San Diego

Isn't It Sweet? The San Diego County Fair Returns to Del Mar Fairgrounds

You'll find attractions, concerts, festivals and much more at the San Diego County Fair this year. Here's your guide.

It's going to be a sweet, sweet summer, San Diego!

The San Diego County Fair returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds Friday for a sweet soiree. Expect a summer concert series, wine festival, beer festival, plenty of tasty treats and of course, rides and lots of fun. 

Here's our guide to the 2018 San Diego County Fair. 

[G] All of the Fried, Flavorful and Fantastic Food at the 2018 San Diego County Fair

Heading to the fair can be a bit pricey for a family of four, but this year, fairgoers have plenty of options to get discounted or free tickets. 

From discounted tickets on Groupon to 2-for-1 tickets to free tickets, there's plenty of ways to save on admission. We've got a round-up of all you need to know right here.

There are plenty of options for parking this year at the Fair. 

General, on-site parking costs $15. Preferred parking costs $25. Vehicles must be able to fit into a single space, and oversized vehicles, such as RVs, are not permitted.

On-site lots open at 8:00 a.m. on weekends and July 2-4, and 9:00 a.m. on weekdays when the Fair is open.

If you want to save money, here's an insider tip: park your car at one of the off-site parking lots and take a free shuttle to the O’Brien Gate.

There's off-site parking at Torrey Pines High School, Horsepark and Miracosta College San Elijo - but not every lot is open every day. For details on when each lot is open, click here. 

NBC 7's Audra Stafford was there early to sample the sweet-themed treats that will be featured at the fair.

Vehicles must be able to fit into a single space, and oversized vehicles, such as RVs, are not permitted.

Off-site parking lots stay open about an hour after the Fair closes for the night, approximately. 

Public Transit
Of course, if you're looking to take public transit to the Fair, there are a few options. 

You can take the train. North County Transit District serves North San Diego County with the COASTER train, the SPRINTER train, and the BREEZE bus system. Click here to learn about which stops to get off at for every line. 

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner runs between San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles’ Union Station and San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot. It makes a stop in Solana Beach, where Fair guests disembark.

You can also take the Metropolitan Transit System's blue line, orange line or green line. Here's where to get off.

Plus, if you take public transit, you'll be eligible for a public transit discount on fair admission. Click here to learn more. 

What To Bring (And What Not to Bring)
Your tickets, your family and your positive attitude, of course!

But aside from that, guests heading to the Fair should be aware of a few things that are prohibited this year. 

Do not bring:

  • Wallet Chains
  • Selfie sticks
  • Tripods
  • Guns
  • Cigarettes, cigars, pipes and e-cigarettes
  • Laser pointers 
  • Pepper spray and similar sprays intended for self-defense
  • All sharp metal objects, such as pocket knives, tableware, scissors and nail clippers (if they also have a folding nail file or scissors)
  • Alcohol, glass containers and metal knives and forks
  • Umbrellas cannot be more than three feet in diameter.
  • Skateboards, hoverboards, foot-powered scooters, roller skates, shoes with wheels in the soles, and similar types of wheeled transportation.
  • Clothing that includes the following: Clothing displaying offensive messages/language, masks, transparent clothing, clothing that exposes inappropriate portions of the body, such as string bikini tops, G-strings, bikini bottoms, etc., clothing that identifies the wearer as part of a gang.
You may bring large backpacks, but all bags will be inspected on the way into the fair. 

Bicycles cannot be brought inside the gates. 

When it comes to animals, Fair officials say the only animals allowed inside are service animals and animals on exhibit or used in entertainment. "Comfort animals" that do not qualify under ADA guidelines from the Department of Justice will not be allowed in the Fair.

Festivals & Special Events
There's so much to see and do at the Fair this year! 

From a concert series to a beer festival, take a look at some of the highlights this season. 

  • Toyota Summer Concert Series: Find a full list of concerts here. You can expect to see "Sugarland," "Little Big Town," "Barenaked Ladies," "Tinashe" and more. 
  • San Diego International Beer Festival: From June 15 to 17, stop by the Fairgrounds for a sip of your favorite beers. There will be hundreds of beers from around the world just waiting to be sampled at the annual festival. It's the largest beer festival on the West Coast! 
  • Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias on his "One Show Fits All" World Tour: Well-known Comedian Iglesias performs a stand-up show on June 30 at the Corona Grandstand Stage. If you have tickets to the fair already, you can buy admission to the performance starting at $12. 
  • Farm-to-Table Dinner: On June 30, sit down with local farmers for a special farm-to-table dinner. You'll eat locally sourced food prepared by Executive Chef Barry Schneider and the Premier Culinary Team. Plus, the meal will be paired with award-winning beer and wine. 

And that's not all! For a full list of events, click here

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