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16 Must-See Summer Festivals Across America

16 Must-See Summer Festivals Across America

July 21, 2021 by

By: The Editors By: The Editors

best summer festivals across america

The weather is hot and the days are long. It's time to get out there and have some fun.

Whether you're looking to sip wine in the shade, get closer to local craftspeople, or throw your hands up to headline performances from chart-topping artists, this country shines in the summertime. Festivals are the best way to find adventure. We asked our editors to share their favorite summer festivals in their respective cities, and we've pulled a few extra fun fests for you to check out all across the country.

From New York to San Francisco, Miami to Chicago, these are some of the best summer festivals across the United States.

See also: 20 of the Best Ice Cream Shops Across America

Atlanta - Music Midtown

September 18-19, 1320 Monroe Dr. NE / Website

This blowout festival was sorely missed in 2020, making the 2021 anticipation all the greater. This year’s lineup features stars such as Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion and the Jonas Brothers. While you’re not jamming out, enjoy the Midtown skyline from the Ferris wheel and nosh on a variety of food options. Ready for more action? Check the full list of Atlanta festivals for wine, grilled cheese and more.

Aspen - Aspen Arts Festival

July 17, 151 E. Main St. / Website

You can peruse a variety of inspiratonal creations made by national and local artists at the 18th annual Aspen Arts Festival this July. With life-sized sculptures, photography, glass paintings, ceramics, one-of-a-kind jewelry and mixed media works, the show holds enough artwork to suit everyone’s tastes. Located at Main Street’s Paepcke Park, guests can also enjoy stunning views of Aspen, grab a bite at the local eatery and purchase original work from the artists themselves. Still, there are three more great fests where that came from, featuring documentary films, classics music and more on Aspen's full list.

Boston - Boston Water Lantern Festival

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Neveen Taher (@neveentaher)

Sept. 4, 2-28 River St., Weymouth, MA / Website

Experience the wonder that is Boston’s Water Lantern Festival at the beautiful George Lane Beach. Here, attendees can enjoy bites from local vendors and a variety of summer games or activities with loved ones before releasing thousands of lanterns upon the water. Would you rather get down to some music, or maybe do some good for the environment? Boston's got all that and more on it's full summer fest list.

Chicago - Lollapalooza

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by lollapalooza (@lollapalooza)

July 29-August 1, 337 E. Randolph St. / Website

With eight stages and more than 170 bands from across the world, Lollapalooza—now in its 16th year in Chicago—is one of the world’s most epic music festivals. Headliners this year include Miley Cyrus, Journey and the Foo Fighters; other acts to catch include Modest Mouse, Jack Harlow, Dominic Fike, Surfaces with Goth Babe, the Peach Tree Rascals and more. Of course, you may have already been to Lolla, so why not try one of the other 13 summer fests on Chicago's full list.

Dallas - Riverfront Jazz Festival

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by (@toquon_tha_mc)

1309 Canton St. / Website

Celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend surrounded by the invigorating notes of Jazz, Blues and more at the 4th Riverfront Jazz Festival. Presented by the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, the festival will honor both the new and known talent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Looking for more art exhibits and cultural engagements? Check Dallas' full list of summer fun.

Hawai'i - Honolulu Festival

1801 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu / Website

Every March, Honolulu Festival joins together the vibrant cultures of Asia, the Pacific and Hawai'i to create a cultural experience unlike any other. This three-day spectacular attracts thousands of visitors each year, along with talents from variouscountries and regions like Japan, Australia, Tahiti and more. With live performances, traditional art demonstrations, education programs and activities, and an extravagant parade down Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu Festival is a one-of-a-kind Hawaiian celebration. Though this year’s festivities were held via TV broadcast, we standby and wait to see if the cultural exchange will take place in-person once again in 2022.

Houston - Commune

Aug. 21-Sept. 5 / Website

With over 200 chefs and over 20 Michelin Stars, you won’t want to miss the delectable dishes from the best chefs Houston has to offer. Self-defined as the “anti-food festival”, Indie Chefs COMMUNE is two weeks of micro-events by renowned chefs. The festival prides itself in addressing systemic issues within the hospitality industry by creating an equitable environment that gives back to the community. COMMUNE puts their money where their mouths are with 50% of the net profits from the first week of the festival heading straight to Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate. Not only does COMMUNE do good, but it’ll also taste good. Leave some room, though, because there's plenty more summer fun on Houston's full list.

Las Vegas - Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival

425 Fremont St. / Website

Head to Downtown Las Vegas for its biggest music event of the year Sept. 17 to 19, where Billie Eilish, Green Day and Tame Impala are set to headline the three-day extravaganza. Equally enticing names, like A$AP Rocky, Megan Thee Stallion and Ludacris, ensure the party will be in full force from sunup to sundown. Sin CIty lights up all summer long, so check our full list of summer fun.

Miami - Rolling Loud

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rolling Loud (@rollingloud)

July 23-25, 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens / Website

Rolling Loud is making a comeback this summer with its first live show since 2019. The three-day festival stays true to the original set with A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott and Post Malone headlining alongside favorites like Lil Baby, Polo G and Lil Uzi Vert. To watch in style, the Loud Club offers elevated viewing areas, VIP entrance, parking and valet, celebrity appearances and the option to order food and exclusive merch right to your section. Miami is the summer capital though, so be sure to check out the other great events on our full list.

NYC - Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

141 Prospect Park W., July 31–Sep. 18 / Website

Bringing Brooklyn together is what the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is all about. The performing arts event is a free, summer-long celebration featuring both new and acclaimed artists of different genres. This year, the headliners will include Ari Lennox, The Roots, Skip Marley and many more. Other event features include dance performances, theater and film screenings—all live-streamed and in-person in Prospect Park at the Bandshell. New York City is most fun in the summertime, though, so be sure to check the other great fests on our list.

Palm Beach - West Palm Seafood Festival

9067 Southern Blvd. / Website

Look out seafood lovers. The West Palm Seafood Festival is coming to the South Florida Fairgrounds Sept. 11 and 12. From fresh seafood sourced from local waters to a full-service bar with craft beer, wine and more, your taste buds will long for this nautical adventure. The family-friendly eventt will also include live music, local vendors and a kids zone with rides that will provide nonstop fun. Don't stop the party, because there are 10 other fantastic festivals on Palm Beach's full list.

Philadelphia - Made in America Festival

Sept. 4-5, Ben Franklin Parkway / Website

After cancelling last year’s concert, this annual, incredible music celebration returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway for its 10th anniversary this summer. On Sept. 4 and 5, guests can experience live music from an array of artists hand-selected by founder Jay-Z, such as headliners Justin Bieber and Lil Baby, TikTok favorites Meghan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, along with so many more. The festival also offers gourmet food trucks, amusement rides and interactive activities. The City of Brotherly Love keeps the fun burning strong all summer, so check the other five fests on our full list.

San Francisco - Stern Grove Festival

Website

The Bay Area’s longest-running free outdoor music festival is back. With a wide range of genres featured this summer, guests are treated to performances by icons like Joan Jett all the way to pop bands like Fitz and the Tantrums. The festival began June 20, and each weekend until August 29, will feature a different selection of performers. Reserve your spots online, and don’t miss this exciting San Francisco classic! In the mood for some garlic food, more music or wine? Check San Fran's full list of summer festivals.

Scottsdale - ¡Somos Peoria!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Somos Peoria (@somospeoria)

Sept. 25, 5pm-10pm; Old Town Peoria at 83rd & Grand Avenues / Website

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the city-sponsored ¡Somos Peoria! multicultural festival. Enjoy live entertainment as you snack on a variety of traditional Hispanic foods. The festival wouldn’t be complete with arts and crafts shopping, so spend the evening exploring Hispanic culture at this vibrant one-night-only event. Oye, check out the rest of the fun on Scottsdale's full summer fest list.

Silicon Valley - Festival Napa Valley

July 16-25 / Website

As a leader in arts education, Festival Napa Valley brings visual arts that enrich and inspire those who attend. This ten-day festival is full of performances, elegance and lights. It's an event you won't want to miss! Cheers to summer all season long at these other great Silicon Valley events on our full list.

Washington, D.C. - Citi Open

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Citi Open (@citiopen)

July 31- Aug. 8, 5220 16th Street NW / Website

At the end of the month, DC is welcoming some of the world’s greatest tennis players, including Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov and Daniel Evans, to Rock Creek Park. With the pandemic eliminating last year’s series from the district, it will be exciting for fans to get back into the stadium at full capacity. The hard court tournament is part of the U.S. Open Series leading up to the US Open Grand Slam at the end of August. Ready for more fun in our nationa's capital? Check the full list of summer fests in the D.C. area.













16 Must-See Summer Festivals Across America

July 21, 2021 by By: The Editors

best summer festivals across america

The weather is hot and the days are long. It's time to get out there and have some fun.

Whether you're looking to sip wine in the shade, get closer to local craftspeople, or throw your hands up to headline performances from chart-topping artists, this country shines in the summertime. Festivals are the best way to find adventure. We asked our editors to share their favorite summer festivals in their respective cities, and we've pulled a few extra fun fests for you to check out all across the country.

From New York to San Francisco, Miami to Chicago, these are some of the best summer festivals across the United States.

See also: 20 of the Best Ice Cream Shops Across America

Atlanta - Music Midtown

September 18-19, 1320 Monroe Dr. NE / Website

This blowout festival was sorely missed in 2020, making the 2021 anticipation all the greater. This year’s lineup features stars such as Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion and the Jonas Brothers. While you’re not jamming out, enjoy the Midtown skyline from the Ferris wheel and nosh on a variety of food options. Ready for more action? Check the full list of Atlanta festivals for wine, grilled cheese and more.

Aspen - Aspen Arts Festival

July 17, 151 E. Main St. / Website

You can peruse a variety of inspiratonal creations made by national and local artists at the 18th annual Aspen Arts Festival this July. With life-sized sculptures, photography, glass paintings, ceramics, one-of-a-kind jewelry and mixed media works, the show holds enough artwork to suit everyone’s tastes. Located at Main Street’s Paepcke Park, guests can also enjoy stunning views of Aspen, grab a bite at the local eatery and purchase original work from the artists themselves. Still, there are three more great fests where that came from, featuring documentary films, classics music and more on Aspen's full list.

Boston - Boston Water Lantern Festival

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Neveen Taher (@neveentaher)

Sept. 4, 2-28 River St., Weymouth, MA / Website

Experience the wonder that is Boston’s Water Lantern Festival at the beautiful George Lane Beach. Here, attendees can enjoy bites from local vendors and a variety of summer games or activities with loved ones before releasing thousands of lanterns upon the water. Would you rather get down to some music, or maybe do some good for the environment? Boston's got all that and more on it's full summer fest list.

Chicago - Lollapalooza

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by lollapalooza (@lollapalooza)

July 29-August 1, 337 E. Randolph St. / Website

With eight stages and more than 170 bands from across the world, Lollapalooza—now in its 16th year in Chicago—is one of the world’s most epic music festivals. Headliners this year include Miley Cyrus, Journey and the Foo Fighters; other acts to catch include Modest Mouse, Jack Harlow, Dominic Fike, Surfaces with Goth Babe, the Peach Tree Rascals and more. Of course, you may have already been to Lolla, so why not try one of the other 13 summer fests on Chicago's full list.

Dallas - Riverfront Jazz Festival

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by (@toquon_tha_mc)

1309 Canton St. / Website

Celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend surrounded by the invigorating notes of Jazz, Blues and more at the 4th Riverfront Jazz Festival. Presented by the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, the festival will honor both the new and known talent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Looking for more art exhibits and cultural engagements? Check Dallas' full list of summer fun.

Hawai'i - Honolulu Festival

1801 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu / Website

Every March, Honolulu Festival joins together the vibrant cultures of Asia, the Pacific and Hawai'i to create a cultural experience unlike any other. This three-day spectacular attracts thousands of visitors each year, along with talents from variouscountries and regions like Japan, Australia, Tahiti and more. With live performances, traditional art demonstrations, education programs and activities, and an extravagant parade down Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu Festival is a one-of-a-kind Hawaiian celebration. Though this year’s festivities were held via TV broadcast, we standby and wait to see if the cultural exchange will take place in-person once again in 2022.

Houston - Commune

Aug. 21-Sept. 5 / Website

With over 200 chefs and over 20 Michelin Stars, you won’t want to miss the delectable dishes from the best chefs Houston has to offer. Self-defined as the “anti-food festival”, Indie Chefs COMMUNE is two weeks of micro-events by renowned chefs. The festival prides itself in addressing systemic issues within the hospitality industry by creating an equitable environment that gives back to the community. COMMUNE puts their money where their mouths are with 50% of the net profits from the first week of the festival heading straight to Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate. Not only does COMMUNE do good, but it’ll also taste good. Leave some room, though, because there's plenty more summer fun on Houston's full list.

Las Vegas - Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival

425 Fremont St. / Website

Head to Downtown Las Vegas for its biggest music event of the year Sept. 17 to 19, where Billie Eilish, Green Day and Tame Impala are set to headline the three-day extravaganza. Equally enticing names, like A$AP Rocky, Megan Thee Stallion and Ludacris, ensure the party will be in full force from sunup to sundown. Sin CIty lights up all summer long, so check our full list of summer fun.

Miami - Rolling Loud

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rolling Loud (@rollingloud)

July 23-25, 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens / Website

Rolling Loud is making a comeback this summer with its first live show since 2019. The three-day festival stays true to the original set with A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott and Post Malone headlining alongside favorites like Lil Baby, Polo G and Lil Uzi Vert. To watch in style, the Loud Club offers elevated viewing areas, VIP entrance, parking and valet, celebrity appearances and the option to order food and exclusive merch right to your section. Miami is the summer capital though, so be sure to check out the other great events on our full list.

NYC - Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

141 Prospect Park W., July 31–Sep. 18 / Website

Bringing Brooklyn together is what the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is all about. The performing arts event is a free, summer-long celebration featuring both new and acclaimed artists of different genres. This year, the headliners will include Ari Lennox, The Roots, Skip Marley and many more. Other event features include dance performances, theater and film screenings—all live-streamed and in-person in Prospect Park at the Bandshell. New York City is most fun in the summertime, though, so be sure to check the other great fests on our list.

Palm Beach - West Palm Seafood Festival

9067 Southern Blvd. / Website

Look out seafood lovers. The West Palm Seafood Festival is coming to the South Florida Fairgrounds Sept. 11 and 12. From fresh seafood sourced from local waters to a full-service bar with craft beer, wine and more, your taste buds will long for this nautical adventure. The family-friendly eventt will also include live music, local vendors and a kids zone with rides that will provide nonstop fun. Don't stop the party, because there are 10 other fantastic festivals on Palm Beach's full list.

Philadelphia - Made in America Festival

Sept. 4-5, Ben Franklin Parkway / Website

After cancelling last year’s concert, this annual, incredible music celebration returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway for its 10th anniversary this summer. On Sept. 4 and 5, guests can experience live music from an array of artists hand-selected by founder Jay-Z, such as headliners Justin Bieber and Lil Baby, TikTok favorites Meghan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, along with so many more. The festival also offers gourmet food trucks, amusement rides and interactive activities. The City of Brotherly Love keeps the fun burning strong all summer, so check the other five fests on our full list.

San Francisco - Stern Grove Festival

Website

The Bay Area’s longest-running free outdoor music festival is back. With a wide range of genres featured this summer, guests are treated to performances by icons like Joan Jett all the way to pop bands like Fitz and the Tantrums. The festival began June 20, and each weekend until August 29, will feature a different selection of performers. Reserve your spots online, and don’t miss this exciting San Francisco classic! In the mood for some garlic food, more music or wine? Check San Fran's full list of summer festivals.

Scottsdale - ¡Somos Peoria!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Somos Peoria (@somospeoria)

Sept. 25, 5pm-10pm; Old Town Peoria at 83rd & Grand Avenues / Website

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the city-sponsored ¡Somos Peoria! multicultural festival. Enjoy live entertainment as you snack on a variety of traditional Hispanic foods. The festival wouldn’t be complete with arts and crafts shopping, so spend the evening exploring Hispanic culture at this vibrant one-night-only event. Oye, check out the rest of the fun on Scottsdale's full summer fest list.

Silicon Valley - Festival Napa Valley

July 16-25 / Website

As a leader in arts education, Festival Napa Valley brings visual arts that enrich and inspire those who attend. This ten-day festival is full of performances, elegance and lights. It's an event you won't want to miss! Cheers to summer all season long at these other great Silicon Valley events on our full list.

Washington, D.C. - Citi Open

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Citi Open (@citiopen)

July 31- Aug. 8, 5220 16th Street NW / Website

At the end of the month, DC is welcoming some of the world’s greatest tennis players, including Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov and Daniel Evans, to Rock Creek Park. With the pandemic eliminating last year’s series from the district, it will be exciting for fans to get back into the stadium at full capacity. The hard court tournament is part of the U.S. Open Series leading up to the US Open Grand Slam at the end of August. Ready for more fun in our nationa's capital? Check the full list of summer fests in the D.C. area.