Don’t miss our editors’ picks for the season’s best happenings for foodies, art buffs, music lovers, and more
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a stunning showcase of pantaloons and farthingales, draws 400,000 visitors. The action centers on the Elizabethan stage, an eye-popping ode to the playwright’s Globe Theatre.
Photo by Tory Williams
Mornings at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival begin with a blast of bagpipes, as campers flood the gates in a landgrab. Roughing it does have its advantages, though: Fingerpickers like Tim O’Brien are known to sneak into the campgrounds for fireside jams.
Creative Commons photo by mtlancelot is licensed under CC BY 2.0
It's like summer camp for adults. Celebrate the roots-focused High Sierra Music Festival with more than 50 performers over 4 days. Not only can you hear awesome performances by The Record Company, Andrew Bird, The Trey Anastasio Band, and more with 10,000 other attendees, but the venue also offers opportunities to swim, fish, and hike in the quaint mountain town of Quincy, so don't forget your bathing suit.
Creative Commons photo by Aspen Meadows Resort is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Set in the imperial Colorado Rockies, the eight-week Aspen Music Festival will bring out your inner Mozart. Orchestral concerts, opera, and kids’ programs are just a few of the events offered.
Photo courtesy of the Utah Shakespeare Festival; written by Rachel Bertone
At the Utah Shakespeare Festival, dive into the world of Shakespeare with plays like As You Like It and other classics. Highlights include backstage tours, production seminars, and the chance to watch the stage crew perform their transformative magic between shows.
Calling all opera fans! Catch one of the five productions that will be shown at this year's annual Santa Fe Opera Festival. As one of the world's leading opera fests, you'll hear some of the brightest young singers from around the globe.
DEA / G. SIOEN / Getty Images
Take in one of the largest Blackfeet tribal events in Native American culture at North American Indian Days. From every region in the United States and Canada, Native Americans come to share their heritage and perform traditional drumming, dancing contests, and more. If you're lucky, you might even get to hide out in an authentic tipi.
Courtesy of Pageant of the Masters
Art buffs are sure to love one of the most unique artistic interpretations in the nation.The Pageant of the Masters is one of the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts’ most famous attractions, where real people pose as counterparts in original art pieces, recreating the work in an interesting, three-dimensional way.
Photo courtesy of SFJazz; written by Rachel Bertone
Get ready for all the funky, soulful, smooth music you can handle. At SFJazz Summer Sessions, top local musicians from the Bay area delight crowds at the SF JAZZ Center. In past years, greats like the Scott Amendola quartet have played.
Photo courtesy of Renegade Craft Fair; written by Rachel Bertone
Get creative at the Renegade Craft Fair, with locations in Los Angeles (Jul 8-9), San Francisco (Jul 15-16), Seattle (Jul 22-23), and Portland (Jul 29-30). The best vendors of indie-craft and DIY goods from the Golden State and beyond will be selling everything from jewelry to paper goods to bath products.
Photo courtesy of Copper River Wild; written by Rachel Bertone
Join the rustic fishing community in the heart of Prince William Sound as they celebrate the Copper River Wild! Salmon Festival, a beloved Alaskan staple. Highlights include live music, arts and crafts, and a tasty salmon barbecue on Saturday night.
Creative Commons photo by amazingfantasy66 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Soak up the sun at the iconic OC Fair, with live music, rodeo shows, a decked-out carnival, wine tasting, and lots more.
Photo by Richard Bowditch
Cheyenne Frontier Days has been rippin’ and snortin’ since 1897. Days start with pancakes and end with a rock or country show. In between: all manner of bucking broncos, bull riders, historical reenactments, and carnival rides.
Andy Cross / Getty Images
Marvel at the elegant cake displays or take a chance on a Tarot reading at one of the twelve different pavilions set up on the grounds of the Denver County Fair. Kids are sure to love the carnival sideshow, and entertaining live music. As for us, we're most excited about the best moustache and beard competition.
Photo by Anna Hirschi; written by Rachel Bertone
At Pioneer Days at This Is The Place Heritage Park, history buffs get a taste of the olden days when the Mormon pioneers officially arrived in Salt Lake City in the 1800’s. Go back in time and enjoy some of the same activities the pioneers had for entertainment such as foot races, games, and crafts. The day ends with a ceremonial bang from the famous Candy Cannon.
Creative Commons photo by brx0 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Raise a pint to the Oregon Brewers Festival, one of the nation’s longest running and most popular beer festivals. With over eighty craft breweries from all over the country serving more than 80,000 attendees during the event, it's a beer-lovers' heaven. Even the little ones can join the fun and sip on a handcrafted root beer while accompanied by an adult.
Bill Strange Photography
Don't worry--definitely no vampires at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Take in the distinct aroma of fresh garlic in Gourmet Alley, where guests can taste extraordinary garlic-enhanced recipes from top chefs like garlic salmon, garlic almonds, and even garlic ice cream. Proceeds from this pungent (but delicious!) event go to over 160 local non-profit charities and organizations.
Photo courtesy of US Open of Surfing; written by Rachel Bertone
Grab your board and head to the beach for this year’s annual US Open of Surfing. You'll see some of the gnarliest tricks on the waves. For hopeful surfers trying to reach the elite World Tours through the Association of Surfing Professionals, this event is a must.
Photo by John Deane
Vail Dance Festival is where troupes like New York City Ballet come to brisé and plié under the stars. If your love of dance extends only as far as the TV, check out the session of past and present reality-dance competition stars.
Photo by Joshua J. Withers
At Outside Lands, the pinkie in the rock-on salute is hoisted for high culture. There’s plenty of music, but also 100 high-end eats and wineries throughout Golden Gate Park. A couple years back they repurposed a 1920s sink to pour wine. A light red with your Metallica?
Photo by Sarah Gage; written by Joel Stein
This is why you came West: freedom. You want to be able to get naked, do drugs, set up a booth where you can smell other people’s armpits. Or at least see other people do that stuff. At Burning Man, see what happens when over 60,000 people set up a city in the remote, lifeless, cell-phone-service-free, playa of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert over Labor Day and then take it down. You want to see freaks. And if you don’t, then maybe you belong back in New England, thrilling to the surprise of discovering what people brought to your church potluck.
Photo by Richard Bowditch
The rocks star at the Moab Music Festival. Chamber, jazz, and folk bands all sound pitch-perfect tucked into the grottoes of Utah’s rust-colored desert. One program lets listeners raft down the Colorado River, stopping for music and fireside dining.
Photo by Christopher Nelson
Bumbershoot is the largest urban arts festival in North America. Yet it still feels like a neighborhood bazaar. Skate parks become galleries. Fire dancers work the caffeinated crowd. And nights end to the throb of a DJ. All within the shadow of the Space Needle.
Creative Commons photo by kat goossen is licensed under CC BY 2.0tone
Like it hot? Learn everything you could ever want to know about New Mexico’s spiciest crop at the annual Hatch Chile Festival. Sample famed chile recipes, toss a horseshoe in celebration, and practice your wave for the crowning of the Chile Festival Queen.