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A family enjoys a festival.

7 Festivals to Attend in San Diego

Travel to San Diego and explore these premier and exemplary festivals. Whether you prefer art, culinary, or air shows, you'll find these festivals to be an ideal way to experience San Diego. 

Here are seven water parks you won't want to miss the next time you visit San Diego.

1. mission federal artwalk

Explore San Diego during the spring and check out the Mission Federal ArtWalk. Each April, usually over the last weekend, 17 blocks in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood are filled with art displays, live music and dance, food concessions, and interactive art experiences. Drive in from nearby cities Chula Vista or National City and experience an eclectic blend of art and southern California culture. 

2. San Diego Beer week

Each November, San Diego becomes a beer lovers haven during San Diego Beer Week. Usually held at the beginning of the second week in November, San Diego Beer Week features a slew of events – check out the San Diego Brewers Guild Takeover, where you can become a VIP Brewer Takeover, held at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. One of the main highlights during San Diego Beer Week is the closing event: Beer Garden at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. With 24 different breweries and 12 chefs on hand, you'll get your fill of delicious craft beer and well paired, gourmet food. Make the drive in from El Cajon during the 10-day festival.

3. San Diego Film Festival

The San Diego Film Festival is one of the premier annual events in the city. Film buffs and movie lovers from nearby cities like Santee and La Jolla make their way to movie venues in bother the Gaslamp Quarter and the ArcLight Cinemas in La Jolla; all for five days of film celebration in late September. The San Diego Film Festival began in 2001, and has since grown into a leading industry event. Each year there are more than 100 movies screened, panel discussions with top hollywood producers, actors, and directors, and an awards ceremony.

4. Adams avenue street fair

NY Lake

Music festival crowd enjoying the show.

An ideal event for music lovers, the Adams Avenue Street Fair is California's largest free, two-day musical festival. The last weekend of every September, the Normal Heights community is bustling with live music performances along Adams Avenue. What began in 1981 as a modest, but fun, music event, has grown into a two-day jam fest, featuring eight stages and, usually, close to 90 bands. There are beer gardens, food vendors, art displays and sales, all at an excellent all-ages music festival in San Diego. Drive in from Encinitas this September and enjoy the free music. 

5. San diego pride

Venture into San Diego during the summer for the annual San Diego Pride festival. During the last weekend of July, head for the Hillcrest neighborhood and experience a three-day freedom celebration. Drive in from Escondido, find an excellent San Diego Best Western hotel, and get ready for live music, parades, dancing, and so much more. Many San Diego Pride attendees enjoy the Pride 5K run, the Pride Music Festival, and My Big Gay Wedding Expo. 

6. MCAS miramar air show

When your San Diego travels have you visiting during the fall, be sure to keep an eye open for the annual MCAS Miramar Air Show. Typically held over the first weekend in October, the MCAS Miramar Air Show is held on the grounds – and in the air above – the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, almost direclty east of Oceanside. The famed US Navy Blue Angels perform each year, as do a slew of others – don't miss the F-35B Lightning, the US Navy Leap Frogs (parachute team), and a Marine Air-Ground Task Force demo.

7. Ocean beach Fair & Chili Cook-off

Another premier example of summer fun in San Diego is the Ocean Beach Fair & Chili Cook-Off. Held annually in late June, the Ocean Beach Fair & Chili Cook-Off has free admission, with easy access at the intersection of Cable St. and Newport Ave, along Ocean Beach. Enjoy the Wonderland Children's Area, a variety of beachside beer gardens, the Community Mural Art Project, and, of course, chili. On average, there are more than two dozen different entries into the chili cook-off, each hoping to earn the crown of Hottest Chili. Make the trip in from across the water if you're staying in Coronado.


Best Western Hotels Along the Way:


Best Western Plus Beach View Lodge

3180 Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad CA 92008-2908
Phone: +1 760-729-1151  |  Fax: (760) 434-5405  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Chula Vista/Otay Valley Hotel

4450 Main Street, Chula Vista CA 91911-6508
Phone: +1 619-422-2600  |  Fax: (619) 425-4605  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Suites Hotel Coronado Island

275 Orange Avenue, Coronado CA 92118-1410
Phone: +1 619-437-1666  |  Fax: (619) 437-0188  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Continental Inn

650 N Mollison Avenue, El Cajon CA 92021-5618
Phone: +1 619-442-0601  |  Fax: (619) 442-0152  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Courtesy Inn

1355 E Main Street, El Cajon CA 92021-6540
Phone: +1 619-440-7378  |  Fax: +1 619-440-7378  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Escondido Hotel

1700 Seven Oakes Road, Escondido CA 92026-3308
Phone: +1 760-740-1700  |  Fax: (760) 740-9832  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Marina Gateway Hotel

800 Bay Marina Drive, National City CA 91950
Phone: +1 619-259-2800  |  Fax: (619) 292-2358  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Oceanside Inn

1680 Oceanside Boulevard, Oceanside CA 92054-5427
Phone: +1 760-722-1821  |  Fax: (760) 967-8969  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Poway/San Diego Hotel

13845 Poway Road, Poway CA 92064-4805
Phone: +1 858-748-6320  |  Fax: (858) 748-0135  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Yacht Harbor Hotel

5005 N Harbor Drive, San Diego CA 92106-2307
Phone: +1 619-224-3254  |  Fax: (619) 224-2186  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Seven Seas

411 Hotel Circle S, San Diego CA 92108-3402
Phone: +1 619-291-1300  |  Fax: (619) 291-6933  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina

2051 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego CA 92106-3105
Phone: +1 619-222-0561  |  Fax: (619) 222-9760  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Bayside Inn

555 W Ash Street, San Diego CA 92101-3414
Phone: +1 619-233-7500  |  Fax: (619) 239-8060  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western San Diego/Miramar Hotel

9310 Kearny Mesa Road, San Diego CA 92126-4503
Phone: +1 858-578-6600  |  Fax: (858) 536-1368  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town

4041 Harney Street, San Diego CA 92110-2866
Phone: +1 619-298-4707  |  Fax: (619) 298-4771  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Lamplighter Inn & Suites at SDSU

6474 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego CA 92115-2645
Phone: +1 619-582-3088  |  Fax: (619) 582-6873  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Mission Bay

2575 Clairemont Drive, San Diego CA 92117-6602
Phone: +1 619-275-5700  |  Fax: (619) 275-1703  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Americana Inn

815 W San Ysidro Boulevard, San Diego CA 92173-1827
Phone: +1 619-428-5521  |  Fax: (619) 428-0693  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Cabrillo Garden Inn

840 A Street, San Diego CA 92101-4613
Phone: +1 619-234-8477  |  Fax: (619) 615-0422  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Santee Lodge

10726 Woodside Avenue, Santee CA 92071-3143
Phone: +1 619-449-2626  |  Fax: (619) 449-0819  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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