convention, over the years Comic Con has become synonymous with Hollywood blockbusters and the hottest TV shows. Panel discussions with top movie stars are common, as are in-depth production discussions with directors, animators and producers. Screenings, signings, and omnipresent Klingons keep this party going year after year.

Del Mar Racing Season – July through September

Live thoroughbred racing at the Del Mar Race Track in the beautiful seaside city of Del Mar. The season starts with the annual opening day hat contest and ends in early September. In addition to special admission deals throughout the season, there are “4 O’Clock Fridays” concerts each week.

Julian Apple Harvest – September through November

Revel in the fall foliage and delight in succulent apples during the Julian Apple Harvest. Located only 45 minutes northeast of San Diego, this charming and historic town offers homemade apple cider, art shows and entertainment during this favorite time of year.

Dixieland Jazz Festival – November

Called the “crown jewel of jazz festivals,” the annual San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival is another great reason to rejoice over the holiday weekend. Held in the Mission Valley neighborhood of San Diego, this exciting event represents a wide variety of jazz styles and is sure to showcase something for every music lover.

Beer Week – November

San Diego Beer Week is a ten-day celebration inspiring people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture with events happening across the county. 

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival – November

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is an international showcase of the world's premier wine and spirits, chefs and culinary personalities, and gourmet foods. In past years, over 800 wines and spirits, 70 of San Diego’s top fine dining restaurants and 30 gourmet food companies have participated in the festival.

December Nights – December

This favorite annual holiday event is held in historic Balboa Park and features sparkling lights, festive colors, international food and music performances and free admission to all museums.

National University Holiday Bowl Football Game – December

College football action comes to San Diego during the holidays when teams from the Pac-12 Conference and the Big 12 Conference square off and play. Bring friends and family out to cheer on your favorite team, enjoy festive parades, halftime show fireworks and other specials events. If you are planning to attend the game, be sure to arrive early as the stadium parking lot fills quickly due to numerous tailgate parties. 

Poinsettia Bowl Football Game – December

holiday season college football bowl game since 2005, the Mountain West runner-up has played against bowl-eligible (6 wins) Army, Navy and Boise State Broncos in the Poinsettia Bowl. Because of the city's large naval contingent and the Mountain West Conference ties to San Diego, it has been no surprise that the game has attracted many loyal fans from San Diego and beyond.

Whale Watching Season – December through March

From December through March, visitors to San Diego have the unique opportunity to glimpse one of nature’s most extraordinary events—the migration of California gray whales. View these beautiful mammals as they travel from the chilly Alaskan seas to the warm water lagoons of Baja California where they birth and rear their young.

For more on planning a trip to San Diego around an event, view the San Diego Events Calendar.

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