If you’re in the mood for a fall-filled day in sunny San Diego, the opportunities abound. From pancakes to purees, you’ll find local venues and restaurants serving up all things pumpkin, plus seasonal pastries, coffees and more. We’ve paired popular pumpkin patches and fall flavors with this guide from Yelp, filled with highly rated options and events.
Pumpkin Station sets up its fall festivals in several San Diego locations. Pick one and then do a quick search for nearby pumpkin flavored foods using Yelp’s handy mobile app. We did the search and found this fall-flare combination. At Pumpkin Station’s Mission Valley location, there’s a petting zoo, giant slides and the much-loved El Paso train ride. There are also plenty of right-off-the-vine pumpkins and some killer coupons available online.
Nearby, you’ll discover the Parkhouse Eatery. The hot menu item this month is the pumpkin & spice pancakes. They’re served with whipped butter and covered in flavorful maple syrup. For a perfect prep before the pumpkin patch, pair them with homemade lemonade or coffee.
Grab your kids and head out to the Escondido Farm for a fantastic fall photo and pumpkin picking from the patch. While you’ll find the quintessential harvest atmosphere, the annual 2014 fall festival and boutique weekend kicks off Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s free to attend and you can enjoy a hayride, eat a BBQ lunch and check out the farm with many artists, crafters, bakers, canners and seamstresses on hand with goods for sale.
While you’re out in the North County, stop in and snag a snow cone at Baltimore Snowball. It’s not just for summer: there are fall flavors, such as the turtle pumpkin pie. This decadent dish is a concoction of butter pecan ice cream, a layer of caramel, pumpkin pie and butter pecan snow, plus a drizzle of chocolate and caramel on top. If you want to get a head start on the holiday season, go for grandma’s egg nog made with vanilla ice cream, egg nog snow, whipped cream and nutmeg.
Lavender Hill Pumpkins’ crop this year includes 10,000 pumpkins in about three-dozen varieties, including the famous North Atlantic Giant -- a pumpkin that can get as huge as 300 pounds. This organic farm isn’t like a county fair, with rides or face painting, but rather an old fashioned pumpkin patch. For the pumpkin purist, it’s a little bit of fall heaven!
Before or after your autumn adventure, head to the Fallbrook Coffee Co. to enjoy the pumpkin spice latte. It’s a locally owned joint with a quaint feel and an utterly charming front garden. Occasionally if you’re lucky, you’ll find a fall pastry that perfectly pleases the palate. This week we spied snicker doodle pumpkin muffins!
Trish Sanderson is the community manager and marketing director for Yelp North County San Diego. She leads the local community of Yelp reviewers both online and off.