Summer might be coming to an end – but that doesn’t mean there’s any less to do in San Diego. From food fairs and film festivals to outdoor concerts by the sea, there is no shortage of awesome activities to keep you busy all month long. Here are our top 15 favorite things to do in San Diego this September!
B Street Cruise Ship Terminal Pier. World Master Sand Sculptors will come from all over the world to challenge the best in the U.S! Watch sand sculpting demonstrations from 11 master sculptors carving for 4 days; enjoy live entertainment (big bands and singers), a dozen gourmet food trucks, a great view of the bay, a bunch of kids’ activities including their very own sand sculpture classes, and tall ships and cannon battles.
Museum of Photographic Arts. The Horrible Imaginings Film Festival will “Usher In the Season of Fear” at Balboa Park this year! There will be over 70 international feature and short horror films, as well as readings, panels, discussions, performance art, and more. Film blocks will highlight the diversity of the horror genre, with themes focusing on animation, comedy, science fiction and creature feature, supernatural, and more. This is San Diego’s premiere celebration of horror!
Along Garnet Ave in Pacific Beach. With over 60,000 attendees expected, this is touted as the largest Brazilian festival on the West Coast. A free, fun and family friendly festival, activities include a street fair with more than 150 vendors, food court, kids zone and carnaval parade complete with floats. Music from Brazil is the sound for the day with two different stages for bands and performing groups. The festival will be held outdoors in Pacific Beach, a city known by local Brazilians as the “Rio de Janeiro of North America.”
SEE ALSO: 5 Spots to Stargaze This Summer
Embarcadero Marina Park North. The Blues Festival aims to provide great blues music at an affordable price while raising money to support the battle against hunger in our community. This year, Grammy winners Los Lobos will headline the event and be joined by Blues Hall of Fame members Bobby Rush, Nikki Hill, Watermelon Slim and others. The lineup features nine acts over the course of Saturday covering a broad spectrum of blues styles. If you love the blues, this is the festival for you!
September 10 & 11
Coronado Ferry Landing; 1100 Orange Ave, Coronado 92118. The 11th annual 2-day Coronado Art Walk is a juried art show that showcases paintings, hand crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics, woodworking and other mediums. This is a free, family friendly event where you’ll get to see extraordinary handcrafted displays. Other highlights include: bites from local restaurants, galleries and shops, musical entertainment throughout both days from the Ferry Landing Stage as well as free art activities for young and old alike.
Gaslamp Quarter. Experience San Diego’s most delicious eateries in the bustling neighborhoods of the Gaslamp Quarter, Core District, and East Village. Sample-sized bites allow you to explore without the commitment of a full menu and enjoy as many different items as possible. Tickets can be purchased in advance for just $30, or $35 the day of the event. New for 2016: Blue Chair Bay Rum will be featured at some of the many participating restaurants to wet your whistle as you sample delectable bites!
Mission Bay Park; 1404 Vacation Rd, San Diego. San Diego’s largest annual family festival and speedboat classic boasts top notch boat racing, interactive exhibits, vendors, food and beer gardens, a kids’ fun zone, nightly live entertainment and a Saturday night fireworks extravaganza. Over individual racing classes and 150 teams highlight this year’s exciting speed classic; some of the boats will be racing at speeds over 225 miles per hour! Bring the whole family and enjoy a day by the water in one of the most beautiful parts of San Diego County.
SEE ALSO: 5 Luxe Swimming Spots in San Diego
KAABOO is three days of live music, fun, and sunshine in Del Mar. There’s plenty of shade and seating, all restrooms are clean with flushable toilets (no porta-potties), and there is no dirt, dust or mud to fight through! Enjoy the world-class music, hilarious comedy, incredible cuisine, craft libations, inspiring contemporary art, and personal indulgences; new this year, enjoy an indoor spa and relaxation zone plus an exciting boutique shopping experience. This year’s headliners include Jimmy Buffett, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, and more.
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. San Diego is once again hosting the largest military Air Show in the country! This year’s theme is Celebrating 100 Years of the Marine Corps Reserves. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will put on another thrilling performance, and Civilian Breitling L-39 Jet Team will be performing along with U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, U.S. Army Golden Nights and the Marine Air Ground Task Force. There will be more than 100 military and civilian aircraft, simulation rides, a kids zone, and a variety of delicious food and beverage offerings.
Broadway Pier. One of the biggest beer events of the year is back! This indoor/outdoor event will feature live music and nearly 60 different breweries serving up 120 varieties of tasty brews. There will be food items and munchies for sale in addition to a selection of fine wines for purchase by the glass. Each ticket includes admission into the event, unlimited (2 oz) beer tastes, and the first 1,500 guests will receive a free souvenir event logo tasting mug. Plus, it’s for a good cause – all proceeds benefit local cancer-fighting charities.
Golden Hill Park; 2590 Golden Hill Drive. This year marks the 17th season for Tour de Fat, which will travel to 9 cities across the U.S. The events kick off with a costumed bicycle parade that winds through city streets and ends in a city park. That’s when eclectic entertainment takes over – from musical acts to yo-yo performers, bike contests and even vaudeville acts. This year will also include some brewing education and a “Bicycle Revival” to inspire festival-goers to believe in the power of two-wheeled transportation.
September 24 & 25
Adams Avenue. Southern California’s largest free two-day music festival returns this weekend, featuring 110 musical acts on eight stages. There will also be several beer gardens and beer tastings, giant carnival rides, festival foods and more than 350 arts and crafts booths. Beer connoisseurs will enjoy the Street Fair’s Craft Beer Taste; three additional beer gardens are open throughout the two-day run of the street fair featuring full pour servings of San Diego’s best craft beer selection.
September 24 & 25
Menghini Winery; 1150 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian 92036. Julian’s two-day festival celebrates the arrival of fall with apple displays, music and dancing, an antique tractor display, children’s games and activities, gold panning demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, food and merchandise vendors, contests, and, of course, apple pie. The event runs from 10am-5pm both days, and admission is $5 for adults with children 12 and under free of charge.
September 25-Oct 2
For one week this fall, enjoy the seasonal, nutritious, local food that will be featured during San Diego Restaurant Week. For eight days, indulge in unique dishes and ingredients at over 180 participating restaurants throughout San Diego County. Dinner will be served as a three-course, prix-fixe menu for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and lunch will be served as a two-course prix-fixe menu for only $10, $15 or $20 per person. See website for a list of participating restaurants.
September 28-Oct 2
The San Diego International Film Festival returns this fall for another round of incredible films. SDiFF offers a totally unique experience to catch first time and veteran filmmakers as they debut their latest work to command the attention of new audiences and industry luminaries. Be among the first to see major studio premieres on the road to the Hollywood awards! This five-day event features 100+ independent films, studio premieres, panels with celebrities and industry insiders, red carpet events, parties, all-star tributes and filmmaker awards.
[images: eventful.com, everfest.com, pacificsandiego.com]
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