Fall officially starts this weekend, and to welcome the most festive season of the year are a bunch of fun events.
Friday, Sept. 21
San Diego Festival of Beer
6 to 11 p.m. at Columbia Street & B Streets
Thirsty for some of San Diego’s best brews? Then roll over to downtown on Friday night for the 18th annual San Diego Festival of Beer. This year, more than 60 breweries will pour samples, including the Coronado Brewing Company, Ballast Point Brewing Company and Firestone Walker Brewer. The festival is cash only, so don’t forget to hit the ATM beforehand.
Santa Fe Market
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Old Town at Juan and Taylor Streets
The western-inspired market kicks off on Friday at Bazaar del Mundo to bring you the best of the west. Authentic Native American and classic Western jewelry, art and crafts will be sold at the three-day event. Live music will entertain customers as they peruse the aisles, and food will be available for purchase at Casa Guadalajara Restaurant.
Various times, locations
Todays’ the last chance to embrace Restaurant Week, where more than 200 restaurants offer prixe-fixe menus ranging from $15 to $40. Chow down at some of San Diego's best restaurants, including Bertrand at Mr. A's, Whisknladle and Vintana.
Saturday, Sept. 22
Santee Bluegrass Festival
5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at 550 Park Center Dr.
Get your bluegrass on in Santee when the East County city devotes the night to music, food and fun. Live bluegrass music will be presented by Box Canyon and The Tail Draggers and can be enjoyed while attending a beer or wine tasting. Tickets are $40 at the door and funds raised will benefit the Santee Teen Center.
Stay Classy Awards
7 to 9 p.m. at Civic Theater
Dozens of philanthropic organizations will be recognized for their work at the 4th annual CLASSY Awards. Three SoCal charities have been nominated for awards for their good deeds – including San Diego’s own Invisible Children. The ceremony is open to the public, tickets cost $49.
National City 125 Anniversary
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kimball Park
National City sure is getting old – at least, 125 years is pretty good for a city. Locals will celebrate with a picnic, concert and field day activities for the kids. Music from a barbershop quartet will ring in the anniversary, in addition to a concert from the community band. The event is free and open to everyone.
San Diego Blues Festival
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Embarcadero Marina Park North
Not to be confused with the Santee Bluegrass Festival (on the same day!) the Blues Festival is likely to be a fun scene near the water. More than 4,000 people attended last year's inaugural event, so it's bound to be packed. Tickets are $10 and benefit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.
Sunday, Sept. 23
ArtWalk on the Bay
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at One Park Blvd.
If you’re in need of some new artwork, head to Hilton San Diego Bayfront Park on Saturday or Sunday. Thousands of pieces of art will be for sale at the annual event, featuring local and international artists. Check out paintings, jewelry, pottery and more against the scenic backdrop of San Diego Bay.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at intersection of Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real
So it’s not technically October yet, but you have to admire Encinitas’ eagerness to get the ball rolling. The 17th annual Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest event features German fare and beers from local breweries. Kicking off the event is a festive parade that’s fun for the whole family.
Where are you spending the weekend? Tell us in the comments below.