September 27, 2018


Visitors welcome to partake in fall events with locals “in-the-know”

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA – The fall season is the best-kept secret among locals. Although barbecue grills and bathing suits have been put into storage until next season, summer continues for visitors in-the-know. Citing fewer crowds, amazing hotel deals and some of the year’s best weather, the autumn months are packed full of things to do for locals and visitors. And this fall, Visit Santa Cruz County encourages visitors to take a peek at the fall festivals that are lined up this season:

September 7 – 9, 2018
Santa Cruz Greek Festival
This annual, award-winning street festival is jam-packed with delicious Greek dishes, yummy desserts, Kafenio, Greek wine & spirits. Live bouzouki band and dancing makes for a fun, family-friendly event in downtown Santa Cruz. Admission- free.
Location: 223 Church St., between Cedar & Center, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.429.6500

September 8, 2018
Mole & Mariachi Festival
Come and enjoy an outdoor festival with local artists, food, wine and activities for kids! FREE.
Location: Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, 144 School Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.429.1840

September 8 – 9, 2018
36th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival
22 Wineries, gourmet food, fine art, entertainment, children’s art area. Admission free in Capitola Village By The Sea. Free.
Location: Capitola Village, Capitola
Phone: 831.475.6522

September 12 – 16, 2018
Santa Cruz County Fair
Six days of fun and festivities, including a large carnival. Safe, fun and affordable.
Location: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds (2601 East Lake Ave., off Hwy. 152), Watsonville
Phone: 831.724.5671

September 28 – 30, 2018
Monterey Bay Birding Festival
Come see 200 species of birds in one of the world’s most picturesque areas of California on the Monterey Bay.
Location: 275 Main St., Watsonville

September 29, 2018
Boardwalk Bites & Brews
The newest food festival celebrates everyone’s favorite amusement park foods paired with Santa Cruz County’s best craft beers! Local brewers have been challenged to select (or brew up) a beer that best complements a Boardwalk menu item. With foods ranging from corn dogs and garlic fries to crepes and chocolate-covered bacon, the intriguing combinations offer a little something for everyone. Meet local brewers, enjoy live entertainment, taste great food and sample an impressive list of more than two dozen local craft beers. Online sales begin in August. IDs will be checked and “21+ tasting wristbands” will be provided. Please enjoy this event responsibly.
Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.423.5590

September 29 – 30, 2018
1st Annual Capitola Beach Festival
The Capitola Village Beach Festival features sand castle building and rowboat contests, a horseshoe tournament, fishing derby, and children’s art events. A Saturday night nautical parade illuminated with LED lights rounds out the fun.
Location: Capitola Village – Esplanade Park
Phone: 831.475.4466

September 30, 2018
Music at Skypark
Two of Music at Skypark’s most popular veteran bands headline the September concert: The Joint Chiefs start things off with their totally danceable fusion of funk, acid jazz, and classic R&B. Extra Large follows with funky grooves rooted in blends of funk, blues, reggae riffs, and Latin beats. Both bands have teamed up to produce Music at Skypark’s best-attended concerts in the past.
Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley
Phone: 831.334.8899

October 6 – 7, 13 – 14, 20 – 21, 2018
Open Studios Art Tour
Explore the hidden world of art! Visit artists in their studios, learn about their processes, purchase original works of art. Mobile app and printed guide have artist information and maps.
Location: Various locations, Santa Cruz County
Phone: 831.475.9600

October 7, 2018
Monte Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza
A wonderful family event featuring entertainment and a fireworks display. 8PM.
Location: Capitola Wharf, Capitola
Phone: 831.685.3317 www.

October 13 – 14, 20 – 21, 27 – 28, 2018
Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party
Announcing the tour’s most exciting year ever as hit entertainment debuts talking Thomas the Tank Engine and Thomas’ best friend Percy! Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas and Percy, for a 20-minute train ride, entertainment, and fun-filled activities for the entire family. Check website for specific times.
Location: Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton
Phone: 831.335.4484

October 14, 2018
Welcome Back Monarchs Day
Join California State Parks in welcoming the Monarchs back to Natural Bridges State Park, their over-wintering habitat. Arts and crafts, active games for kids, music by the 5M’s (The Mostly Mediocre Musical Monarch Mariposas), hand-cranked Monarch’ ice cream (pumpkin flavored), and information on how to create your own butterfly garden. Hosted by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, and California State Parks.
Location: Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.423.4609

October 20, 2018
The Missing Arm of William Waddell
History takes a tall tale twist as the saga of this early pioneer unfolds. The silly, slightly haunting tours around the redwood loop trail. Featuring music, storytelling and “Ranger Apples” around the campfire. All participants must register at Park Headquarters (registration opens at 6:30PM). FREE 7PM.
Location: Big Basin Redwoods State Park, 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek
Phone: 831.338.8883

October 27, 2018
Chili Cook-Off at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Bring your appetite & join the fun as both professional & amateur chefs compete! 10-4PM, Tasting starts at 1PM.
Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.423.5590

November 3 – 4, 2018
Santa Cruz Sea Glass & Ocean Art Festival
Featuring genuine sea glass and artist-made creations while benefiting our local marine environment. Held in the historic Cocoanut Grove Ballroom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 10AM – 5PM each day. The festival features artists, a free raffle, great food, full cash bar and more.
Location: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.332.7188

November 17, 2018
Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport Celebration Day
Your chance to visit wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains not normally open to the public. Taste wine & have a great time. Check website for times.
Location: Various Wineries, Santa Cruz Mountains
Phone: 831.685.VINE (8463)

November 17, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Ice Skating at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Skate to your heart’s content as you usher in the holidays and New Year! Check Website for details and times.
Location: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
Phone: 831.423.5590

November 24, 2018
Capitola’s Surfin’ Santa
Santa & his reindeer surf into Capitola Beach. Bring your Christmas list to review with Santa. Candy Canes for everyone! Free. Noon .
Location: Capitola Beach, Capitola Village
Phone: 831.475.6522

For more information about events taking place during fall, visit or call 800.833.3494.

About VSCC: A private, non-profit corporation, Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC) exists to enhance tourism and the economy by positioning Santa Cruz County as a visitor, conference and film destination. For more information, contact VSCC at 831-425-1234. Or visit VSCC’s website at

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