People surfing at the beach

Your San Diego Fall Travel Guide

Even after the calendar has technically flipped to fall, San Diego still retains an “endless summer” vibe. Our blissful beachside paradise offers travelers a unique blend of coastal beauty, vibrant events, and a more relaxed atmosphere once autumn rolls around. As the temperatures cool down and the crowds thin out, the fall season becomes a delightful time to explore our SoCal escape. And there’s no better place to call home during your stay than Best Western Plus Island Palms — especially thanks to our “Kids Eat Free” offer, which is valid all October long! So whether you’re seeking family-friendly activities, culinary adventures, or outdoor escapades, here are some essential travel tips to help you plan, and make the most of your San Diego fall getaway.


Pack for Warm Days and Coastal Breezes

San Diego’s fall season is known as “second summer”, with daytime temperatures in the 80s lasting well into October. A light jacket, sweaters, and comfortable walking shoes are all essential for strolling along the beaches, exploring neighborhoods, and enjoying outdoor activities after sunset. Just don’t forget to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, bathing suits and summer attire. The mercury may dip a bit after sunset, but there’s still plenty of sunshine to enjoy during the day!


Smaller Crowds and Serene Exploration

San Diego Zoo

Fall in San Diego brings with it a welcomed sense of tranquility. With the summer vacation rush behind, you’ll find that popular attractions and beaches are even more laid-back than usual, allowing you to savor each experience at your own pace. Whether you’re visiting iconic spots like SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, or catching a Padres game, shorter lines and lighter foot traffic create a more intimate and enjoyable atmosphere.


Kids Free Month 

October is “Kids Free Month” in San Diego, offering family fun on a budget. That means fall is an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s attractions without breaking the bank. Many museums, theme parks and even the zoo offer free admission for children, making it the perfect time to introduce your little ones to the wonders of San Diego.


San Diego Restaurant Week (Sept 24 — Oct. 1)

Indulge your taste buds during San Diego Restaurant Week, a culinary event that showcases the city’s vibrant melting-pot dining scene. From September 24th to October 1st, savor prix-fixe menus at countless participating restaurants city-wide, allowing you to sample a deep range of cuisines and flavors in neighborhoods all over town. It’s a chance to experience some of San Diego’s finest eateries offering their best deals all year.


Padres Baseball

Aerial view of Padres baseball game at Petco Park

Making time to catch a Padres baseball game at Petco Park is a must for fans of “America’s Pastime”. The fall season often sees the Padres vying for a playoff spot, creating an electrifying atmosphere in the ballpark. Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan, or simply want to come and see why Petco Park was rated the best baseball stadium in the country, a Padres game is an unforgettable experience. And fall is absolutely the perfect time to go!


Pacific Beachfest

(Photo: @pacificbeachfest)

Experience the finest in fall festivities at Pacific Beachfest, a lively event that celebrates the vibrant spirit of the neighborhood that shares its name. From beach volleyball tournaments to live music performances, this grand gathering offers a glimpse into the local beach culture of the area. Enjoy the beachside atmosphere, browse through artisan vendors, and immerse yourself in the laid-back vibes of Pacific Beach this October 7th.


Enjoy Live Concerts Just Steps From Our Hotel

(Photo: @humphreysshows)

For music lovers, Humphreys Concerts by the Bay presents an opportunity to enjoy live performances in a picturesque waterfront setting. The fall concert lineup is hosted by our sister property Humphreys Half Moon Inn, and features a diverse range of artists and genres — providing a chance to unwind and enjoy the soothing melodies of the bay. Plus, Island Palms offers a pre-show Happy Hour menu specifically for guests attending concerts at Humphreys! We’re also just a short walk along the marina from our sister hotel, which is perfect for those who want to stay, play and dine near the concert venue. This fall, concertgoers can look forward to roof-raising shows by The Temptations and Four Tops, Three Dog Night, Styx, Natalie Merchant, ZZ Top, The Cult, Air Supply and REO Speedwagon.  


Autumn Adventures at Bates Nut Farm

(Photo: @batesnutfarm)

Lots of locals love to go nuts at Bates Nut Farm in the fall season. For more than 50 years, they’ve been welcoming families to their pumpkin patch for a truly “gourd” time. Fall activities you can look forward to through Halloween this year include tractor hay rides, a straw maze, a petting zoo, pony rides, and much more. While you’re there, don’t forget to grab a wheelbarrow and load up on an autumn harvest of squash, pumpkins, and other seasonal produce — perfect for both dining and décor.


Find Fall Fun at Island Palms

(Photo: @island_palms)

A San Diego fall getaway offers a balance of coastal charm, festive events, and unforgettable experiences. And it all starts at Best Western Plus Island Palms! Our stunning Shelter Island location, casual-luxe accommodations, guest-friendly amenities and exceptional rates all add up to an easy choice for your stay. When you’re ready to plan, be sure to take a look at our Special Offers page, and reserve your fall San Diego escape!