It’s that time of year in Southern California when we can start to smell the faint hint of autumn in the air. The days are a little shorter and the nights are a little chillier, but that doesn’t stop us from getting outside and experiencing our favorite season. One of the best ways to really embrace autumn is to seek out some of our unique seasonal festivals. Here are 10 festivals that will get you in the spirit of fall in no time. Which festival on this list is your favorite?
1. San Diego Festival of Beer: September 23
Not only is San Diego known as America's Finest City, but did you know it's also known as the microbrew capital of the USA? If you're looking for the perfect brew fest to attend this year there's really no question that San Diego should be tops on your list. Tickets are $50 per person and only $30 if you're the designated driver.
2. Port of Hueneme Banana Festival: September 24
Banana cream pie, anyone? Or maybe a chocolate dipped banana? Or how about my favorite -- a frozen banana? You could easily go bananas thinking about all the tasty treats to devour at the Port of Hueneme Banana Festival. If you've never been to this tiny beach town in Ventura County, now is your chance to head there for the banana fest coming up on September 24.
3. The Lemon Festival: September 24-25
There's really no other place that even comes close to having tasty lemons like what you can find here in Southern California. If you have a love for everything lemon -- from lemonade to lemon meringue pie -- you're going to have a grand time at this SoCal fest. And if you really want to get into the festivities you might want to put someone up to a pie eating contest. It's a messy job, but someone's gotta do it!
4. Joshua Tree Music Festival: October 6-9
Some of us here in SoCal are pretty earthy folks. For those of you who are drawn to the more rustic side of things, the Joshua Tree Music Fest was made for you. It's a global music experience with a soulful lineup of musicians playing outside in the fresh autumn air. There's nothing like nature and music colliding in one epic experience and that's exactly what you'll find at this earthy music fest held in one of the most jaw-dropping spots in SoCal.
5. California Avocado Festival: October 7-9
We love our avocados in SoCal so much that we have dedicated an entire festival to them. The 30th annual Avofest is held in Carpinteria from October 7-9. This may be the perfect excuse to indulge in heaping plates of guacamole all weekend long. The best part? Admission to this fun music and food fest is absolutely free.
6. Pine Cone Festival: October 8
It's not every day that you get a chance to go to a pine cone festival, so why not make 2016 the year you finally attend this family friendly festival tucked away in the mountains? Located in Running Springs in San Bernardino County, this charming mountain town hosts a fun event that will give you a great reason to go off the grid for the weekend.
7. La Jolla Art and Wine Festival: October 8-9
An art and wine festival isn't exactly unique, but there's nowhere else quite like La Jolla, so this festival in one of our favorite destinations has a special place on this list. From October 8-9, join the fun in La Jolla where everyone gathers in the heart of the village to celebrate food, wine, and art. Local artists from the area, including performance artists, will have their works on display and available for purchase as part of the festival's silent auction.
8. Calabasas Pumpkin Festival: October 15-16
Fall simply isn't official until there's something pumpkin-related involved. We know that a pumpkin festival isn't exactly unheard of in other parts of the country, but we can't help but get excited here in Southern California when we get a taste of something seasonal, even when it's still 70 degrees outside.
9. Japan America Kite Festival: October 16
Channel your inner child and head to the largest kite festival in all of Southern California. Held in Santa Monica this year, close to 12,000 people are expected to attend this international event. If you want an excuse to tell someone to "go fly a kite," or perhaps you just want to learn how to make one, this fun festival has your name on it.
10. Dia de Los Muertos: October 29
It's hard not to look forward to the annual Day of the Dead celebration held at the glamorous and spooky Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. Nothing compares to the scene you will encounter as kids of all ages really get into the spirit of things at this epic autumn event.
All of this talk about fall has me craving a pumpkin spice latte all of a sudden. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Which festival on this list is your favorite way to embrace the season here in SoCal? For more Southern California fun, check out this great autumn activity that involves small towns and window shopping — two of my favorite things:
9 Charming Old Town Districts In Southern California Perfect For A Leisurely Stroll.