La Jolla Cove

America’s eighth largest city, San Diego, may be known for great weather, beautiful beaches and laid-back residents, but this dynamic urban metropolis is hosting so many big sporting and cultural events in 2019 that visitors may just forget all about its relaxed SoCal vibe.

From internationally competitive beach games and professional baseball to a key music festival and the world’s leading pop culture celebration, the following nine events are on our list of top reasons to visit San Diego next year.

Mission San Diego de Alcala Gardens; photo courtesy Jeffrey Lamont Brown
[Mission San Diego de Alcala Gardens; photo courtesy Jeffrey Lamont Brown]

250th Commemoration of San Diego

The first settlement of Alta California included Mission San Diego de Alcala and a neighboring presidio, originally built above the area now known as Old Town San Diego. During 2019, San Diego will commemorate its establishment as the first settlement of Alta California in 1769.

The City of San Diego and Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce will partner to mark the special 250th commemoration with activities to include monthly lectures and special events in Old Town.

Petco Park; photo courtesy Hilton San Diego Bayfron
[Petco Park; photo courtesy Hilton San Diego Bayfront]

San Diego Padres 50th Season

On March 28, the San Diego Padres will step up to the plate for the opening game of their exciting 50th season vs. the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park.

In addition to six months of baseball action, fans can enjoy one of the nation’s top ballparks combining the best sight lines in baseball, magnificent architecture, a great variety of food and drink venues plus breathtaking views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.

Photo courtesy Fallbrook Avocado Festival
[Photo courtesy Fallbrook Avocado Festival]

Fallbrook Avocado Festival

To San Diego residents, avocados are more than just a trendy topping on toast, and the annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival (on April 14) is a delectable example of the region’s love for the fashionable fruit.

Since the 1960’s, tens of thousands of avocado lovers have converged in Fallbrook (in San Diego’s North County) to sample avocados, check out the crazy cooking contest entries, buy funky avocado-themed gifts and enjoy bands, live entertainment and beer gardens.

Chicano Park
[Chicano Park]

Chicano Park Day

Located underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge overpass in Barrio Logan and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2017, Chicano Park is home to the world’s largest collection of Chicano murals.

Chicano Park Day (April 20) is a free annual event celebrating the art and culture of San Diego’s Mexican/Chicano residents with traditional music, dance, a lowrider car show, vendor booths, kids’ arts workshops and more.

Photo courtesy San Diego Pride
[Photo courtesy San Diego Pride]

San Diego Pride

One of the West Coast’s largest Pride celebrations, San Diego Pride weekend (July 13 to 15), will feature a colorful lineup of festivities: a parade through Hillcrest and two-day festival in Balboa Park with exciting live musical performers like TLC and Kesha.

San Diego Pride is the city’s largest civic event, attracting over 250,000 people annually. Additional Pride highlights will include the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, Pride of Hillcrest Block Party, SheFest, annual Pride 5K Race and an exciting calendar of Pride parties and dances.


50th Anniversary of Comic-Con

Others will come and go, but the original Comic-Con started and remains in San Diego. The largest comics and pop culture event in the US, Comic-Con International attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture from July 18 to 21 at the San Diego Convention Center.

KAABOO Del Mar; photo courtesy IMAGEspace via WireImage
[KAABOO Del Mar; photo courtesy IMAGEspace via WireImage]


Taking place from September 13 to 15 at the seaside Del Mar Fairgrounds, KAABOO Del Mar was created by music lovers for music lovers.

KAABOO features seven stages and more than 100 musical acts, plus a dedicated comedy stage and food and beverages from local and celebrity chefs, craft breweries and local wineries. Past performers include the Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Billy Idol, Jewel, Blondie and Earth, Wind & Fire, just to name a few.

Volleyball on Coronado Beach; photo courtesy Brett Shoaf
[Volleyball on Coronado Beach; photo courtesy Brett Shoaf]

ANOC World Beach Games

As the epicenter of beach, surf and extreme sports culture in Southern California, San Diego is proud to host the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games.

Taking place from October 9 to 15 along scenic Mission Beach and Mission Bay, 2,000 top athletes and teams from around the world will compete in 17 sports disciplines ranging from beach soccer and beach volleyball to kiteboarding and waterskiing.

[Ultimate frisbee photo by Mark Smiley on Flickr]

USA Ultimate National Championships

Elevating frisbee playing to an entirely different level of sport, the USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate frisbee competition in North America.

From October 24 to 27 at the Surf Cup Sports Park in scenic Del Mar, 16 teams from across North America (including Boston, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Austin and Vancouver, BC) will compete to be crowned champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s.

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