4 Ways to Experience Fall in San Diego

When it’s still 70 to 80 degrees every day, and the palm trees never change their leaves, the autumn season may go unnoticed in San Diego. That’s why, if you love fall in San Diego, you must put in a little extra effort to get into the season’s spirit. We’ve rounded up some ways for your family to do just that this autumn.


1. Pumpkin Extravaganza

Pumpkins are fall’s favorite mascot. They’re in everything from your lattes to your soup to your toothpaste (no, we’re not kidding about that last one). If you like pumpkin spice, now’s the time to soak it all up! If you’re more into picking and carving pumpkins than eating them, there are plenty of farms where you can choose your pumpkins, go for a hayride, and maybe even pet some animals.


2. Apple Picking & Cider Tasting

Apple picking is a fun activity for the whole family. Plenty of orchards in San Diego offer apple picking, but Julian Farm & Orchard is probably the most-beloved location for this fall-themed activity. They have a pumpkin patch, apple picking, and even a petting zoo! Meanwhile, Apple Star Orchard offers apple and pear picking, Crosscut Farm & Orchard offers farm tours and apple picking, and a cider pressing demonstration! So take a look at these great farms and pick your poison (apple). And don’t forget the famous Julian Pie Company, which serves up delicious apple pies (among other flavors), perfect for the fall season. 


3. Sample Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

Local farmers’ markets are a great way to taste and learn about seasonal produce. It’s great for people, especially kids, to know where fresh produce comes from, who grows it, and how it comes to be in our kitchens. The arrival of fall favorites like acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and pumpkin (of course!) are great reasons to research and try new recipes at home. 


4. See the Changing Leaves

For many people, seeing the leaves change color is the best part of fall. Unfortunately, that’s not something we can see in sunny San Diego. But luckily, there are plenty of places where you can behold the fall leaves in all their glory. Grab some snacks and hit the road to visit one of these almost-local destinations to witness the fall leaves:

    • Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
      There are many hiking trails with varying difficulty levels where you can wander while enjoying the fall colors. Taking family photos by Lake Cuyamaca with the trees in the background makes for a beautiful holiday card!
    • Idyllwild
      The Cottonwood trees in Idyllwild change to deep yellow as summer winds down. This adorable mountain town sits just two hours outside of San Diego. Check their local events listings for seasonal activities to add to the experience.
    • Lake Arrowhead
      This small town in the San Bernardino mountains makes an excellent destination for witnessing fall colors, thanks to its dogwood, oak, and cedar trees. Also, just a two-hour drive from San Diego, it’s the perfect destination for a day trip to see the changing leaves.

Visit our Local Activities page to find more ways to enjoy yourself this fall in San Diego!

Local Activities
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