Sacramento is a great home base for those wanting to visit a number of festivals that take place throughout the region. Whether you’re looking to unleash your inner hippie, sample some great wines, or listen to the hottest new music, there’s an annual event that’s just a short drive away. Check out this list for a sampling of the more popular happenings.
1. Bottle Rock Festival, Napa
Music, food, wine, beer, and comedy…all in one venue! This four-day festival is packed with an all-star lineup, gourmet offerings from the area’s top restaurants, and excellent wines and beers from nearby and afar. 2013 was the inaugural year and featured acts such as Kings of Leon, Primus and The Black Keys. Transit to/from Sacramento is also a breeze: The BottleBus will collect you from downtown and take you straight to the festival.
2. Whole Earth Festival, Davis
Every Mother’s Day weekend, the UC Davis campus comes alive with this eco-friendly festival that focuses on music, dance, arts, crafts and education. Those dedicated to sustainable living and environmental harmony are sure to find many kindred spirits. There are craft tents, music acts, massage tables and plenty of food. Various workshops occur throughout the weekend as well. Davis is an easy 20-minute drive from Sacramento – or a quick trip from the downtown Sacramento Amtrak.
3. Dixon May Fair, Dixon
Looking to stay in a city but also experience a good ol’ county fair? This yearly event showcases the region’s livestock, art and photography. There’s a Kiddie Carnival for the little ones, country music performances, a car show, destruction derby and more. Dixon is just 30 minutes from Sacramento by car.
4. Barbera Festival, Amador County
Held at the Cooper Ranch in the Shenandoah Valley, this festival offers a unique opportunity to sample a number of Barbera wines. This particular varietal is becoming increasingly popular in California and pairs wonderfully with food – yet it remains largely unknown to the wine-buying public. The festival features food from top area restaurants and more than 80 wineries from all over California, and it is set among the beautiful rolling hills of Amador County. The drive from Sacramento takes about 40 minutes.
5. Asparagus Festival, Stockton
We know what you’re thinking – who really likes asparagus enough to create an entire festival? But this has actually been around for an impressive 28 years and is the largest charitable event in California. Food lovers can try deep-fried asparagus, asparagus tri-tip sandwiches, asparagus burritos and asparaberry shortcake, all while enjoying music and local wines. This fest is not just about a green veggie, either: There’s a home expo, small business expo, recipe competition, golf competition and an entertainment zone complete with rides. Stockton is easily reachable by car in around 50 minutes.
Again, this is just a quick list to pique your curiosity. The Tourism Department will be happy to provide further suggestions or assist you with organizing a unique experience for your group. Click here to email us.