San Diego Tourist Guide

San Diego Calendar of Events

San Diego, California is a year-round vacation destination offering a plethora of major annual events. No matter what time of year, visitors can travel to San Diego, CA and find an extraordinary range of colorful street festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, specialty fairs and much more. For up-to-the-minute event listings, additions and changes, visit

January Events

January 16–21
San Diego Restaurant Week
More than 180 of San Diego’s finest restaurants participate in a celebration of the local dining scene with prix fixed menus.

January 23
Carlsbad San Diego Marathon and Half-Marathon
The second-oldest marathon on the U.S. West Coast also features a Kids’ Marathon Mile the day before the big race, as well as a Health and Fitness Expo.

January 24–30
Farmers Insurance Open
The annual PGA Tour men’s golf tournament is played at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, home of the 2008 U.S. Open.

February Events

Wildflowers Bloom in the Desert
Depending on the timing and amount of winter rainfall, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park turns into a wonderland of color when the spring wildflowers bloom.

February 12
Centennial of Naval Aviation
Coronado’s North Island Naval Air Station and San Diego Bay celebrates the 100th anniversary of naval aviation and the first-ever flight of a Navy aircraft that took place in 1911 in Coronado. The special event includes Navy ship tours, aircraft exhibits, music, food vendors and a large flyover in the afternoon featuring over 200 vintage aircraft.

March Events

Flower Fields Ranunculus Season
Fifty acres of beautiful Tecolote Giant Ranunculus come into bloom every spring at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.

March 2–6
RC 44 San Diego Cup
The world’s best sailors compete in high-performance boat races along San Diego Bay. Fourteen 44-foot boats with eight-person crews race for the first-place title in a competition reminiscent of NASCAR's pit row.

March 8
Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp Quarter
This is the biggest Fat Tuesday celebration on the U.S. West Coast. Parades, music and beads take over downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter.

March 10–20
18th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival
San Diego’s proximity to Mexico makes it a natural venue for this prestigious film festival, focusing on works by Latinos or about the Latino experience, held at the UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center in Mission Valley.

March 12
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival
’Tis the luck of the Irish for San Diego when the St. Patrick’s Day Parade sets off from Juniper and 6th Street by Balboa Park. An Irish festival with traditional dancers, music, a beer garden and Celtic village follows the parade.

March 12–13
7th Annual San Diego Indie Music Fest
Located in the North Park neighborhood, this music festival celebrates contemporary independent music and features more than 65 acts across six music stages.

April Events

San Diego Padres Season
The San Diego Padres step up to the plate and begin another exciting, six-month season of Major League Baseball, played in PETCO Park in downtown San Diego.

April–May TBD
Annual Del Mar National Horse Show
The most prestigious horse show in Southern California offers more than $300,000 in prize money and attracts more than 3,000 horses to the equestrian complex at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in coastal Del Mar CA.

April 2
Ford California Half-Ironman Triathlon
Athletes from all over the world swim 1.2 miles in Oceanside Harbor, bike 56 miles through Camp Pendleton and run 13.1 miles back to the finish line at Oceanside Pier in the San Diego North County city of Oceanside.

April 2–3
38th Annual San Diego Crew Classic Regatta
Rowers from across the country come to Crown Point Shores on Mission Bay to participate in one of the most distinguished rowing competitions in the U.S.

April 16–17
Spring Busker Festival
Seaport Village comes alive with a celebration of street performers in a battle of entertainment and one-of-a-kind performances by jugglers, sword swallowers, comedic stuntmen and much more.

April 15–17
47h Annual Lakeside Rodeo
Bareback bronco rides, calf roping and other traditional rodeo competitions, along with food and crafts, bring the Wild West to life in the San Diego East County town of Lakeside.

April 16–17
86th Annual Coronado Flower Show
The nation’s largest flower show under a tent takes place in Spreckels Park. Flower exhibits are placed around a central gazebo, which becomes the stage for live entertainment and trophy presentations.

April 17
Annual San Diego Earth Fair
Set in Balboa Park, the celebration of planet Earth features a children's parade, booths, educational exhibits, music and earth-friendly food.

April 17
Fallbrook Avocado Festival
Since the 1960s, tens of thousands of avocado lovers converge in Fallbrook, located in San Diego’s North County, to sample avocados, check-out the crazy cooking contest entries, buy funky avocado-themed gifts and enjoy bands, live entertainment and friendly beer gardens.

April 30–May 1
San Diego Adams Avenue Roots & Folk Festival
Guests enjoy vintage blues, folk, Appalachian, country, bluegrass and Celtic music performed by roots artists on seven outdoor stages. Held at Adams Park in University Heights, the free event also includes a beer garden, food and crafts.

April 30–May 1
Mission Federal ArtWalk
This free visual and performing arts celebration takes place in downtown San Diego’s colorful Little Italy neighborhood and is the largest art event in San Diego.

May Events

May 7
Carlsbad Spring Village Faire
One of the largest one-day street fairs in California features hundreds of exhibitors, international food and children's rides in the downtown village of Carlsbad.

May 6–7
Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo
A celebration of Mexican spirit and culture, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in Old Town, the birthplace of San Diego, features music, food and entertainment for the entire family.

May 6–8
Gator by the Bay, Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival
Knee-slapping good times abound at Spanish Landing on Harbor Island. The event features 25 bands on five stages, dance lessons, Cajun cooking demonstrations and delicious crawfish.

May 22
18th Annual Sicilian Festival
The music, dance, culture and cuisine of Sicily come to the streets of downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood with four performance stages, a parade of costumed dancers, musicians and more.

June Events

June TBA
16th Annual Wings Over Gillespie Air Show
San Diego’s biggest civilian air show includes re-enactments of WWII and Vietnam War aerial battles with pyrotechnic and aircraft displays, along with live entertainment, a Kidz Zone, food and more.

June 5
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
It’s a 26.2-mile race and block party all in one! The marathon begins at Balboa Park and finishes at SeaWorld San Diego on Mission Bay. Live music and cheer squads line the route, while a killer post-race party and headliner concert celebrates everyone’s victory.

June 10–July 4
San Diego County Fair
The 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.

June 13–September 25
The Old Globe Theatre’s Summer Shakespeare Festival
Three dynamic Shakespeare productions are performed in nightly rotation in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre of the Tony Award ®-winning Old Globe theatre in Balboa Park.

June 18
6th Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition
Dozens of dogs take to the waves at Imperial Beach to compete in small dog, large dog and tandem surfing heats.

June 25–26
Annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts and Food Faire
Held on the University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla, the event includes award-winning artists, gourmet cuisine, contemporary music and entertainment.

July Events

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Season
Summer performances are held under the stars in downtown San Diego along San Diego Bay; fireworks occur on some nights.

July 4
Fourth of July Celebrations
Fireworks, festivals and patriotic parades are held in numerous neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. The most notable celebration is in Coronado with a two-hour parade, the largest on the U.S. West Coast; art-in-the-park; an afternoon concert in Spreckels Park; rough water swim, and spectacular fireworks display.

July 9–10 & 16–17
58th Annual World Championship Over-the-Line Tournament
A San Diego original, this boisterous, fast-paced beach softball event is played at Fiesta Island on Mission Bay.

July 15–17
Festival of the Bells
The festival celebrates the anniversary of the founding of Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first mission in California.

July 16–17
San Diego LGBT Pride Parade, Rally and Festival
One of the city’s largest grassroots organizations, San Diego LGBT Pride sponsors a weekend of festivities including a headlining parade through Hillcrest and two-day festival in Balboa Park.

July 20–September 7
Del Mar Racing
Horses and fans alike meet for live thoroughbred racing five days a week at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in oceanfront Del Mar.

July 21–24
Comic-Con International
The largest comics and pop culture event in the United States attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture.

July 22–24
31st Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition
A parade, sandcastle competition, children's sandcastle contest and fireworks occur at the Imperial Beach Pier in Imperial Beach.

August Events

August 5– 26
SummerFest 2011
The La Jolla Music Society presents classical and new compositions with renowned artists and ensembles from around the world, held at various locations in La Jolla and San Diego.

August 14
Hillcrest Cityfest 2011
Arts, crafts, food and entertainment are featured at this popular annual street festival, held along Fifth Avenue in the eclectic neighborhood of Hillcrest.

August TBA
35th Annual World Body Surfing Championships
International and U.S. body surfers compete at the Oceanside Pier and Beach in San Diego’s North County.

August 25–28
Julian Star Fest
Guests can explore the world of astronomy during this four-day festival, the second biggest in California, with exhibition areas, guest speakers, an astronomy equipment swap meet and more, held at Menghini Winery in Julian.

September Events

San Diego Chargers Season
The San Diego Chargers "bolt" into action during home games at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley while fans gather in the parking lot for tailgate parties before catching the excitement inside the stadium.

September TBA
17th Annual San Diego Festival of Beer
More than 75 San Diego brewers provide samples and tastings alongside live musical performances, vendors and food booths in downtown San Diego.

September TBA
San Diego Bayfair
This thrilling event features thunderboat racing, tunnel hulls, drag boats, hydroplanes, fireworks and concerts, as well as specialty vendors and food, along and on the waters of Mission Bay.

September TBA
Cabrillo Festival
The exploration of the U.S. West Coast by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 is commemorated at Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma.

September TBA
La Jolla Rough Water Swim
The largest rough-water swimming competition in the U.S. takes place at picturesque La Jolla Cove in La Jolla.

September 10–12
21st Annual Sycuan Pow-Wow
The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation presents a traditional celebration featuring Indian song, dance, arts and crafts, games and food.

September 15–November 15
Annual Julian Fall Apple Harvest
Local residents and guests celebrate autumn with music, art shows, cider and delicious apple pies in the charming mountain town of Julian.

September 18–23
San Diego Restaurant Week
More than 180 of San Diego’s finest restaurants participate in a celebration of the local dining scene with prix fixed menus.

September 24–25
Pacific Islander Festival
The cultures, foods, crafts and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia are showcased at Ski Beach on Mission Bay.

Sept. 28–Oct. 8
San Diego Film Festival
This annual festival offers a fresh take on film premieres, featuring American and international features, thought-provoking documentaries, short films and music videos.

September 30 – Oct. 1
MCAS Miramar Air Show
An award-winning, world-class air show features the best military and civilian pilots in the world, including the U.S. Navy’s famous Blue Angels.

October Events

October 1–2
Julian Apple Days Festival
This two-day festival at Menghini Winery in Julian features music and dancing, an antique tractor display, children’s games, gold panning demonstrations, apple-related contests and more.

October 2–3
Oktoberfest in La Mesa
This traditional German celebration features dancing, food, Bavarian bands, arts and crafts and commercial booths in the San Diego East County city of La Mesa.

October 9
17th Annual Little Italy Precious Festa
This colorful Italian celebration features music, fine food and "Gesso Italiano," a traditional Italian street-painting festival, in downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood.

October 20–28
12th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival
The largest exhibition of Asian-American and Asian international cinema in North America showcases over 140 premiers from around the world at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinema in Hazard Center.

October 29–30
Annual Borrego Days Desert Festival
Weekend activities include arts and crafts, a parade and the Miss Borrego Springs Pageant in the desert town of Borrego Springs.

November Events

November–December TBA
Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
This annual holiday musical jumps right off the pages of the classic Dr. Seuss book and onto the stage of The Old Globe theatre in Balboa Park.

November 4–13
San Diego Beer Week
Hundreds of beer-centric events take place throughout the county during this 10-day festival that highlights San Diego’s award-winning craft beer, breweries and pubs.

November 16–210
8th San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
Wine and food enthusiasts gather for this five-day event, the region’s largest wine and culinary extravaganza, held at several venues throughout downtown San Diego.

November 20
Annual Mother Goose Parade
San Diego East County's annual holiday kick-off celebration features celebrity appearances, whimsical floats, clowns, bands, equestrians and more.

November 23–27
San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival
A jazz celebration that lasts throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, the festival features world-class bands at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in Mission Valley.

November 24–January 1
Holiday of Lights at Del Mar
The public is invited to drive their cars around the infield racetrack of the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar to view more than 350 dazzling holiday light displays.

December Events

December TBA
40th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Hundreds of boats are decorated for this dazzling holiday boat parade of lights on San Diego Bay.

December TBA
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego’s annual pre-Christmas bowl game is played at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley and matches teams from the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conferences. The nationally recognized event features all the pomp and circumstance of a major college post-season football game.

December TBA
Big Bay Balloon Parade and Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
A harbor side parade in downtown San Diego is followed by a major college bowl game at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley featuring teams from the Pac-10 and Big 12 Conferences. The exciting gridiron action is augmented by spectacular pregame and halftime pageantry.

Whale Watching
The majestic California gray whales make their annual migration from the Arctic waters to the warm lagoons in the Gulf of California for breeding. These "peaceful giants of the sea" come within miles of San Diego’s coastline and can be viewed on daily whale watching excursions and from Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma.

December 2–3
Balboa Park December Nights
This celebration of the holiday season is the largest free community festival in San Diego, featuring foods and crafts from around the world, music and events at Balboa Park’s diverse museums.

December 4
La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival
Marching bands, floats, equestrians, vintage automobiles and more parade down the streets of La Jolla. The parade ends with a holiday festival featuring craft booths, carnival rides, food, entertainment and a tree lighting ceremony.

San Diego, California