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California’s Best Summer Fairs and Festivals

Summer is the time of the year when family, friends and lovers create some of the best memories of their lives. From music festivals and culinary weeks to county fairs and car shows, California is the perfect place to be from June to September. Here are some planning ideas for you to explore that will make your summer one to remember.


25th Annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival is a week-long festival from June 17-25 perfect for music lovers. Sip on wine from Sonoma County and enjoy artists like NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves, Grammy Award winner Samara Joy, percussion maestro and Healdsburg Jazz artist-in-residence John Santos, among others.

14th Annual Juneteenth Festival in Oakland
Oakland's 14th annual Juneteenth Festival takes place June 17 at Oakland’s Lake Merritt Amphitheatre. Presented by Afrocentric Oakland, the celebration of Black and African culture has become a tradition for Bay Area residents and visitors alike to provide a platform to preserve the community’s rich cultural heritage and contributions to the larger society.

Classic Car Weekend in Atascadero
Atascadero’s beloved Cruisin’ Weekend returns August 18-19. Kick things off with the annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite where visitors get the chance to see over 400 local cruisers from the 50’s and 60’s. The fun continues with the 7th Annual Dancing in the Streets that has live performances, music and dancing throughout the downtown area. Food, wine and distillery vendors will be onsite for the free weekend event. 

Carmel Culinary Week
Carmel-by-the-Sea Culinary Week makes its week-long return June 2–10. Guests can celebrate its thriving culinary scene through the “Art of the Plate” with immersive culinary events, special menus, and exclusive offers at more than 30 participating restaurants. The week comes to a close with the 30th Annual Monterey Winemakers' Celebration, in which participants celebrate the wines and winemakers of the world-class growing region. Stay at one of many unique hotels and inns located within walking distance such as L'Auberge Carmel or the Tally Ho Inn

The San Mateo County Fair
The 88th anniversary of San Mateo County Fair, held from June 3-11, is the perfect summer fair for a one-stop family fun day. The annual event brings together the community for live entertainment, unique food, arts & educational exhibits, floral and garden creations, livestock and agricultural exhibits, and a fun-filled carnival for all ages. 

Pacific Coast Fog Fest
Pacific Coast Fog Fest is an annual free event held September 23-24 in Pacifica featuring a parade, live music, kids activities, local vendors, food, over 200 booths and more.

Summer Festivities in Morgan Hill
Celebrate summer in Morgan Hill. From June to August, Guglielmo Winery will host its Vines & Vibes Concert Series featuring a free live show, local food trucks, and refreshing wine slushies alongside their classic wines served by the glass or bottle. Morgan Hill Freedom Fest on July 4 includes the popular "Patriotic Sing”, Freedom Run, a street music festival, Cruise and Car Show, and Fireworks on the Green. The free Friday Night Music series, which runs mid-June through August, showcases the Bay Area’s favorite musical acts performing for enthusiastic crowds under an open sky. 

North Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Classic and Music Festivals
Tahoe City Food and Wine Classic returns on June 10, rain or shine, inviting locals and visitors to experience Tahoe City. Tickets are $65 for general admission and $25 for designated drivers (only including food). Limited tickets are available. Beginning June 16, the Music on the Beach summer concert series returns to King Beach with free, weekly live music performances featuring a variety of genres on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival is back July 22-23 at Palisades Tahoe with an exciting lineup including Rebelution and Stick Figure. Tickets range from $53 kids packages to $479+ 2-day advanced packages that include lodging. 

Mendocino’s UrchinFest
Mendocino UrchinFest returns June 16-18, celebrating the palatable purple sea urchin. Stay at Little River Inn or MacCallum House, where each is offering all-inclusive guest packages for the adventurous epicurean. The first package includes a guided tide-pooling excursion, while the second package features a guided diving experience. Both culminate in an educational demonstration and dinner showcasing the harvested bounty, along with a sake pairing highlighting each course in the feast. Lodging and breakfast are included with each package.

Summer Fairs and Festivals in Sonoma County
The annual Taste of Sonoma on June 24 invites guests to experience the Sonoma County lifestyle by sampling vintages of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and more from 19 diverse wine regions. The event also includes guided wine seminars, complimentary food trucks, a beer garden, and themed lounges. Celebrate 50 years of Sonoma County at Gravenstein Apple Fair, August 12-13. Enjoy live music, local food, arts and crafts vendors, farm animals, iconic microbrews, premium wines, and a VIP Lounge. Awarded the first-ever Green Resolution for events by Sonoma County Zero Waste, the fair is proud to be 95% zero waste. 

Music, Food, and Jazz in Concord
The popular Music & Market series returns this summer from June 1 - September 28 in Todos Santos Plaza. Jazz Around Town is Concord’s salute to its jazz legacy. This year, from August 2-4, live jazz will be playing at The Veranda, Music & Market and the Concord Historical Society, home of the Brubeck Stage. Visitors can stay at any of the city’s nine budget friendly hotels. Most have pools, perfect for the warm Concord weather and almostall are pet-friendly too.


San Luis Obispo Concerts in the Plaza
The San Luis Obispo Concerts in the Plaza returns to Mission Plaza for 12 weeks of free live music and local vendors in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo from June 23 - August 26. Concerts in the Plaza is the largest free concert series on the Central Coast. In addition to live music there will be food and drink from vendors around the plaza.

Arroyo Grande’s Art in the Park and Big Ditch Market
The City of Arroyo Grande will feature a variety of summer festivals and fairs including Art in the Park, Big Ditch Market, and a weekly Summer Concert Series. From June to September, Art in the Park celebrates local artists showcasing their unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Starting in July and into November, Big Ditch Market offers handmade items to food from 30 of the Central Coast’s best vendors. 

California Mid-State Fair & Luxurious Halter Ranch Vacation Rentals
From live music to fantastic wine offerings, the California Mid-State Fair, from July 19-30, has it all. When the heat gets too much, take a Winery & Cave Tour in the largest wine caves on the Central Coast. After a day of excitement, retreat to Halter Ranch's luxurious vacation rentals. 

23rd Annual Garlic City Car Show
Head to Downtown Gilroy for the Garlic City Car Show on June 17. Auto enthusiasts from across the state will be cruising into town to show off their prized possessions and enjoy all the fun in the sun. From classic cars and hot rods to monster trucks and futuristic electric cars, every vehicle has a unique story to share. 

Gilroy Rodeo
The Gilroy Rodeo rides back into town August 11-13. Things kick off on Friday at the Buckin’ Bash, an abbreviated rodeo dedicated to “all things that buck.” CCPRA Rodeo performances on Saturday and Sunday also feature tie-down roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, rodeo clowns and more. This event is a community fundraiser that raises money to benefit local schools and charities.

Renaissance Festival
On July 15, the Central Coast Renaissance Festival returns to Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo. Step back in time and witness the grandeur of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, experience the era’s legendary characters like William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake, and witness hundreds of people dressed in their finest attire.

California Wine Festival - Carlsbad & Santa Barbara
California Wine Festival tours this summer with a new lineup of signature oceanfront tasting opportunities, celebrating two decades of world-class wine discovery and everything that makes California the idyllic destination for wine enthusiasts. Entering its 20th event season, each festival pays homage to the vast offerings from winemaking regions across the Golden State, paired with gourmet food selections from local dining purveyors, and accompanied by live entertainment and expansive coastal views. CA Wine Festival will be in Carlsbad on June 23-24 and in Santa Barbara on July 14-15.

Festival Mosaic in San Luis Obispo
Beginning May 12, classical music lovers are invited to attend Festival Mosaic, a series of music events hosted in San Luis Obispo. More than just a series of concerts, Festival Mosaic is an immersive experience where the music is elevated by the city’s beautiful backdrop. 


Santa Monica Pride Festival, Pier 360, and July 4th Festivities
Santa Monica Place, Downtown Santa Monica, and The Santa Monica Pier are putting on the first-ever SaMo PRIDE Festival on June 3. Guests can participate in a bounty of activities and commemorate the occasion in the “Colors of Pride'' photo booths with backdrops designed by LGBTQ+ artists. A few weeks later from June 24-25, the Santa Monica Pier’s largest event of the year, Pier 360 takes place. The oceanside bash is free to the public and includes live performances, exciting ocean sports competitions, and delicious eats. And kickoff July by grabbing the best red, white and blue attire for the City’s Fourth of July Parade.

Summer of Music & Festivals in Pasadena
It's the Summer of Music & Festivals in Pasadena as Just Like Heaven and Cruel World Festivals kick off in Brookside at the Rose Bowl. See Karol G and Coldplay at the Rose Bowl Stadium, Bernadette Peters at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, The Fray with Pasadena POPS at the LA Arboretum, and outdoor summer music and movies at One Colorado. Stop by Foodieland at the Rose Bowl Stadium for a three-day food festival inspired by Taiwan's night markets. 

Vista Strawberry Festival 
The Vista Strawberry Festival is a popular event paying tribute to Vista's strawberry heritage by serving up a menu of strawberry delights, live entertainment, interactive activities, a strawberry run and more. In the 1960s and 1970s, strawberries were shipped daily from Vista to parts of the U.S. as well as Europe and Asia. Many called Vista the Unofficial Strawberry Capital of the World during its heyday. 

Mission Fiesta, Plein Air Festival, and Watermelon Extravaganza in Oceanside
Mission San Luis Rey celebrates its 225th anniversary with the return of Mission Fiesta on June 16-18. The event will feature carnival rides, live music, food, a beer garden and the crowning of Fiesta Royalty. Oceanside Museum of Art pays homage to the city during its bi-annual Oceanside Plein Air Festival on July 15-22. The event includes plein-air painting sessions, workshops, and a juried exhibition with awards. Mellano Farm Stand’s watermelon festival returns July 15-16, featuring ripe watermelons, local vendors, strawberry and sunflower u-pick, and a farm stand full of flowers and produce.

San Diego's Hillcrest CityFest
Hillcrest CityFest, on August 13, will feature live bands, electronic dance music DJs, arts, crafts, and food that attracts over 150,000 visitors. This is San Diego's largest art and music festival stretching nearly half a mile in size on over nine city blocks. 

Boat Cinema and Country Musical Festival Santa Clarita
This summer, Santa Clarita will be home to several unique experiences. In particular, Boat Cinema – L.A.’s first movie experience from your own personal mini boat – takes place at Castaic Lake now through September 9. Also, the legendary Boots & Brews country music festival celebrates friends, boots, craft beer, and great country music returns on June 17.

Greek Festival and Midsummer Block Party in Camarillo
Learn the ancient art of Greek dance while enjoying gyros at the Ventura County Greek Festival, June 23-25. The Camarillo Old Town Heritage Days Midsummer Block Party celebration, held on July 12-16, is filled with fun carnival rides, food trucks, and games for the entire family. Capture all the fun while staying at Bella Capri Inn & Suites to rest and recharge and do it all again the next day.

Summer Nights and Ghost Town Alive! Return to Knott's Berry Farm
The party starts after sundown on select nights at Knott’s Summer Nights, an evening event with craft food and beverage booths, rotating bands, and a Boardwalk DJ. Experience a Western adventure at Ghost Town Alive! where the citizens of Calico welcome visitors to join their story filled with bandits, cowboys, judges, robberies, and a classic hoedown. Events run May 26 – September 4.

Torrance Summer Nights Concerts
From June 4 through September 3, Torrance Summer Nights takes visitors and locals on a musical, movie, and live theater cultural journey through an array of festival programming. The Palos Verdes Symphonic Band will return for a patriotic, big band extravaganza. Exclusively for those 21 and over, TAM HOUSEPARTY! at the Torrance Art Museum on July 9 will feature live DJs spinning their way through 60s, SKA, Motown, Northern Soul, Funk, Disco, and 80s music. Live theater will also take place, including performances from Shakespeare by the Sea.

InterContinental San Diego’s Summer Sunset Live Music Series
Celebrate summer with the sounds of local music during InterContinental San Diego’s 2023 Summer Sunset Live Music Series every Saturday through September 2 hosted at Layover. Throughout the series, guests will enjoy live music from a talented selection of local artists and unparalleled sunset views over the San Diego Bay on the rooftop lounge along with Layover’s signature cocktails.


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