Discover spooky attractions, exciting events, and mouth-watering restaurants this fall.
Attractions and Events
The 11th Annual “Kids Free San Diego” is returning this October with special savings and fun for the entire family. During the entire month, San Diego hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums, tours and transportation companies are offering families with kids 12 and under a variety of deals from complimentary attraction and museum admission to free meals as well as welcome amenities at area hotels.
CRSSD Festival, a bi-annual two-day electronic music festival, returns to Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego on Sept. 24 and 25. The lineup features a wide array of illuminating techno, house and electronic music artists including Duck Sauce, Jamie xx, DRAMA, Dom Dolla, Fatboy Slim, MK and Sonny Fodera.
ArtWalk Carlsbad returns for its third year to Armada Drive, bringing art experiences, visual arts and live music to North County on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25. Attendees can browse for artwork and enjoy food, wine and beer, and live entertainment at the two-day, free event. This arts festival will focus on fine art on display and for sale by the artists, who travel from all over the US and Mexico to show and sell their work.
San Diego Restaurant Week, hosted by the California Restaurant Association, returns with over 100 restaurants across 30+ neighborhoods for eight days of dining. From Sept. 25 – Oct. 2, diners can indulge and support local restaurants with diverse menus featuring special prix-fixe pricing throughout the county. Guests can enjoy two-course lunches for $10, $15, $20, and $25 and three-course dinners for $20, $30, $40, and $50, depending on the restaurant’s price points.
For the first time, The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular is coming to Sesame Place San Diego this year on select dates from Sept. 17 – Oct. 30. The park will be transformed into a family-friendly Halloween lair where guests can enjoy trick-or-treating around the park, Halloween-themed shows, an interactive Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt and unique photo opportunities with everyone’s favorite Sesame Place friends dressed up in costume on their Halloween-themed floats.
SeaWorld San Diego’s Howl-O-Scream reawakens on Sept. 16 through Oct. 31. This separately ticketed event offers all the scares and screams of a typical Halloween event, along with the thrilling rides and high-quality entertainment of a theme park. Howl-O-Scream is not recommended for younger guests, but families can still enjoy fun, kid-friendly Halloween festivities during SeaWorld’s annual daytime Spooktacular, which features trick-or-treating, costumes and the return of the Spooktacular Pumpkin Hunt.
Every Saturday night from Sept. 17 – Oct. 29, Monsters are taking over LEGOLAND® California Resort as Brick-or-Treat presents the all-new Monster Party, a bewitching children’s Halloween celebration. Guests can dress up and celebrate Halloween with new LEGO® Monster characters, treat stations, not-so-spooky décor, an all-new show lineup, and the release of the exclusive new 4D movie: “The Great Monster Chase!”
The 21st Annual San Diego International Film Festival returns this year from Oct. 19 – 23, bringing back the Opening Night Film Premiere & Reception, the Night of the Stars Tribute, Culinary Cinema, plus more in-person parties, panels and networking events.
A family-friendly immersive 20,000-square-foot experience, Jurassic World: The Exhibition, is coming to San Diego Oct. 31 for a limited engagement at the Westfield Mission Valley Mall. Visitors will walk through the world-famous “Jurassic World” gates, explore richly themed environments and encounter life-sized Velociraptors, a Brachiosaurus, and the most fearsome dinosaur of all, the Tyrannosaurus rex.
San Diego Brewers Guild is hosting the 14th-Annual San Diego Beer Week Nov. 4 – 13, the first in-person celebration since 2019. Guild Fest will officially kick-off the week of events on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Surf Sports Park in Del Mar with delicious craft beer from San Diego and beyond, food trucks and live music. The Beer Garden at The Lodge at Torrey Pines will close out the event on Sunday, Nov. 13, featuring a fine-dining food-and-beer pairing experience with 14 chefs and 28 breweries. San Diego Beer Week is a great way to experience San Diego's rich craft beer scene.
The highly anticipated Wonderfront Festival 2022 will return to San Diego’s downtown waterfront Nov. 18 – 20. This three-day music, culinary and arts festival will feature seven-plus stages and 80+ bands. This year’s the lineup will include Zac Brown Band, Kings of Leon, Gwen Stefani, G-Eazy, Young the Giant and more.
New Hotels & Renovations
The recently renovated M Club Lounge at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina provides travelers with a private space where they can retreat, recharge and refocus 24/7. Exclusive amenities include enhanced continental breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages. Access for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members is complimentary, plus one guest, or with a Daily Access Fee for non-members.
Arts and Culture
Art lovers can stop and smell the roses at Oceanside Museum of Art's brand-new exhibition Gail Roberts: Color Field, open July 30 through Nov. 27. This exhibition showcases over 130 equally scaled oil paintings of singular flowers created over a five-year period, organized in spectrum with reference to the hues found in nature. Six out of seven continents are represented in this “garden” through plants native to areas including North America, Central America, and South America, along with Europe, Africa, China, the Middle East, and Australia.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) Downtown location is featuring a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Carmen Argote, on the occasion of a major acquisition of her work from now until Oct. 23. Titled Carmen Argote: Filtration System for a Process-based Practice, the exhibition features six interwoven series that draw inspiration from Lincoln Park in East Los Angeles through sculpture, drawing, voice recordings, and the artist’s perennial walking practice––the majority of which was created during the past two years of the pandemic and will be on view for the first time.
From Sept. 15 – Feb. 5, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla location will present Alexis Smith: The American Way, the first retrospective of California artist Alexis Smith in thirty years. Featuring work produced throughout the artist's career, from the 1970s to the 2010s, the exhibition highlights the themes that permeate the artist's oeuvre, including her interests in gender, identity, and class.
The Museum Of__, a small museum located within the Quint Gallery in La Jolla, is presenting CAUGHT, a selection of 441 portraits by Dana Van Horn. Van Horn completes one mugshot in monochromatic watercolors every evening between 9:30 and 11:00 p.m., which are arranged in columns of seven, for each day of the week. Fascinated by the endless variation of human physiognomy, Van Horn picks his subjects mostly for formal artistic qualities, removed from the context of their arrest.
The internationally acclaimed Lightscape show will illuminate the San Diego Botanic Garden from Nov. 18 – Jan. 1. The enchanting, after-dark, illuminated trail will span one mile and feature a festive world of wonder with over one million twinkling lights. Attendees will enjoy eye-catching artistic installations from international artists that come alive at night with color, imagination, and sound.
Restaurants, Breweries and Bars
Cloak and Petal, Little Italy’s eclectic Japanese restaurant, has expanded further back in the venue for their most recently renovated venture Shibuya Nights, a "Tokyo Drift" inspired speakeasy with a menu of Asian-fusion dishes and creative cocktails. The 7,500-square-foot space is decked out with colorful murals, neon lights and cherry blossom stems.
Alejandra’s Cocina opened its first San Diego location in Carlsbad this July, bringing refreshing takes on classic Mexican dishes and cocktails to North County. The 5,600-square-foot venue will include spacious indoor and outdoor dining areas with two separate bars for gathering and relaxing.
Opened July in Oceanside, KNVS is an innovative concept where immersive-art-gallery meets restaurant and bar. Developed by Kevin Shin, the entrepreneur behind three food-and-drink outlets at the Fin Hotel in Oceanside, KNVS rotates its featured visual artists quarterly with the food and beverage team creating a coinciding menu inspired by the art on the walls.
Opened July 2022, Sushi Taisho is the newest addition to the heart of Carlsbad Village. With a completely remodeled interior and large outdoor patio space, this beach-side sushi bar features an expansive menu of Asian fusion bites meshing unique flavors from all over the world. The restaurant’s menu features fresh, share-able creative takes on Japanese cuisine as well as classic sushi offerings.
Mothership, opened August in San Diego's South Park neighborhood, is a tropical space-themed, plant-based bar & restaurant from the owners of nearby death-metal-themed restaurant Bar Kindred. Inspired as a take it and run offshoot of Kindred's weekly "Permanent Vacation" pop-up, Mothership is an exceedingly outrageous tropical space adventure bar featuring frequently changing wild cocktails and unique plant-based food offerings.
Opened August in La Jolla, Marisi features a menu rooted in regional dishes from the whole of Italy, including handmade pasta and hearth-cooked meats and seafood. The international and highly intense cocktail program features an array of Italian aperitivos, homemade limoncello, rare spirits and an Italian pilsner made specifically for Marisi.
Opening by the end of summer in North Park, Botanica is an art-forward cocktail bar bringing an immersive drinking and social experience to San Diego through its focus on botanical spirits and simultaneously supporting emerging artists, displaying and acting as a marketplace for NFT art. Botanica will be one of the first NFT cocktail bars on the West Coast and one of very few in the United States.
Gordon Ramsay’s HELL’S KITCHEN restaurant opened August in Harrah’s Resort Southern California, making the restaurant California’s very first and largest location to date. The restaurant’s design and menu, emblazoned with the iconic red and blue flames, is a direct reflection of the acclaimed FOX culinary competition series of the same name. An elegant bar, full-service restaurant, exhibition kitchen and curated wine wall are a few highlights of the dining experience.
South of Nick’s, a Mexican restaurant hotspot with locations across Southern California, is scheduled to open by late fall at One Paseo, Del Mar's posh outdoor shopping center. The menu will feature shared starters, Mexican soups, salads, seafood dishes, and plates of carnitas and enchiladas to pair with a lengthy list of cocktails centered around agave spirits and flights of sipping tequilas.
Awards and Recognitions
San Diego International Airport (SAN) Terminal 1 is currently going through major renovations to update the terminal with a modern and efficient facility that will improve the airport experience and complete the transformation of San Diego’s air transportation gateway. The first phase of the New T1 project is set to be completed in 2025 with the project’s full completion anticipated in late 2028. Visitors flying into or out of SAN Terminal 1 should be aware of construction impacts, lane closures and transit options. To learn more, click here.
San Diego International Airport (SAN) added non-stop service to Montréal, Québec, Canada via Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) on Air Canada starting May 21. Flights operate three times weekly.
San Diego International Airport (SAN) added non-stop service to Oakland, Calif. via Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK) on Spirit Airlines starting May 25. Flights operate once daily.
For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including exciting vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at www.sandiego.org.
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