Best Fall Activities San Diego
Credit: Kambria Fischer

From Spooky Nightcaps to Pumpkin Patches—Here Are 11 Things to Do This Fall in San Diego

It’s Fall Y’all!

‘Tis the spooky season! As autumn’s first chills settle over the coastline, anticipation builds for the day when it’s time to bring out the first bag of candy corn. During September and October, San Diego comes to life with spirited festivities. Who doesn’t want to cozy up with s’mores around a campfire or sample all the ways to include pumpkin in a dish? From haunted corn mazes and beachside festivals to trendy pumpkin patch photo ops, here’s a lineup of San Diego’s top events this fall season.


Cozy Staycation at The Cassara Carlsbad

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Best Fall Activities San Diego
Credit: Kambria Fischer

Cozy up at The Cassara Carlsbad, a picturesque resort situated on San Diego’s stunning coastline. The Fall Resort Package includes luxury accommodations, two admission tickets to the Carlsbad Strawberry Company’s pumpkin patch, as well as free parking and shuttle service to and from the hotel. Have a sweet tooth? The Fun For All S’mores Kit will undeniably enhance your fall getaway. Between the smell of toasted marshmallows and the promise of fall in the air, it’s the perfect opportunity to cuddle up next to one of their cozy fire pits. Going hand in hand with their limited fall packages, dishes such as the Fall Harvest Salad and Bacon and Brussels Sprout Flatbread are appearing on menus in a vibrant display of autumnal flavors. Embrace the seasonal cheer by ordering one of the Cassara Kitchen & Bar’s fun fall cocktails! The new lineup includes drinks such as the Rest in Peach (Tito’s, peach liqueur, lemon, cinnamon and simple syrup) and The Bootlegger (Elijah Craig Bourbon, Laphroaig 10-year Scotch, chai, cinnamon, simple syrup and Angostura bitters) to help you get in the fall spirit.

Location: Carlsbad


Goff Family Pumpkin Patch

Gather at Goff Family Pumpkin Patch, where you’ll find fall cheer in spades. Located at Liberty Station in Point Loma, the patch is open daily from Sept. 22 to Oct. 31. Pumpkins scattered about, twinkling lights and white-washed picnic tables create an adorable fall photo op to snap some cute pictures for your social feed. Admission is free, and you’ll want to check their Instagram for other fun fall events. Previous years have even included a Hocus Pocus movie night! As traffic picks up, park in the Cushing Road parking lot next to Sea Hive in Liberty Station to avoid traffic overflow.

Location: Point Loma


Haunted Corn Maze

Credit: Robyn Ukegawa

As the sun sinks below the horizon and dusk settles, Carlsbad’s cheerful corn maze transforms into a spooky, ominous attraction. The Haunted Corn Maze is set on the grounds of the Carlsbad Strawberry Company and is open to guests every Friday and Saturday during the month of October. Drawing inspiration from themes of popular horror films such as “Bates Motel” and “IT,” expect some hauntingly familiar attractions. Make your way through the one-and-a-half-mile maze under the cloak of darkness while maneuvering through tangled cobwebs, eerie displays and jump-scares at every turn. 

Location: Carlsbad


Spooky Nightcap at Oculto 477

Could there be a better way to cap off All Hallows Eve than at the temple of cocktails? Tucked between the famous Whaley House and El Campo cemetery, Oculto 477 is a hidden speakeasy in the heart of Old Town San Diego. If the tavern’s harrowing location alone doesn’t give you chills, its catacomb decor and modern gothic interior most likely will. The bar projects an eerie yet thrilling ambiance with dimly lit candles that set the tone for a spooky night out. Their menu covers an extensive rotating cocktail list with names fitting for the season. Order their Bubbles and Troubles, Oculto Zombie Drink, or for a daring experience, the Risk It All—and let the dice determine the drink.

Location: Old Town



Pacific Beach Fest

Pacific Beachfest Events
Credit: Kambria Fischer

Embrace pumpkin spice season California style at Pacific Beach Fest. With live music, a volleyball tournament and festive foodie events, it’s a celebration not to be missed. The event will take place on Oct. 7 from Felspar St. to Thomas St. in the heart of Pacific Beach. Enter the city’s fifth annual Volo 4 Sum Volleyball Tournament for some beach fun and a chance to win prizes for the best costumes. Their Best of the Beach Fish Taco Contest is a community favorite. Locals can vote for their favorite tacos in a competition between five local vendors, all competing for the title.

Location: Pacific Beach



Brick Burger Pop-Up

Best Fall Activities San Diego
Credit: Brick Burger Global

This adorable Lego-themed burger shack is bringing the world of LEGO to life in San Diego. Exclusively in Little Italy on Nov. 18-19, Brick Burger features LEGO decor and a brick building station. The brand is dedicated to making food a fun experience for all, which isn’t hard considering the brightly colored buns and DIY-order style. Guests can pick between a beef, chicken or veggie patty and top it off with additions of their choice. Tickets can be purchased here and include two burger sliders, a side of house french fries and a soft drink.

Location: Little Italy


Beachside Fall Fest at Belmont Park

Fall Day Belmont Park
Credit: Belmont Park

The fall festivities have officially made their way to Belmont Park with Beachside Fall Fest. While California’s fall season may not show its face through scarlet leaves, locals still know how to embrace the fall festivities sand-and-surf style. With fall treats, thrilling rides, seasonal drinks and a pumpkin patch, it’s an event not to be missed. With Breast Cancer Awareness month just around the corner, the festival is honoring the occasion with a 5k community run, as well as pink-themed decor and treats scattered throughout the park grounds.

Location: Belmont Park



Taste of North Park

Known by locals as San Diego’s evergrowing capital for cocktail lounges, eclectic eateries and trendy coffee shops, Taste of North Park celebrates the community’s vibrant culinary scene. Come out on Oct. 7 to support some of the neighborhood’s finest restaurants and breweries. Participating businesses include Communal Coffee, Northside Shack, Thai Time North Park and Flap Your Jacks. After indulging in pad thai and griddled pancakes, browse the local boutique pop-ups and innovative art displays while dancing to live music. Finish the day by scoping out the festive fall drinks at showcased breweries, including Bivouac Ciderworks and Kairoa Brewing Co.

Location: North Park


Haunted Trail in Balboa Park

Best Fall Activities San Diego
Credit: Mike Rollerson

Abandon hope all ye who enter here. Rated as one of America’s top-five best haunted attractions, Balboa Park’s Haunted Trail is a Halloween favorite in San Diego. The trail is open from Sept. 22 through Oct. 31. Start the night out in the eXperiment Maze, a 3,500-square-foot maze that will take you back in time to fairytale classics with a terrifying twist. If you’re feeling brave enough to continue, move on to the famed Haunted Trail. The mile-long path snakes through Balboa Park, beginning at Demented Doll Island and ending at the Haunted Hotel with Room 666.

Location: Balboa Park



The Great Pumpkin Beer Festival

Mark your calendars on Oct. 22 for San Diego’s Great Pumpkin Beer Festival. What started as a Seattle tradition has made its way to the Gaslamp Quarter! The Halloween festivities will be in full swing at this haunted strip with an explosion of pumpkins, spooky costumes, music and seasonal libations. Try over 40 autumn-inspired concoctions from Ale Apothecary and Headless Horsemen Hideaway. Rumor has it the event will also kick off with a river of beer from their pumpkin keg, weighing over 1,000 pounds. Indulge in the fall foodie scene, showcasing seasonal favorites such as butternut squash pizza, peach cobbler and pumpkin egg rolls.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter


Seasonal Doughnuts at Devil’s Dozen

When pumpkin spice season is activated, scoping out the best fall doughnuts is a nonnegotiable. Devil’s Dozen Donuts has you covered with their Halloween flavors and intricate designs that cap each delicate pastry. As the brand boldly yet truthfully states upon entering, “It would be a sin not to indulge.” That’s not hard to avoid with their fluffy, fried-to-perfection masterpieces. While flavors rotate weekly, their signature Tres Leches, Vanilla Bean and Old Fashioned remain in-house staples. Fall favorites are expected to return with ghoulish creations that will leave you spellbound. Previous flavors posted on their Instagram include Poisoned Apple, BooBerry and The Burton.

Location: Little Italy

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