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15 Things to Do in San Diego This Weekend: Sept. 21–24

Eat your way through Old Town, start your Oktoberfest festivities, and dine out during San Diego Restaurant Week
DJ Performing at CRSSD Festival at the San Diego Waterfront Park
CRSSD Festival San Diego 2023

September 21

Taste of Old Town

Old Town’s standout eateries serve up seafood, cerveza, margaritas and more during the neighborhood’s annual tasting event this Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Participating restaurants include Cafe Coyote, Miguel’s Cocina, Casa De Reyes, and Rockin Baja Lobster. General admission tickets ($40) and Under 12 tickets ($15 for ages 3 through 12) include one food sample from all participating restaurants, while VIP passes are $55 and come with sample cocktails from select restaurants. | 4010 Twiggs Street, Old Town

Opening September 21

New Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

This Thursday, MCASD La Jolla welcomes two new long-term exhibitions, beginning with an opening reception for artist Kelly Akashi’s Formations from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Formations explores the impact of Akashi’s family’s harrowing imprisonment in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II and will be on display in La Jolla through Feb. 18, 2024. Also on view through Feb. 18, Eleanor Antin and My Barbarian displays 51 postcards from San Diego artist Eleanor Antin’s 100 Boots journey from Solana Beach to New York, juxtaposed with artwork by My Barbarian, a three-person art team draws influence from California counterculture. | 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla

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September 22

San Diego Made: Live!

Immersive yourself in art at the San Diego Made Factory during this Friday showcase featuring live art demos, live music, and a mini fall photo shoot from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. San Diego Made: Live! is family and dog-friendly and will allow residents to support local artists and witness their talent firsthand. San Diego Made Factory residents will demo jewelry-making, lemongrass distillation, ceramics, candle-making, and more, while guest artist Ashley Lohr shows off her skill of torch-firing enamel on copper. | 2031 Commercial Street, Logan Heights

September 22–24

Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro

The best women surfers in the world conquer the waves near Oceanside Pier during this free three-day surf festival, with games, giveaways, and more in store for attendees. The Super Girl Surf Pro includes performances from 15 musicians, including Sean Kingston, Aloe Blacc, and Beach Weather, plus contests, vendors, and a beer and wine garden. Additional highlights include women’s esports tournaments, fitness classes, a DJ competition, surf art, beach volleyball, a fashion show, a food court, and a festival village with several women-owned businesses and vendors. | 300 The Strand North, Oceanside

Courtesy of Miramar Air Show

MCAS Miramar Air Show

The annual military air show from the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar features military demonstrations, civilian aerobatic teams, and vintage aircraft and warbirds. Attendees can also get firsthand flying experience on the many simulators in the Innovation Tech Expo. General admission to the air show is free, but there are several paid ticket options, spanning from $9 grandstand seats to the $263 Devil Dog Chalet experience complete with front-row seating in a luxury shaded area, plus breakfast, buffet lunch, and a complimentary bar. | 9175 Boyington Road, Miramar


San Diego’s Oktoberfest celebrations kick off this weekend with a trio of events that celebrate the beloved Bavarian beer extravaganza. Liberty Station’s Craftoberfest, commencing this Friday, is a nine-day celebration with live music, beer trivia, bingo, and the ultimate competition: the Beerlympics. North Park’s The Original 40 Brewing Company will host its third annual Oktoberfest Games this Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. Attendees can spectate or compete in pretzel-eating, stein-holding, and pretzel-tossing competitions for Oktoberfest glory. Last but not least, this Sunday’s family-friendly Encinitas Oktoberfest & Artisan Faire includes Bavarian music, food, drinks, and much more from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Craftoberfest – 2816 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma | The Original 40 – 3117 University Avenue, North Park | Encinitas Oktoberfest – Mountain Vista Drive between Wandering Road and Rambling Road, Encinitas

Courtesy of the San Diego Distillers Guild

September 23

San Diego Distillers Guild Fest

Enjoy food trucks, live music, and complimentary spirits and cocktails from more than 20 local craft distilleries during the fifth annual San Diego Distillers Guild Fest at Brick in Liberty Station. Attendees can chat with expert distillers, expand their cocktail palette, and explore the standout vendors of San Diego’s distilling scene from 2 to 5 p.m. this Saturday. $60 general admission tickets include cocktail and spirit samples, while $85 VIP tickets come with 1 p.m. early entry and exclusive pours. For those not planning on drinking but still wanting to get in on the fun, there are also $30 designated driver tickets. | 2863 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma

Cove House Dinner Series

This special dinner from Cove House and Second Chance Beer Co. will feature five courses, each with bold beer pairings, for an intimate outdoor meal on Cove House’s seaside patio. Every month, chef Lance Rapp curates a unique menu to pair with the month’s chosen spirits, and September’s spread from Rapp and chef Manny Perez includes pan-roasted scallops, quail, and dry-aged pork, plus chocolatey Whoppers for dessert. Tickets are $85 per person (and do not include tax or gratuity), and the dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. | 8030 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Courtesy of I Love a Clean San Diego

Coastal Cleanup Day

Pitch in from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday during the 39th California Coastal Cleanup Day. I Love A Clean San Diego, the Ocean Conservancy, and several other organizations will lead volunteers in more than 100 local areas in cleaning up marine debris and making a positive environmental impact. Coastal and inland spots provide options for residents all over the county to participate, with cleanup locations including Balboa Park, Lake Murray, and Emory Cove. To view the full list of cleanup spots and register for Coastal Cleanup Day, visit here. | San Diego County

Autumn Valentine

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon’s chamber opera Autumn Valentine premieres at UCSD Park & Market this Saturday. There will be a pre-show chat with the composer at 7 p.m., followed by the show at 8 p.m. Presented by Bodhi Tree Concerts, this production features San Diego–based artists Angelina Réaux and Michael Sokol in the lead roles. Tickets for Saturday’s show are $40 ($30 for students/military), and proceeds from the performance will be donated to the San Diego chapter of the NAACP. | 1100 Market Street, East Village

Courtesy of Pacific Islander Festival Association

September 23-24

Pacific Islander Festival

The Pacific Islander Festival Association’s free annual event at Ski Beach in Mission Bay highlights cultural organizations, businesses, and entertainers from the Melanesian, Micronesian, and Pacific Islander communities. Groups from San Diego, the rest of California, and beyond will be in attendance along with dancers, musicians, more than 50 craft vendors, and plenty of food trucks serving up delicious island cuisine at this weekend festival. | 1600 Vacation Road, Mission Bay

Adams Avenue Street Fair

The 41st annual Adams Avenue Street Fair will have 75 musical acts performing across seven live music stages from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. this Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Sunday. This two-day music festival will feature carnival rides, beer gardens, food, and more than 300 art, craft, and merchandise vendors, along with the brand-new, 21-plus Cannabis Row at the Adams Avenue Theater. Additional experiences include the $25 ($30 the day of) Craft Beer Taste, which comes with unlimited two-ounce craft beer samples from 20 participating breweries from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and the $19 VIP Beer deal which includes four craft beers. | 34th and Adams Avenue, Normal Heights

CRSSD Festival Fall 2023

CRSSD is a beacon for San Diego’s most raucous ravers, and CRSSD Fall this weekend at Waterfront Park will be no different. More than 35 house, techno, and dance music artists—including headliners Flume, Basement Jaxx, Chris Lake, FISHER, and Amelie Lens—will perform on three stages. Ticket options include two-day admission for $389, Saturday-only admission for $219, and Sunday-only admission for $239. There will also be several After Dark parties held throughout the weekend at local nightclubs as part of the festival fun, so the party won’t stop even when you leave the park. | 1600 Pacific Highway, Embarcadero

September 24

San Diego Sake Festival

Venue 808 hosts this festival featuring more than 50 brands of premium Japanese sake and beer. Several participating brewers, educators, and sommeliers will be in attendance from 2 to 6 p.m. this Sunday. General admission ($60) entry starts at 3 p.m. and comes with seven sake tasting tickets (additional tasting tickets are available for $2 each) plus one food ticket, a Japanese beer tasting, and a commemorative tasting cup. VIP ($150) entrance is at 2 p.m. and includes all-you-can-taste sake and beer, access to a VIP lounge, and two tasting tickets for “super premium” sake. | 808 J Street, Downtown

Courtesy of George’s at the Cove

September 24–October 1

San Diego Restaurant Week

The California Restaurant Association’s San Diego Restaurant Week is back, with more than 100 restaurants from all over San Diego County taking part in eight days of dining deals. Enjoy dinner, lunch, brunch, drinks, and several three-course, prix-fixe menu options in 33 participating neighborhoods stretching from South Bay to Sorrento Valley and beyond. Reservations are highly recommended. | San Diego County

By Ryan Hardison

Ryan Hardison is a freelance arts and entertainment writer and recent graduate of San Diego State. When he's not staring at his laptop, he's likely eating an adobada burrito or getting sunburnt at the beach.

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