40+ July Events in San Diego

surf-dog competition

The most adorable surf competition you’ll ever see: Unleashed Surf Dog Competition in Imperial Beach on July 30.

Outdoor concerts, 4th of July celebrations, food festivals, Del Mar horse races and world class theatre is all just the start of San Diego’s event offerings. Check out our roundup of top July events in San Diego for even more inspiration.

Edited by Lisa Kelley

Star Spangled Pops
July 1-3. The San Diego Symphony kicks off their annual Bayside Summer Nights Celebration (formerly Summer Pops), with a patriotic celebration. Enjoy concerts by the San Diego Symphony and Orchestra lead by longtime conductor Matthew Garbutt and guest vocalist Melissa Errico and a colorful fireworks display at the conclusion of each show. Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego Embarcadero, 619.235.0804. sandiegosymphony.org

Ocean Beach Pier 50th Anniversary
July 2. Celebrate Ocean Beach’s iconic pier and its 50th anniversary by strolling along and enjoying the views. Festivities will include photo ops, a short ceremony and additional activities. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 5091 Niagara Ave., Ocean Beach. oceanbeachsandiego.com

Oceanside Independence Day Parade
July 2. Oceanside hosts the 22nd annual parade through the beach-side community’s downtown. The “Volunteers—Heart of O’Side” theme celebrates those who contribute to the community and more than 120 parade entries will roll, march, drive or walk along the famous 101 Coast Hwy. 10 a.m. Starts at Wisconsin St., ends at Pier View Way. 760.754.4512. mainstreetoceanside.com

Big Bay Boom
July 4. The Port of San Diego presents this annual festive display of fireworks from barges on the bay. Best viewing sites include downtown, Coronado, Harbor and Shelter Islands and Imperial Beach. 619.686.6200. bigbayboom.com


Big Bay Boom

Coronado Independence Day Celebration
July 4. Parade starts at 10 a.m. along Orange Avenue, followed by a concert at 4 p.m. in Spreckels Park and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9 p.m. Various locations, Coronado 619.437.8788. welcometocoronado.com

Historic Old Town Fourth of July
July 4. This 19th century-inspired celebration features a parade, crafts, wagon rides, period games, music, a pie-eating contest and more. Old Town State Historic Park, Old Town, 619.220.5422. oldtownsandiegoguide.com

July 9. Surfing and music come together for the 12th annual Bro-Am. The celebration featured surf contests, live music performances and more. The event is hosted by Rob Machado and Switchfoot. Moonlight Beach, Encinitas. broam.org

Over the Line Tournament
July 9-10; 16-17. Three-member teams compete in San Diego’s original beach softball tournament, a colorful event for mature audiences. Fiesta Island, 619.330.2227. ombac.org

Fiesta del Sol San Diego
July 9-10. The 10th annual Fiesta del Sol is a two-day, family-friendly street festival featuring six themed pavilions, an entertainment stage, multi-cultural food court and more than 100 booths. Chicano Park, Barrio Logan. fiestadelsolsandiego.org

Color Run MLB All-Star 5K
July 10. Nike presents a colorful 5K run through San Diego, complete with the Tropicolor Zone in which runners will be bathed bright paints and island scents, new color stations at every kilometer, island-style music and more fun surprises. 7 a.m. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Hwy., San Diego Marina. thecolorrun.com

MLB All-Star Game
July 12. Major League Baseball brings the much-anticipated All-Star game to San Diego’s Petco Park. MLB’s best stars compete in the 87th annual game. Other events leading up to the game include: Music performances by OneRepublic (July 8), Tori Kelly (July 9), Gwen Stefani (July 10), Color Run (July 10), All-Star Sunday Celebrity Softball Game (July 10), Homebred Derby (July 11) and more. See website for full list of events and locations. mlb.com

Sun & Sea Festival
July 15-16. Imperial Beach buzzes with activity for this weekend celebration featuring a parade, farmer’s market and food fair, sand sculptures, a midnight sandcastle ball, children’s activities and more. Portwood Pier Plaza, Imperial Beach. sunandseafestival.com

Opening Day at Del Mar Races
July 15. Sport and fashion collide at the opening day party at the Del Mar Races. Tickets for this highly-anticipated event include stretch run admission, and access to the party in the trackside Seaside Cabana and concert area. Guests will enjoy gourmet food trucks, photo booths, private wagering, a jumbo video board, the Opening Day Hats Contest and more. 2 p.m. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. seatadvisor.com


Del Mar Racing

Del Mar Racing
July 15-Sept. 5. Catch thoroughbred racing five days a week. Post time most days is 2 p.m. Special events include Four O’Clock Fridays concert series, Beer Festival, family weekends and the $1 million Pacific Classic (Aug. 20). Wednesdays-Sundays through Sept. 5; dark Mondays and Tuesdays, except Labor Day. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.1141. dmtc.com

The After Pony Party
July 15. Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa celebrates Del Mar’s opening day with an exotic after party featuring tropical cocktails, cabana lounges, tequila tastings, dining, photo booth fun, live music, dancing and more. 6-10 p.m. $65/pp. 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.759.6246. ranchovalencia.com

San Diego Pride Festival & Parade
July 16-17. The 42nd annual LGBT celebration is one of the largest in the nation. Parade: Saturday, 11 a.m. at University Ave. and Normal St., Hillcrest. Festival: Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at Balboa Park, 619.297.7683. sdpride.org

Festival of the Bells
July 16-17. Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first Franciscan mission in the Californias, celebrates 247 years of operation. Festivities include food booths, live entertainment, games, a full bar cantina and the Blessing of the Bells, which is the only time all year that all five Mission bells are rung. 10818 San Diego Mission Rd., Mission Valley. missionsandiego.org

Downtown at Sundown
July 21. Get the first look at MCASD’s new downtown exhibitions: DeLIMITations: A Survey of the 1821 United States-Mexico Border; Papel Chicano dos: Works on paper from the collection of Cheech Marin and more with free museum admission, exhibition tours, live music, drink specials, a food truck and more. 1100 Kettner Blvd., downtown, 858.454.3541. mcasd.org

Comic-Con International
July 21-24. The nation’s largest convention celebrating comics and the popular arts features comic-book publishers, game companies, film studios and toy makers. Event is sold out, but enjoy people-watching and additional festivities throughout downtown. San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Dr., Embarcadero, comic-con.org

Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival
July 23. Just in time for Comic-Con, San Diego’s Waterfront Park transforms into a craft beer comic book. Attendees will enjoy tastes of more than 100 craft beers from more than 40 breweries, while competing in the caped crusader costume contest, enjoying music, dancing and more. 3:30-6:30 p.m. 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego Embarcadero, heroesbrewfest.com


Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival

Gourmet Food Truck Festival
July 23. Bring your appetite for the tastiest food on wheels when the 6th annual Gourmet Food Truck Festival comes to Del Mar. Enjoy a variety of the hottest eats with more than 40 food trucks dishing up their eclectic bests at great prices. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., dmtc.com

Unleashed Surf Dog Competition
July 30. The most adorable surfing competition you’ll ever witness, Unleashed by Petco hosts this annual event for the four-legged surfers out there. Watch fearless pups battle the waves, then enjoy an awards ceremony and beer garden. Portwood Pier Plaza, Imperial Beach. surfdogevents.com

Bayside Summer Nights
July 1-Sept. 4. San Diego Symphony hosts their annual Bayside Summer Nights (formerly San Diego Summer Pops) with outdoor musical performances by an eclectic variety of artists and genres including a tribute to Johnny Cash, Diana Ross, Trace Adkins, Broadway sing-alongs and more. 200 Marina Park Way, San Diego Marina. sandiegosymphony.org


San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights. Photo by David Hartig.

Through July 24. Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece is filled with gruesome battles, supernatural horrors, famous poetry and vivid characters. Lowell Davies Festival Theatre at the Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.6123. theoldglobe.org

The Last Tiger in Haiti
Through July 24. This world-premiere play weaves Haitian lore into a contemporary narrative of survival and betrayal. Mandela Weiss Forum at the La Jolla Playhouse, UC San Diego, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.550.1010. lajollaplayhouse.org

Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro
July 6-17. This musical celebrates the life and music of Leonard Bernstein—one of the country’s greatest musicians—by combining first-person narrative, and Bernstein’s own music with the music that inspired him. San Diego Repertory Theatre at Lyceum Theatre, 79b Horton Plaza, downtown, 619.544.1000. sdrep.org

Sense and Sensibility
July 6-Aug. 14. Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon (The Old Globe’s Emma, Broadway’s Jane Eyre) refashions Jane Austen’s timeless classic novel into a new romantic musical. Shiley Stage at the Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623. theoldglobe.org

Rascal Flatts
July 8. Country music superstars, Rascal Flatts return to San Diego for their Rhythm and Roots Tour, this time joined by Kelsea Ballerini and Chris Lane. Sleep Train Amphitheater, 2050 Entertainment Circ., Chula Vista, 619.671.3500. amphitheatrechulavista.com

July 11-12. An iconic band for the last forty years, Boston performs two back-to-back nights at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay as a stop on their Four Decades Tour. 2241 Shelter Island Dr., Shelter Island, 619.224.3577. humphreysconcerts.com

Ain’t Misbehavin’
July 13-Aug. 7. Taking its name from the Fats Waller song, this rousing musical pays tribute to black musicians circa the Harlem Renaissance. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Solana Beach, 858.481.1055. northcoastrep.org

Diana Ross
July 17. As part of the San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights Series (formerly San Diego Summer Pops), the shining pop diva, Diana Ross takes the stage at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. (San Diego Symphony Orchestra does not appear on this program). 7:30 p.m. 200 Marina Park Way, San Diego Marina. sandiegosymphony.org

“Weird Al” Yankovic
July 21. Funny man, “Weird Al” Yankovic delivers the laughs to San Diego audiences with his parodies of pop music hits, satire and more, with his Return of the Mandatory World Tour. Open Air Theatre at SDSU, 5500 Campanile Dr., SDSU, 619.594.0429. weirdal.com

July 22. San Diego based American Rock Band, Blink-182 comes home for a performance at Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl to kick off their tour promoting new album, California. They’ll be joined by A Day to Remember and The All-American Rejects. 5500 Canyon Crest Dr., SDSU. ticketmaster.com

Junk: The Golden Age of Debt
July 26-Aug. 21. Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Ayad Akhtar goes back to the ‘80s with an origin story for the world that finance has given us, in this sexy and epic thriller about an upstart genius hell-bent on changing all the rules. Mandela Weiss Theatre at the La Jolla Playhouse, UC San Diego, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.550.1010. lajollaplayhouse.org

Brand New with Modest Mouse
July 26. Brand New and Modest Mouse bring their co-headlined tour to San Diego, presenting a well-rounded blend of American Rock and alternative, pop punk music. Their North American tour alternates between bands for openers, and Brand New will close this particular show. Sleep Train Amphitheater, 2050 Entertainment Circ., Chula Vista, 619.671.3500. livenation.com

Dead & Company
July 27. Dead & Company takes the San Diego stage as part of its summer tour. The band is made up of three former members of the Grateful Dead (singer-guitarist Bob Weir, drummer Bill Kreutzmann and drummer Mickey Hart) as well as singer-guitarist John Mayer, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and bassist Oteil Burbridge. Sleep Train Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista, 619.671.3500. amphitheatrechulavista.com

The Second City’s Free Speech
July 29-Aug. 21. Free Speech (While Supplies Last) offers an irreverent look at America’s electoral insanity. This topical new show by La Jolla Playhouse features political satire made famous by Second City stars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Keegan-Michael Key. Mandela Weiss Forum at the La Jolla Playhouse, UC San Diego, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.550.1010. lajollaplayhouse.org

Meteor Shower
July 30-Sept. 4. Steve Martin’s surprising new comedy takes an offbeat and absurdist look at the comic anxiety lurking just beneath the surface of modern marriage. Contains strong language. White Theatre at the Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623. theoldglobe.org

Sublime with Rome
July 30. Eric Wilson (formerly of Sublime), Josh Freese and Rome Ramirez take the stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre, performing their reggae and alternative rock sounds. Opening acts include Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleerker. 2050 Entertainment Circ., Chula Vista, 619.671.3500. ticketmaster.com

Reggae Fest featuring Ziggy Marley
July 30. Reggae will be jamming’ once more as legend Ziggy Marley returns to the racetrack. Ginger Roots and the Protectors will also be headlining before Marley’s performance. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. dmtc.com