San Diego is the very picture of autumnal merriment these days, with festivals and celebrations happening all over the county. Whether you’re keen on family fun, a gastronomic adventure, music appreciation, America’s Cup racing or simply getting a jump on holiday shopping — now is a great time to head south.
Tap into San Diego Beer Week (www.sdbw.org) Nov. 4 to 13. San Diego’s award-winning craft beer makers celebrate the region’s brew culture with specialty beers, new releases, rare bottle tastings, brewery tours, brewing classes and beer and food pairings (we’re told beer and bacon is an especially popular twosome this year). Beer week consists of more than 500 events — so pace yourself.
Not-to-miss events include the kick-off San Diego Brewer’s Guild Festival on Nov. 5 with unlimited samples of stellar suds, live music and a beer pairing party. The closing Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines on Nov. 13 promises to be a show-stopper, with unlimited craft beer and food pairings from San Diego’s top chefs and breweries.
The America’s Cup World Series (www.americascup.com), Nov. 12 to 20, offers a thrilling opportunity to watch the state-of-the-art America’s Cup catamarans race across San Diego Bay. The best yacht-spotting locations include the Coronado Ferry Landing, the Embarcadero, Harbor Island, the USS Midway and Seaport Village.
The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival (www.worldofwineevents.com), Nov. 16
to 20, features international and domestic wines and spirits, all-star mixologists and 70 top chefs in a whirlwind of tastings, pairings, auctions, cooking demos and seminars at venues around downtown San Diego.
Kids can frolic in real snow for the first time at Legoland California (www.legoland.com) during “Holiday Snow Days” Nov. 19 to Jan. 2. Making snowmen with Lego accessories and hitting snowball targets add to traditional holiday fun that includes the “Let It Snow” musical Nov. 19 to Dec. 31, the world’s largest Lego Christmas tree and nightly tree-lighting ceremonies Dec. 1 to 24.
If you love all things surf, head to the Encinitas Fall Festival (www.encinitas101.com) on Nov. 20. Surf-themed items are a major draw among the 450 vendor booths and food stalls, children’s rides and live entertainment stages that line coastal Highway 101. Surf art, surf baby clothes, surfboard clocks, wooden decorative surfboards and surf adventure trips are all available for purchase.
For jazz enthusiasts, the place to be Nov. 23 to 27 is the 32nd San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival (www.dixielandjazzfestival.org) at the Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley. Top jazz musicians from teenagers to seasoned veterans provide five days of sizzling entertainment, jam sessions, dancing and fun.
—Barbara Beckley, Brand Publishing Writer