California in October

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    California in October: 8 Travel-Worthy Things You Can Do

    Fall Foliage in Eastern California
    ••• Fall Foliage in Eastern California. ©2006 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    October's Big Holiday: Halloween

    You have to wait until the last day of the month for October's Big Holiday, but that gives you 30 days to get your costume ready.

    You'll find dozens of Halloween-themed activities almost anywhere you live, but if you'd like to turn Halloween into an excuse to run away from home, try these things to do in California for Halloween that is worth a trip.

    Top Picks for October in California

    We seldom have time for much else after we check out a few Halloween celebrations, but if you have the time the JazzTrax Festival on Catalina Island is one of our favorites. That could be because it's held in one of our favorite California places. It's so popular that it sells out every year, so you'll need to plan ahead.

    Things That Look Like Fun To Do in October

    These events look like fun, but we haven't had time to try them yet.

    Fleet Week, San Francisco: It's a celebration of the military fleet, featuring some impressive ships and an...MORE eye-popping air show.

    Pumpkin Festival, Half Moon Bay: Home of that giant pumpkin contest you see every year in the media, with lots of fall fun.

    Oktoberfest, Big Bear Lake: You know what Oktoberfest is all about - beer and more beer - and they've got it.

    Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, San Francisco: This free event is held in Golden Gate Park and features tons of really excellent bluegrass-style performers.

    Cambria Scarecrow Festival: More than 350 of the cutest, most creative scarecrows you can imagine line the town's streets.

    Outstanding in the Field: Bringing the dinner table to the farm, this traveling event invites diners to enjoy and celebrate food, with the people who produce it, right at the source.

    Western Film Festival, Lone Pine: More cowboy-filled western movies were filmed around Lone Pine than you can count and this festival celebrates them all.

    Whale Watching in October: Gray whales start their southward migration, and you may also see blue whales, fin whales, and Minke whales.

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    Things to Do in California in October That You Must Plan Ahead For

    Parade at Mickey's Halloween Party
    ••• Parade at Mickey's Halloween Party. ©2012 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Start making plans in August for Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland. It may be the most fun time to go all year - and it's the best Disneyland bargain out there. Tickets go on sale early in August and the most popular days sell out fast.

    If you want to take the annual Point Sur Lighthouse Ghost Tour or a lantern tour of Old City Cemetery in Sacramento, buy tickets early in September. By the end of the month, they'll all be sold out.

    If you want to go camping at a California state park in October, make your reservations six months ahead of time in April. Everything you need to know is here.

    If you're planning to camp at Yosemite next September 15 through October 14, be ready at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 15 to make your reservations online. For October 15 through November 14, mark your calendar for June 15. You can do that online or by phone at 877-444-6777 or 518-885-3639 from outside the US & Canada. Get an overview and more options here.

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    More About California in October

    Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week
    ••• Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    More California by Month

    If you're just starting to plan your California trip and want to know what it's like year round and not just in January, you can get a look at every month of the year using these guides: California in the Winter is great for skiing and snow play and all the events you'll find in the guide to California in DecemberJanuary, and February. It's also a great time for a winter weekend getaway.

    Spring gets going in March and April, and clear skies will continue at the coast into May. Get an overview of Things to Do in California in the Spring and try some of these California Spring Getaway Ideas.

    Summer holiday season starts in June and continues through July and August. It's the busiest tourist season and some parts of the state get almost unbearably hot, but it's a great time for mountain hiking. Start exploring Things to Do in the Summer and get busy planning your Summer California Getaway.

    Fall is my favorite time of year in California....MORE You'll see why in this Guide to California in the Fall. Weather is beautiful in September and October. By November, winter rains may have set in – or not. Start thinking about your California Fall Getaway now.