Go apple picking in Julian
Just under an hour and a half from San Diego, Julian is famous for its apple orchards. During September and early October, drive out to hand-pick a bushel full of apples, because apparently in Julian, a "bushel of apples" is a thing. If you're looking for a little less manual labor, most orchards have baskets for sale. Swing through the town on your way out to get a glimpse of the changing colors and grab a glass of hard apple cider from one of the many cideries in the area. Pair it with Julian's famous pie to feel what it's like to have a mouthful of fall. Michigan, Smichigan -- California can do apple picking just as good as the famed Midwest.
Grab a seat at the fireplace at the Yellow Deli in Vista
If you've ever wondered what it'd be like to step into Lord of the Rings, look no further than the Yellow Deli. Its indoor wooded fortress makes it easy to forget the year as folk music gently lulls you into a sense of calm. The fireplaces that dot the restaurant are the perfect places to gather around and pretend it's autumn even though the thermostat disagrees. The ethereal ambience is a big draw, but the food is what keeps people coming back. It's farmed nearby and the menu changes with the seasons, but there are always staple sandwiches, like a meaty Reuben, and salads.