The best festivals in the U.S.

The best festivals in the U.S. show off an eclectic range of talent, craft, and cuisine. As summer rolls in, festivals fire up all over the country, and roadtripping folk like you and me start to dot our calendars with the big bashes we want to attend.

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Now, let’s dig into some of the best festivals in these United States, ranging from music fests to food fests to beer and wine fests to other quirky fests we’d like to share. 

The best music festivals in the U.S.

Music festivals regularly offer on-site camping so you can keep the party rolling long after the last notes. Let’s check out the crowd favorites: 

Woman at music festival
Source: Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Mid-June (Manchester, Tennessee) 

With its eclectic lineup spanning multiple genres, inclusive atmosphere, and emphasis on community, Bonnaroo is one of the best festivals in the U.S.

Bonnaroo happens on hundreds of acres in a spectacular part of Tennessee and features headliners like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone, and Fisher. 

Heading there from Nashville? Hit these stops on our Nashville to Bonaroo road trip itinerary.

Where to stay 

Bonnaroo has a wide range of on-site camping options. The Broken Banjo RV Park is another fan favorite in the area.

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Mid-May (Las Vegas, NV) 

This is the place for you if electronic dance music (EDM) is your jam. And they don’t call it a carnival for nothing — EDC is renowned for its elaborate stage designs, high-energy performances, and vibrant carnival atmosphere. The light shows and art displays are some of the main reasons EDC tops many bucket lists. 

DJ at EDM concert, one of the best festivals in the U.S.
Source: Vladimir Hodac via Shutterstock

Where to stay 

EDC offers an eclectic range of camping options on the festival grounds. The Hitchin’ Post RV Park is another nearby spot with full hookups.

Newport Folk Festival, Late July (Newport, Rhode Island)

This is the one for all you folksy fans out there. Newport Folk Festival has been strumming stories of true Americana since 1959. Check it out for acts like Guster, Adrienne Lenker, Sir Woman, and much, much more. 

Where to stay

On-site camping isn’t offered at this fest, but here are the nearby hotels. Newport RV Park is a popular spot for RVing folk.

Austin City Limits Music Festival, Early to Mid-October (Austin, Texas) 

Held in the proudly ‘weird’ city of Austin, ACL Music Fest showcases a diverse lineup of artists across multiple stages, representing genres such as rock, indie, hip-hop, electronic, and more, along with local food vendors and art installations.

Where to stay

Hotels can be had here, and Pecan Grove RV Park will put you right in the action, just be sure to call far in advance to book a spot here!

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Late April/Early May (New Orleans, Louisiana)

What could be better than a bash combining New Orleans Jazz with all the Cajun cuisine you can handle? That’s exactly what this iconic festival stands for, and that’s why it’s one of the can’t-miss shindigs on our schedule. 

Piano players hands at Jazzfest, one of the best festivals in the U.S.
Source: William A. Morgan via Shutterstock 

Where to stay and camp

This fest happens downtown, so you could check out hotels like this one for special rates. Otherwise, The New Orleans RV Resort & Marina or the New Orleans West KOA are both close.

The best beer festivals in the U.S.

Nothing says American craft quite like our craft beer. Here are the best events for hop-hopping:

Great American Beer Festival, Mid-October (Denver, CO)

Held each year in Denver, Colorado, this is one of the best festivals in the U.S. It features thousands of beers from hundreds of breweries nationwide, along with educational seminars and competitions. You can also sign up for a delicious beer-and-food pairing experience to compliment your festivating. 

Master brewer brewing beer
Source: FXQuadro via Shutterstock

Where to stay

Hotels abound around the fest. Organizers even worked out special room rates for attendees. Choose the Chatfield State Park Campground for nearby RV camping at reasonable rates.

Bend Brewfest, Early October (Bend, OR)

Oregon brews beer like nobody’s business, and Bend is arguably the craft beer capital of The Beaver State. Bend Brewfest showcases more than 200 craft breweries and cideries from around the nation and features a variety of beer styles, live music, and food vendors.

Where to camp

Bend is an outdoor mecca featuring world-class biking, hiking, skiing, climbing, and camping in its surrounds. You can even launch a beach-bound road trip from Bend.

Sun Outdoors Bend is the place to be for camping in your RV.

Great Taste of the Midwest, Early August (Madison, WI) 

This annual festival highlights the beers of the Midwest. Your ticket gets you unlimited 2 oz. sampling of a smattering of creative brews. The fest features over 150 breweries showcasing hundreds of craft libations. Food vendors and live entertainment come standard too.

Where to stay or camp

Nearby hotels are readily on tap for the event. Check out William G. Lunney Lake Farm Campground for full hookup RV camping.

The Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival, Early February (Anchorage, Alaska)

We know February in Alaska ain’t for the faint of heart, but what better way to warm your soul than with beer and barley wine? That’s exactly what this festival is all about. You’ll enjoy mountain views as your backdrop while enjoying the unique craft offered by The Last Frontier

Alaskan glacier
Source: Maridav via Shutterstock

Where to stay

These nearby hotels will keep you warm and cozy. If you’re brave enough to brave the cold, Golden Nugget RV Park will be your jam (call ahead to confirm winter hours):

San Francisco Beer Week, Mid-February (San Francisco, California)

Spanning ten days of beer-fueled festivities, San Francisco Beer Week showcases the Bay Area’s innovative craft beer scene. The best part is this is a city-wide festival featuring tap takeovers and beer-pairing dinners all over town. 

Where to stay

Here are some of the best hotels to stay at. The San Francisco RV Resort is one of the closest to all Bay Area action.

The best food (and wine) festivals in the US

Foodies get festivals too with these culinary celebrations around the country: 

South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Late February (Miami Beach, Florida)

This is one of the most well-known and prestigious food fests in the country. That’s why you’ll see celebrity chefs and renowned restaurants staking their claim here. There are also wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and various other food-related events.

Friends eating at a food festival
Source: Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

Where to camp

South Florida is a stellar place to be in February if you’re rolling in an RV. The Larry & Penny Thompson Park Campground is a great place to park it.

Austin Food + Wine Festival, Early November (Austin, Texas)

Austin’s such a cool town that it makes our list twice. This time, it’s for this food+wine fest featuring vibrant food and wine that’s mostly native to Texas. Check out tastings, cooking demos, and appearances by nationally acclaimed chefs. 

Where to stay

Hotels are here, and Pecan Grove RV Park will put you in downtown, just be sure to call far in advance to book a spot here!

Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Mid-June (Aspen, CO)

Source: jdross75 via Shutterstock

No ‘best of’ festival list would be complete without at least one Aspen appearance. The town is well known as a mecca for mountain scenery, high-profile talent, and excellent food. The Aspen Food & Wine Classic celebrates all those things, featuring tastings, seminars, cooking demonstrations, and panel discussions.

Where to stay

Check out these nearby hotels. For the RVing and camping crews, the Silver Queen Campground features a chain of national forest campgrounds that are spectacular.

Taste of Chicago, Early September (Chicago, IL) 

This world-renowned food festival in The Windy City serves even the most eclectic of palates. Offering a diverse array of cuisines from local restaurants that give you a taste of flavors from around the globe. The festival is topped off with live music, cooking demos, and family-friendly activities. 

Where to stay

These Chicago hotels are close by. The Blackwell Family Campground is a popular RV camping option in the Chicago ‘Burbs.

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, Early June (New Orleans, LA)

New Orleans is another double feature on this list because The Big Easy knows how to throw some festivals. New Orleans Wine & Food Experience celebrates the rich food and wine traditions of Cajun Country. It offers tastings, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, and special events highlighting the city’s renowned cuisine.

Gumbo wood carving
Source: Jean Faucett via Shutterstock

Where to stay

Event organizers worked out these special hotel deals. The New Orleans RV Resort & Marina or the New Orleans West KOA nearby camping options.

Other quirky (and fun) festivals in the U.S.

Before signing off, we’d be remiss if we didn’t shout out a few other festival types to look out for:

Maker Faire

Organizers bill these festivals as “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new.” They happen nationwide and showcase some spectacularly cool stuff. 

Frozen Dead Guy Days, Mid-March (Estes Park, CO)

Guy playing dead in snow. Frozen Dead Guy Days is one of the best festivals in the U.S.
Source: Benevolente82 via Shutterstock

You just sort of have to be there to get it… Basically, there’s a story (probably equal parts legend, real-life, and made-up) about this dude who froze on a mountain a long time ago. There’s a race where participants run through town carrying effigies of the frozen guy. There’s music. There’s lots of food and bar crawling. It lasts a whole weekend.

You can dig more into it right here

World Championship Outhouse Races, Early October (Virginia City, NV) 

Need we say more? There’s one of these in Alaska too. 

The UFO Festival, Early July (Roswell, NM)

It’s exactly what you think, only now add in music by bands like Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead, laser light shows, and bunches of sci-fi-themed vendors and activities, and you’ll have the full picture of this quirky fest in the desert. 

Check out this article we wrote about other interesting stuff in Roswell and here’s a good spot for RV camping.

Image of downtown Roswell, NM
Photo: Sheri Swailes via Shutterstock

The best festivals in the U.S. blossom from deep traditions and diverse cultures that continually energize these gatherings. Whether you trek around the U.S. by car, RV, or any other means, you’re bound to cross paths with a gathering that’s uniquely you.