Fun San Diego Fall and Winter Activities
The famously mild year-round weather in “America’s Finest City” means that there’s never a bad time for getting out and enjoying the area. And now that autumn is in the air, a whole host of amazing activities will be dotting the metro’s events calendar. Looking for some great San Diego fall and winter goings-on? Take a look at some of what’s happening, and live like a local!
The lovely and pastoral city of Julian is just over an hour away from us, and there’s no place San Diegans enjoy more during the Autumn season. Reason being, Julian is apple country! Apple-picking season typically runs from September through November here, and the city certainly celebrates its delicious heritage with events aplenty. You’ll discover pick-your-own orchards, apple cider stands, hayrides, hoedowns, festivals and more.
San Diego Fleet Week (Oct 3–11)
San Diego and the U.S. Armed Forces have always had a very close relationship. Our oceanside location, excellent community, and famously mild year-round weather make for the perfect place from which the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines can launch operations and conduct exercises. San Diego celebrates the men and women of these forces every year with a blowout Fleet Week event. This year’s Fleet Week takes place from Oct. 3–11 on Broadway Pier in Downtown San Diego. Visitors can look forward to amazing food, live music, vendors, sports tournaments, and much more.
Halloween at SeaWorld (weekends through Oct. 31)
SeaWorld is hosting a pair of seasonal spookfests on Saturdays and Sundays through Halloween. The “treats by day” SeaWorld Spooktacular is a family-friendly event where kids can come to trick-or-treat, show off their costumes, and visit their favorite animals and Sesame Street friends. You can also enjoy the “frights by night” Howl-O-Scream, where the SeaWorld you know and love will be transformed into a seriously sinister experience, complete with creepy creatures and haunted horrors. Visit if you dare!
500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
What better way to celebrate spooky season than by embarking on a fun and fright-filled excursion through some of the city’s most haunted places? Ghosts & Gravestones tours offers several packages that promise a blood-curdling peek into the past of the oldest city in the state. Thanks to our rich history, many of our darkest corners are said to be inhabited by the spirits of those who came before. So take a ride on the dark side and see for yourself.
4010 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92110
The Pumpkin Patch at Bates Nut Farm (through Oct. 31)
Lots of locals love to go nuts at Bates Nut Farm in the fall season. For more than 50 years, Bates Nut Farm has been welcoming families to its pumpkin patch for a truly “gourd” time. Fall activities you can look forward to through Halloween this year include tractor hay rides, a straw maze, a petting zoo, pony rides, and much more. While you’re there, don’t forget to grab a wheelbarrow and load up on an autumn harvest of squash, pumpkins, and other seasonal produce perfect for dining and décor.
15954 Woods Valley Road Valley Center, CA
San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival (Nov. 9–13)
When most people think of California wines, they think of Napa Valley. Still, the varied terrain, endless sunshine, and rich soil of areas like San Pasqual Valley, Rancho Bernardo, and Julian mean that the wineries in the area are creating some impressive bottles worth checking out. San Diego celebrates this amazing wine culture at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. Expect great food, entertainment, and vintage bottles aplenty.
Embarcadero Marina Park North, 400 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Ice Skating may not be the first thing you think of when you’re thinking about San Diego, but rest assured — it should be on the list! Despite our mild weather, “America’s Finest City” has lots of places where skaters can glide gracefully over the ice. Among them:
- Hotel del Coronado: our friends at this Coronado Island institution host a rink overlooking the ocean every year.
- Viejas Casino: you’ll find SoCal’s largest outdoor ice rink here every holiday season.
- Poway Community Park: Poway’s Winter Festival always features an outdoor rink ideal for a holiday skate.
- San Diego Ice Arena: this fantastic facility is open year-round, and also hosts lessons, hockey and more.
Bay Parade of Lights (Dec. 11 & 18)
The Bay Parade of Lights is a uniquely San Diego tradition, returning for its 52nd year. Area boating enthusiasts deck out their dinghies and give their yachts a yuletide makeover, then cruise past the shore in a brilliantly beautiful show of seasonal splendor. This time-honored festival will bring more than 80 boats to the waters off of San Diego, all lavishly decorated to dovetail with this year’s theme: “FantaSEA On the Bay”. More than 100,000 residents are expected to enjoy the brilliantly bright aquatic parade.
Torrey Pines Reserve is one of San Diego’s most beautiful natural places, and the hiking here only gets better when the weather cools down. Expect to discover centuries-old sandstone formations sweeping elegantly across the terrain here, just adjacent to truly spectacular views of the water. You’ll also find one of the rarest trees in existence: the Torrey Pine — which grows only two places on the planet. The preserve is a great place to catch some fresh air.
Holiday Inn Bayside is the ideal spot for all of your seasonal adventures. Our friendly service, guest-first amenities and central location make for the perfect hideaway. Check out our Special Offers page and get the best rates for your itinerary. And if you’re looking for even more seasonal fun in San Diego, Take a look at our Autumn in San Diego Activities Guide.