It’s no wonder San Diego plays hosts to many world-recognized events; gorgeous year-round weather, a fantastic downtown, and plenty of venues.
While Comic-Con and San Diego Fringe Festival may get most of the buzz, there are a ton of other festivals worth checking out. And, if you enjoy not only snacking the day away, but talking to experts about their products, these are the festivals to check out!
1. Avocado Festival
Have you ever tried Avocado ice cream? Since the 1960s, avocado aficionados have converged on Fallbrook to celebrate the many uses for avocados. From delicious guacamole to a cooking competition, there is plenty to see and taste!
Come be entertained by several bands and creative theme artworks. You won’t want to miss your chance to witness a Best Decorated Avocado Contest first hand.
Fallbrook is a rural community in North County San Diego, where several avocado groves can be seen from the festival site. If you don’t think you can eat avocado all day, not to worry: there are plenty of other food booths and beer gardens to enjoy.
The Annual Avocado Festival is held in April, on Main St. in Fallbrook.
2. Valley Center Food Truck Festival
There have been plenty of events in San Diego showcasing amazing food truck cuisine, but none compares to the annual event held in Valley Center by Luck Media Group. The top gourmet food trucks from all over San Diego (and a few from Orange County and Los Angeles) descend on Bates Nut Farm for a spectacular day full of all the regular Food Fest Fixin’s: music, beer garden, food and a kids’ zone.
This kid zone is unlike any other. Sponsored by Wow Factor, this Kids’ Zone features so many inflatable toys—like a parachute rocket ride, and giant bubbles, you’ll wish you could play there too!
No one does a Food Truck convention quite like San Diego.
San Diego Food Trucks Festival.
3. Latin Food Festival
Probably one of the most well organized and thoughtfully constructed food festivals on this list, the Latin Food Festival hosts cookbook signings, tasting tents, cooking demos and live music.
The event takes place twice a year—once in Santa Monica in the spring and at the San Diego Marina Park North in the late summer. This is your chance to watch celebrity chefs cook their signature dishes live, and not only enjoy wonderful food, but maybe pick up a few tips.
4. San Diego Festival of Beer
Recently San Diego’s craft brewing scene has blown up, so what better way to celebrate than attending a festival dedicated to the art of beer? With over 120 varieties of beer, and over 21 years of experience, this is one of our sunny city’s biggest festivals.
Not only do you get to enjoy your favorite breweries bests, but also the festival is dedicated to raising money to fight cancer. Over a half million dollars has been donated to several cancer-fighting charities such as Rady Children’s Hospital and Cancer Angels.
Decades ago this was just a small event with only 700 people in attendance. This year they expect over 4,000 people to show up.
Located at the Broadway Pier for two years in a row, you can most likely expect it to stay at the beautiful indoor/outdoor facility in the future. The Festival of Beer takes place in September.
5. Julian Apple Days Festival
When apple-picking season starts, the quaint town of Julian becomes an ultimate way to celebrate the fall season. “Famous Julian Apples” are available for picking straight off the tree mid-September until the end of October, or until they are gone! Take a stroll throughout town, grab a slice of delicious apple pie—then check with the local orchards about their apple-picking rules and you’re sure to have a grand weekend.
The highlight of Apple Days is a two-day festival that occurs the first or second weekend in October. Family friendly activities like panning for gold, animal petting, and historical skits happen at Menghini Winery, just outside of town. Apple Days has been happening for over 100 years. Head to Main St. in Julian, and the signs will point you towards Menghini Winery (located on Farmers Road).
6. San Diego Bay Food and Wine Week
Celebrity chefs, world-renowned wines, and a beautiful location—no wonder Food and Wine Week is one of the largest in the nation.
With mouth-watering treats and experts all around, this week is about finding the newest food trends while also tasting some of the best wine and spirits in the world. San Diego has a fantastic food scene, so it’s fantastic when events like this showcase local culinary artists.
This is more than a weekend activity with events happening the entire week before Thanksgiving. Everything from culinary classes and wine tasting seminars to celebrity chef dinners and auctions, it’ll be hard to decide what to attend and what to save for next year.
As the poshest festival on this list, the tickets are rather expensive.