The must-see sites, off grounds.

Burning Man
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Music festival season means feeling the pulsating beat and becoming one with the crowd, enjoying good times and great music. That atmosphere is euphoric, making for an unforgettable weekend you’ll want to last forever. That lively spirit doesn’t have to end with the final lineup. Here’s some inspiration on how to extend your trip and seize the opportunity to explore the areas around your favorite festivals.

Los Padres National Forest

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Lightning in a Bottle (May 22-27)

This “community campout” attracts people near and far to Buena Vista Lake, California, for artists from Skrillex to Labrinth and more. But when you’re done dancing along, taking yoga classes, indulging in private beach access, and admiring interactive art experiences, more adventure awaits. 

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In about two hours, you can venture south to Los Padres National Forest or north to Sequoia National Park to connect with nature and slow your pace after a wild week. Lightning in a Bottle centers on sustainability, so wherever you go, make sure you leave no trace and respect the land.

Dirt road leading into the beautiful golden colors of a vineyard in the autumn. Taken in California's Napa Valley
A Napa Valley vineyard

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Bottlerock Napa Valley (May 24- 26)

This piece of wine country transforms into a heavenly celebration of live music, wine, and food for three days in Napa, California. When you’re not living it up at this haven of all things culture, consider retreating to the opulent comforts of the recently renovated Silverado Resort or remodeled Meritage Resort and Spa

Of course, there’s cultivated wine galore throughout the region—like tastings at Quintessa—as well as brews to try in this all-inclusive Napa Craft Brewery Tour. Get an elevated view of the festival grounds by taking to the sky with the Napa Valley Aloft hot air balloon rides. Or, embrace the open air at the Skyline Wilderness Park or Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Just 35 minutes outside Napa lies charming Calistoga, where you can enjoy a medieval-style castle, hot springs, luxurious spas, mud baths, and more. 

Willing to make the trek for natural wonders? Both Lassen Volcanic National Park and Pinnacles National Park are less than four hours away with rugged landscapes to explore.

Boise, Idaho
Boise, Idaho

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Boise Music Festival (June 22) 

Featuring mainstage performers like Dustin Lynch, Jason Derulo, and Sugarhill Gang, BMF 2024 will be a night to remember. The one-day event means there’s plenty of time to explore in Garden City and Boise

Along the scenic Boise River Greenbelt, stroll and take in the picture-perfect views for a bit of a serene contrast to the high-energy music festival. Or, consider renting canoes, kayaks, or tubes for an exciting river expedition. Keep up that outdoorsy kick at the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area with summertime hiking, mountain biking, and more—like an adrenaline-boosting alpine coaster running course through 4,330 feet of scenic views.  

For a night out, try some of the area’s many eclectic bars, like Spacebar, where you can play retro arcade games ranging from Pac-Man to a full pinball wall. Or, reserve a spot at prohibition-style bar Gatsby 1920, where you’ll say a secret password to enter through an alley and enjoy glamorous cocktails in an ambiance that rivals the real Roaring ’20s. 

For a longer getaway, make the drive out about two hours to Sawtooth National Forest for gorgeous mountain vistas or Shoshone Falls, the “Niagara of the West.” There’s lots to do near Boise! 

Bridge: Golden Gate Bridge (CA)
The Golden Gate Bridge

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Outside Lands (Aug. 9-11); Portola Music Festival (Sept. 28) 

Golden Gate Park has never looked so good. For three days, about 225,000 festival goers gather in San Francisco to see artists like Post Malone and Tyler, the Creator at Outside Lands. And not too much later, the Portola Music Festival brings an electronic edge to Pier 80. 

Once the festival grounds empty and everyone is heading home, bask in the beauty of the San Francisco Botanical Garden or visit Land’s End for hiking, picnicking, and spectacular views. You can also take to the Bay with Sunset Sail to watch the sky shift in pink and orange hues, framing panoramic views of the city, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. These two festivals give you every reason to plan a return trip, so you don’t have to miss San Francisco for too long. 

Incline Village Lake Tahoe
Head to Lake Tahoe after Burning Man

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Burning Man (Aug. 25-Sept. 2) 

Embrace Burning Man 2024’s theme, “Curiouser & Curiouser” by learning more about everything the Black Rock Desert area of Nevada has to offer. The epitome of self-expression and community, this festival offers unforgettable experiences all around. Of course, check out the ground’s community-produced art. From the iconic burning of The Man to this 2024’s Temple of Together, a neo-Gothic-inspired construction evoking unity—you won’t want to miss out. 

Though many neighboring playas and hot springs are closed around Burning Man, there are bountiful experiences to be had outside the desert. Reno, the next closest major city (120 miles), is home to many resort spas and museums for road trippers. 

Journey a bit farther for a visit to Lake Tahoe perfect for water activities (including scuba diving!), hiking, beaching…or getting a taste of luxury after worn out from Burning Man at The Ritz-Carlton Spa