During San Diego’s shoulder season, visitors can find a variety of annual festivals and fairs, haunting Halloween celebrations and diverse cultural entertainment. With nearly perfect weather and an entire month devoted to “kids free” offerings, fall is an ideal time to visit San Diego.
Here are the top 10 reasons to visit San Diego this fall:
Kids Play for Free: The popular “Kids Free San Diego” promotion returns this October. All major San Diego attractions, including SeaWorld, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND California will offer free admission to kids with paid adult admission throughout the month, along with more than 30 other area museums and attractions.
In total, more than 100 San Diego attractions, hotels and restaurants will offer Kids Free specials throughout October.
Food Fests Galore:
During Nov. 15-22, the 12th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival takes over the Embarcadero Marina Park North and other venues throughout downtown San Diego.
On Oct. 25, the Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla hosts the 13th Annual Celebrate the Craft culinary showcase. Renowned chefs, vintners and farmers from across California gather for gourmet cooking demonstrations which highlight natural ingredients and innovative cooking and winemaking.
The Ultimate Beer Tasting: From Nov. 6-15, 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 10-day celebration.
Music and Dancing in the Streets: Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System present the 17th Annual Trolley Dances, Sept. 26-27 and Oct. 3-4. Guests riding the light-rail San Diego Trolley are treated to site-specific choreographed dance performances along the trolley’s line, including dances at San Diego’s new Waterfront Park and Balboa Park in celebration of the park’s Centennial. On Oct. 10-11, CRSSD returns to the Waterfront Park.
This electronic music festival with craft beer, cocktails and food vendors features more than 40 top acts, including The Flaming Lips, Big Data, and Jamie XX among others. Performers appear on three stages during this ticketed, paid-admission event for attendees 21 and older.
Racing Season, Take Two: San Diego’s Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has added a second racing season for the second year in a row; the traditional summer season continues through Sept. 3, and the fall Bing Crosby Season runs Oct. 29−Nov. 29, Thursday through Sunday.
Fantastic Film Festivals: The acclaimed San Diego International Film Festival returns Sept. 30−Oct. 4, offering a slate of films that showcase the best in American and international full-length features, documentaries and shorts. During Nov. 5-14, the 16th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival presents films, videos and workshops that celebrate the work of Asian artists from around the world.
World-Class Contemporary Art: More than 60 galleries from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia will showcase paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, videos and cutting-edge multimedia artworks during ART SAN DIEGO 2015. Held Nov. 5-8 in Balboa Park, the event serves as a marketplace for the world’s leading contemporary art galleries.
Halloween, Attraction-Style: Halloween makes a splash with a Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld celebration featuring trick-or-treat stations, special Halloween-themed shows, a variety of up-close animal encounters and photo opportunities. LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad joins in the Halloween fun with its annual Brick-or-Treat celebration featuring a one-of-a-kind, 4-ft. tall LEGO jack-o-lantern, costume contests and trick-or-treating with a souvenir goodie bag along the park’s Brick-or-Treat Trail.
Neighborhoods Come Alive: Southern California’s largest free two-day musical festival, the Adams Avenue Street Fair, returns Sept. 26-27 to the Normal Heights neighborhood with four beer gardens, seven stages and more than 90 musical acts, performing rock, country, folk and more.
On Oct. 11, Little Italy in downtown San Diego presents the 20th Annual Little Italy Festa. A grand celebration of Italian culture, this traditional street festival offers music, fine foods, specialty crafts and Gesso Italiano, a classic Italian street chalk painting exhibition.
Summer Weather Doesn’t End With Summer: When autumn arrives, San Diego’s weather stays warm while summer crowds at the beach diminish. With average temperatures in the 70s and 80s, summer weather in San Diego continues daily until November.
Happiness is calling in San Diego. 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