Ultimate Guide to Fall in San Diego: Pumpkin Patches, Spooky Events, Sweet Treats, Fall Hikes, & More!


Our Ultimate Guide to Fall in San Diego includes: Scrumptious Treats, Fall Events, Pumpkin Patches, Hikes, and More! Stay close to home and discover the best of the season.

Our Ultimate Guide to Fall has you covered through Thanksgiving! Here is what you will find in each section of the post.

Fall Festivals & Events

Take a look at our Fall Festivals & Events section for a roundup of the best happenings in and around San Diego county. From Halloween events to fall festivals, we’ve got you covered.

Fall Favorites

If you’re looking for seasonal delights, head to our Fall Favorites section where you’ll find everything from seasonal beer and catering options to sweet treats and seasonal products and services we love.

Fall Hikes

Don’t miss our Fall Hikes section, where we’ve gathered eight of our favorite hikes to explore this autumn.

Pumpkin Patch Guide

Lastly, our Pumpkin Patch Guide is the perfect resource for finding the perfect pumpkin and enjoying all the activities that come with it.

We will be updating this guide frequently to provide you with the latest and greatest information. Be sure to tag us in your fall Instagram pics using #sdmomsco!

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Fall Festivals & Halloween Special Events

Fall & Holiday Photographers

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Get Outdoors: 8 Hikes to Check Out this Fall

AllTrails.com: Photo by: Araceli Ramirez
Sep 18, 2023

Fall Hikes In and Around San Diego

1. Pumpkin Rock Trail

Where: Vandermolen Drive, Crestview Dr, Norco, CA 92860

Rock Trail is an easy 1.7-mile hike in Norco, California. The trail features a 15-foot tall pumpkin, horses, and scenic views at a total elevation of 1,165 feet. There are bathrooms located near the parking lot. Dogs are allowed on leashes.

2. Sunset Trail

Where: Laguna Mountain Recreation Area – 10678 Sunrise Hwy, Descanso, CA 91948

The Sunset Trail is a scenic coastal hiking trail located within the beautiful Laguna Coast Wilderness Park in Laguna Beach, California. This trail offers hikers a breathtaking opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Southern California coastline.

3. Volcan Mountain Trail

Where: Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve – 1209 Farmer Road at Wynola Road, Julian, CA 92036

Enjoy this 4.8-mile out-and-back trail near Julian, California. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 39 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and running, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

4. Lake Cuyamaca Loop Trail

Where: 12551 CA-79, Descanso, CA 91916

Head out on this 2.9-mile loop trail near Julian, California. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 57 min to complete. This is a popular trail for hiking, running, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. You’ll need to leave pups at home — dogs aren’t allowed on this trail.

5. Palomar Observatory Trail

Where: Co Hwy S6, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060

Enjoy this 4.6-mile out-and-back trail near Palomar Mountain, California. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 7 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, running, and walking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The best times to visit this trail are March through November. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

6. Boulder Loop Trail

Where: 3024 La Honda Dr, Escondido, CA 92027
Enjoy this 4.0-mile loop trail near Escondido, California. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 53 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and running, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

7. Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

Where: 12020 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92129

This preserve features a variety of trails suitable for all ages. The most popular trail is the Waterfall Trail, which leads to a seasonal waterfall – a magical sight during the fall months. The gently sloping terrain and shaded areas make it a great family choice.

8. Iron Mountain Trail

Where: Highway 67, Poway, CA 92064

The Iron Mountain Trail offers a moderate hike with rewarding panoramic views of the San Diego area. In the fall, the weather is comfortable, and the surrounding hills may feature some seasonal color changes. It’s a bit more challenging than the others but still suitable for older kids and active families.

*All references below can be found on AllTrails.com. AllTrails was founded on the idea that we’re all made better by spending time in nature. Today, we continue to be driven by the desire to share the outdoors with as many people in as many places as possible — and to do so responsibly and respectfully. 

Fall Favorites: Savory Eats, Sauces, Sweets & Beers

Sweet Treats

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Sweet Silver Lining
(Available Online)

San Diego home baking biz specializing in cake bites, birthday party smash cakes & Italian rainbow cookies. Made with homemade natural vanilla extract.

LOCATION: Online via Instagram DM or Text. Free delivery on orders of $30+.
PHONE: 917-640-3783

Fall guide

As the consistent winner of San Diego’s Favorite Dessert, Sugar Mamma Caramels remain a local favorite. Their mission is to make high quality, hand-crafted, small batch caramels using no additives or preservatives. They make their caramels to order, filling requests for one bag or 2,000 bags!

LOCATION: Pick up available at Sugar Mamma Headquarters in charming Talmadge, San Diego.
PHONE: 619-301-9956 

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Janie’s BBQ Sauce
(Available Online)

Discover the irresistible blend of sweetness and stickiness that sets Janie’s BBQ Sauce apart. Made by a local San Diego family with a whole lot of love, it’s a flavor sensation like no other. Try their Original or Habanero 🌶  varieties in 16oz or 32oz bottles, and take your holiday grilling, marinating, and dipping to the next level.

LOCATION: Online via Instagram DM


Homegrown bakery, blocks from Oceanside Pier. Always made from scratch. Baked Goods, Breakfast, Lunch, Desserts, Espresso, and Mimosas!Offering specialty cakes and wholesale with a 1-2 week lead time required.

LOCATION: 223 N Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054
PHONE: 760-231-7300

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Elizabethan Desserts is nostalgic, American comfort food with an elegant touch. They only use the finest ingredients like real butter, heavy cream, premium chocolate, and local eggs. You won’t find shortening based frostings; synthetic dairy based whipped topping or commercial mixes in our food.

LOCATION: 114 El Camino Real, Encinitas, California 92024
PHONE: 760-230-6780


Azúcar is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for Vivian Hernandez-Jackson. Vivian has combined her classical French training with her Cuban roots to develop a unique product line of desserts and pastries that combines traditional favorites with new flavors and designs.

LOCATION: 4820 Newport Avenue San Diego, CA 92107
PHONE: 619-523-2020

Seasonal Beers

San Diego Moms Favorite Pumpkin Beers

Speedway Stout
AleSmith Brewing | 12%

AleSmith Brewing’s Speedway Stout’s ominous, pitch-black appearance has become a hallmark of this modern-day classic. Chocolate and roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A healthy dose of locally-roasted coffee added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability. Despite its intensity, Speedway Stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouthfeel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink. This beer ages very well and will continue to mature for many years to come.

Leinenkugel’s Beer | 5.1% ABV

A proud German heritage shines through in our homage to arguably the world’s greatest festival. A traditional Märzen-style beer, our Leinenkugel’s® Oktoberfest has a toasted malt flavor and subtle, spicy hop notes that make it perfect for celebrating fall in true German fashion. So let your steins runneth over.

Pairs with: brats, spaetzles, pork chops, soft pretzels and spiced apple cake.


Punkin Ale
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery | 7% ABV

The pumpkin beer you’ve known and loved since 1994! Named after the seriously off-centered southern Delaware extravaganza Punkin Chunkin, Punkin Ale is a full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar thanks to our brewers using real pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices.

As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.

Want to submit your favorite fall inspired recipe?

Want to feature your Fall or Halloween themed event  Click the link to submit your event to our community calendar!


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