City Guides

10 Food Festivals You Can't Miss

Kacey Mya
January 16, 2024

We've assembled a top-ten list of the finest food festivals to attend while the sun is shining. Sure, some of these might be a stretch, but if this list saves you from missing out on one sweet or savory snack in the sun, we've done our job. 

1. Sacramento Taco Festival

Those who've never visited Northern California might not know that this region is home to some of the most outstanding Mexican food in the country. Up-and-coming downtown Sac hosts this taco-fest on the streets complete with beer and margarita garden. It's not to be missed!

2. Marysville Peach Festival

Who doesn't like a ripe summer peach? Some of the best are in the small Northern California community of Marysville. Local vendors showcase their variety of peach offerings, entrees, and desserts. There's even a Miss Peach and little Miss Peach contest!

3. Taste of Chicago

Yes, we know your city has the annual "taste of" and it's probably lovely. Chicago, however, is a city steeped in foodie lore and it's only right that their celebration of quality local eats makes its way onto this list. Deep-dish, check, Goose Island beer, check, silent disco, check. It's the very best way to enjoy Chicago in the very best time of year. 

4. Cheese the Day

You can thank us later for giving you this culinary turn-of-phrase that you'll never forget. Meanwhile, book tickets to Rochester NY, where you can enjoy this mid-summer day filled with cheese. Artisanal cheeses from all around the greater NY area are complemented by craft ciders from Blue Toad Ciders. 

5. Copper River Salmon Jam

Delicious Salmon sounds good during the summer months no matter where you are. But going to the source, the Copper River in Cordova, Alaska to be exact, is unlike anything you've ever experienced. You'll not only eat great fish but come to understand the proud and unique culture of the 49th state. Also, you'll eat lots of great fish

6. Maine Lobster Festival

Keeping Christmas in July going, we're only slightly closer to the mainland with our next festival in, well Maine. Maine Lobster has made the small coastal community of Rockland famous dating back to the late 1800s. You won't find a better lobster roll anywhere, and summer is the time to enjoy one with family and friends!

7. Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Colorado's premier resort town goes big over summer, inviting a host of celebrity chefs to showcase their talent in the majestic setting of Summit County. It's a three-day celebration of eating and drinking, and this year's guest list includes some serious star power. How about Martha Stewart, Alex Guarnaschelli and JJ Johnsonto name just a few? Better practice those pinky lifts!

8. Vermont Cheesemaker Festival

Vermont is best known for Ben & Jerry's and Bernie Sanders, but in fact this state has a "rich" history of quality cheese production. The state with 40 cheesemakers per capita invites you to spend some time on the open range in August for lovely pairings of cheese and wine, cheese and beer, cheese and burgers, really anything you can think of plus really good cheese. 

9. Portland Picnic

America's hipster capital is famous for exceptional street food, and it wouldn't be complete without a proper day-party. That party comes in the shape of the Portland Picnic, a one-day, all-day "wine tasting festival" that also happens to feature specialty chicken, tater tots, salmon and sushi along with 100 distinct wines. Bring your water bottle, it's going to be a long day. 

10. Ballard SeaFoodfest

Continuing our journey into the Pacific Northwest, a land synonymous with quality fish and seafood, the Ballard SeafoodFest has been a Seattle tradition since 1974. Live music accompanies local treats of Salmon, tacos, chowder, oysters and crab cakes. In addition to the entertainment and tasty treats, the Seattle craft brewing scene is on-hand to provide you with refreshing barely-pop and oh yes, it's free. In the words of Uncle Moneybags, "do not pass go, go directly to Ballard". 

Okay, we know that there's probably no realistic way to attend each one of these, but you should really try to get out and attend a few. You'll be impressed by how different summer eats are around the country, but the thread that binds them together is how delicious they all are, and the uniquely American way we celebrate the happiest of seasons. Smooth travels, and don't go hungry on us!

Check out our USA trips including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Zion, & Bryce Canyon National Parks.

Kacey Mya
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!


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