The Best Summer Festivals: Awesome Ideas for Music, Wine and Food! 

posted: 06/01/16
by: Katie Morton
Audience with hands in the air at a music festival

Few things are more all-American than celebrating summer at an outdoor festival. Soak up the sun, jam to new bands, fill your plates until you need to let out your belt and let your hair down at any of these not-to-miss summer events. Here are our top picks for 2016 festivals from around the country.

The Governors Ball Music Festival

Where: New York City

When: June 3-5, 2016

Governors Ball features an eclectic roster of bands--from classic rock to indie groups. You'll need to refuel after dancing and singing along, so hit one of the hot New York City food trucks for a proper meal-on-the-go. If you're seeking a respite of (relative) calm, the festival also features a silent disco area and lawn games to enjoy.

Maine Lobster Festival

Where: Rockland, Maine

When: August 3-7, 2016

If lobster is your thing, then you haven't lived until you've had fresh lobster plucked right from Maine's coastal waters. Over 80,000 hungry festivalgoers polish off 25,000 pounds (!) of Maine lobster at this quintessential Rockland event. But there's more than gluttony to celebrate, concerts, parades and a hysterically entertaining Lobster Crate Race add to the fun. Bring the kids, your appetite and maybe a lobster bib.

The cost of other festivals can be steep but this one is easy on wallet. Admission is free on Sunday, while Wednesday - Saturday tickets are only $5 for adults and $2 for kids.

Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle

Where: Washington, DC

When: June 25-26, 2016

If you're a whiz at the grill, then mark your calendars for THE BBQ EVENT of the season. Ribs, roasts, and sauce take center stage at this mouthwatering festival. BBQ pros from across the country and live music turn Pennsylvania Avenue into a tasty all-day street party.

Food & Wine Classic

When: Aspen, Colorado

Where: June 17-19, 2016

This iconic food and wine festival is a must for foodies. It's a jam-packed epicurean paradise with luxurious fine dining cuisine, libations and music, all taking place next to the movie-set backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. With more than 80 demos, lectures and tastings scheduled over the 3-day festival, everyone from the 5-star pro chef to the home gourmet will find something to peak their culinary palette.

Chicago Blues Festival

Where: Chicago, Illinois

When: June 10-12, 2016

Blues music is an essential part of Chicago's rich history and heritage. During the Chicago Blues Festival, the Windy City hosts musicians on five stages through the day and night. The best way to see all the acts is to wander around the park with your blanket or lawn chair. Unlike other music festivals geared toward the younger (and wilder) crowds, Chicago Blues Festival prides itself on being a family-friendly event--you'll see fans from ages 2 to 90. Headliners are big names like Dr. John and Aaron Neville, while other acts are up-and-coming talent.

California Wine Festival

Where: Santa Barbara, California

When: July 14-16

Indulge in tasting wine from California's renowned growers and vineyards. The beachside setting is the perfect place to indulge, relax and unwind. Various local restaurants are on hand to tempt festivalgoers with tasty treats.

Summer's the time to kick back, relax and celebrate--and what better way to do that than at a festival! Have fun making memories at one of these amazing summer food, wine or music festivals.