San Diego CA. USA
If you’re looking to add a little excitement to your vacation or take a break from studying, there’s no shortage of festivals in San Diego. From music and food festivals to art and cultural events, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the top San Diego festivals worth checking out. Credit:

8 Best Festivals in San Diego

San Diego Greek Festival

The San Diego Greek Festival is a three-day celebration of everything Greek. Typically, the day festival begins in the morning and concludes at midnight. As expected, the cuisine takes center stage. From spinach-filled spanakopita pie to traditional gyros and sizzling saganaki cheeses, chefs of Greek heritage from all around Southern California make a veritable mezze of intriguing meals. You can also participate in Greek dancing and singing, so rehearse the Zorba on your way over. San Diego Greek Festival Credit:

San Diego Bayfest

San Diego Bayfest combines a surfer attitude, a dash of Cali-Mex flavor, and a whole lot of reggae passion. It’s mostly a music festival with a Caribbean theme, but it also includes taco booths and craft beer tents on the beach. Bayfest aims to keep things simple by only having one stage. There is no question about who to watch and when. Simply stroll down to observe a smorgasbord of hip hop, dub, and coast reggae masters at work. There’s a strong emphasis on emerging American performers, with plenty of names from California, the West Coast, and Hawaii. San Diego Bayfest Credit:

San Diego International Film Festival

The San Diego International Film Festival, or SDiFF for short, is an 11-day celebration of all things cinematic. The major event is held yearly in autumn at venues in the Gaslamp Quarter, La Jolla, and Balboa Park.   Film categories have become more diverse in recent years. There is currently a strong emphasis on highlighting underrepresented voices. Expect to see premieres of new LGBTQ+, social-impact, and Native American films, among other things. There are also A-lister afterparties featuring renowned people. It may be difficult to obtain a ticket, so try to keep a lookout for the release date.  San Diego International Film Festival Credit:

Miramar Air Show

The International Council of Air Shows has named the Miramar Air Show the best military air show in the world. It’s also one of America’s largest and longest-running air displays. Every year, around 700,000 people attend the event. It takes place at the Marine Corps Air Station, which is located in the desert hills about 20 minutes from downtown San Diego.   Aircraft enthusiasts will not be disappointed. From Cobra helicopters to F-16 fighter jets, everything is on exhibit. There are also some vintage WWII crafts. Then there are the daring aerial displays, which invariably include parachute jumpers and gravity-defying loop-de-loops. MCAS Miramar Airshow Credit:

San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival

The San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival promises to be a relaxing weekend filled with superb music and nice company.   Festivalgoers will be treated to a medley of American soul, piano jazz, Mississippi big band, blues, and avant-garde jazz. There are also local food trucks and cooking demonstrations, as well as craft beer and California wine tents. But what is the true joy in this festival? That must be how intimate this medium-sized music event seems. It’s a terrific spot to meet and interact with local jazz fans in San Diego. The San Diego Smooth Jazz Festival Credit:

San Diego Surf Film Festival

The San Diego Surf Film Festival brings together two of Southern California’s favorite pastimes: surfing and movies. Over a single weekend, it draws wave-loving moviegoers to the salt-washed streets of La Jolla.   Several categories of surf films have awards, ranging from “best feature” to “best short.” Screenings are often intimate and enjoyable, with the opportunity to meet and mix with the who’s who of the surf-cinema scene. The majority of the action takes place in north San Diego, so the glassy waves of Torrey Pines and Del Mar are only a short distance away. San Diego Surf Film Festival Credit: Photo by: Glen Gorham

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Visit the San Diego Bay Procession of Lights to marvel at the stunning parade on the bay. Every year, the boating community celebrates this spectacular, long-running holiday tradition at the bay. It includes a parade of approximately 80 elegantly decorated boats sailing on the water. Every December, almost 100,000 visitors flock to the coastlines to witness the glittering procession celebrations. Visit this magnificent parade of glittery boats and cheer on the participants. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Credit:

Comic-Con International

Are you or your children major comic book fans? If so, don’t miss out on the San Diego Comic-Con International, which features a plethora of comic books and amazing comic art. This yearly comic book convention welcomes thousands of people, including comic book creators, creative writers, talented film directors, prominent book publishers, science fiction authors, and many comic book lovers. At the festival, you may find new and great comic books, meet your favorite comic creators and book publishers, and admire the laudable work of comic art and culture. Comic-Con International Credit:   San Diego is a city rich in culture and diversity. There are endless festivals to enjoy, each with its own flavor and flair. Whether you’re a fan of food, music, or art festivals, there’s something for everyone in this sunny city by the sea. If you’re planning on visiting San Diego or have just discovered your love for it, be sure to check out our list of the top festivals in town. And if you end up falling in love with the city as much as we think you will, don’t forget to check out the best neighborhoods we’ve listed!

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