Best US Theatres

Broadway isn’t the only place to catch a great show. Discover the best regional theatres nationwide, with performances from drama to musicals that have garnered these theatres national distinction.

Photos

Carolina Renaissance Festival

Carolina Renaissance Festival

Watch knights battle for the Queen’s favor in a modern representation of a Renaissance-era jousting tournament at the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville, NC. This major festival runs from October through November, with several activities and attractions, including an artisan marketplace, games and rides. 960 1280

Carolina Renaissance Festival  

Texas Renaissance Festival

Texas Renaissance Festival

Go to the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, TX, to experience its 8 themed weekends of fun, including Oktoberfest, All Hallows Eve, Pirate Adventure, Barbarian Invasion, Highland Fling and Celtic Christmas. We recommend checking out the exciting Fire Whip Show. 960 1280

Texas Renaissance Festival  

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Stroll through Valley Meade, Kenwood Lane, White Stag Grove, King’s Field, Kenwood Lane, Meadow Lane and Mary’s Dale Way, at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD. Sample tasty food like smoked turkey legs, friar’s fritters, meat pie on a stick, peasant bread, king’s dogs and many more delicious delights. 960 1280

Bernard McShae  

New York Renaissance Faire

New York Renaissance Faire

Visit Tuxedo Park, NY, to enjoy the fun at the New York Renaissance Faire. Nestled in the groves of Sterling Forest, this faire is a full-on experience of Elizabethan England, complete with 16th-century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music and dance. From August through September, take the kids to see aerial acrobatics, knife throwers, royal pipers, jousting and storytelling. 960 1280

Deborah Grosmark  

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Watch performers Don Juan and Miguel sword fight at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX. Located south of Dallas, this festival runs from the beginning of April through the end of May. It’s a unique place for a spring wedding, too. Royalty, Nobility and Gentry wedding packages are offered to couples who want to get married in the Wedding Garden. 960 1280

Scarborough Renaissance Festival  

Bristol Renaissance Faire

Bristol Renaissance Faire

In Kenosha, WI, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is held on a 30-acre site where visitors can meet Robin Hood or Queen Elizabeth in person, or watch swordfighters and jesters perform on open-air stages. At the Bristol Fair Marketplace, more than 200 artisans sell their wares, including jewelry, pottery, tapestries, pewter and crafted leather. 960 1280

Robert Streiffer  

Northern California Renaissance Faire

Northern California Renaissance Faire

For about a month, starting the second week in September, the Northern California Renaissance Faire in Hollister, CA, is the place to be for travelers looking for fun. The Queen’s Band and other musicians fill the streets of Willingtown with magical sounds of the Elizabethan era. The faire also has themed weekends, including Fantasy Weekend, where visitors may catch a glimpse of Titania, the Queen of the Fairies. 960 1280

Jim Dowdall  

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Welcome to Harveysburg, OH, home of the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Visit a 30-acre recreated 16th-century English village where guests can rub elbows with Queen Elizabeth and over 150 costumed characters. In addition to fire eaters, this festival features nearly 100 shows each day on 11 stages, 135 arts and crafts shops, food and drink fit for a king, games of skill and human-powered rides to amuse all ages. Check out this fun festival on the weekend during August, September or October. 960 1280

Ohio Renaissance Festival  

Arizona Renaissance Festival

Arizona Renaissance Festival

Enjoy feasting on a variety of food and a bevy of beverages, including Medieval Margaritas, Da Vinci Coladas, Dukes of Daiquiri, wine, honey mead, beers, ales and more. Located near Apache Junction, AZ, this daylong family adventure features a 13-stage theater, 30-acre circus, and arts and crafts fair and jousting tournament. The Arizona Renaissance Festival runs from the beginning of February through the end of March. 960 1280

Arizona Renaissance Festival  

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Witness intense live armored jousting at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN. This festival -- held from the beginning of August through Labor Day weekend -- has become the largest Renaissance Festival in the US, with an annual attendance of 300, 000 people. 960 1280

Minnesota Renaissance Festival  

King Richard's Faire

King Richard's Faire

Cleavage Contest, Vow Renewal, Biker’s Weekend, Children’s Fairies Contest, Prince and Princess Costume Contest and the Beard and Moustache Contest are just a couple-themed weekends held at the King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA. From August to October, hundreds of people converge on the 80-acre site to see knights battle on horseback, beggars compete in mud, and performers put on an acrobatic show. We recommend a visit to the royal zoo to see birds of prey, snow leopards, Bengal tigers and jaguars. 960 1280

King Richard's Faire  

Georgia Renaissance Festival

Georgia Renaissance Festival

Watch the Celtic rock group The Rogues perform at the Georgia Renaissance Festival in Fairburn, GA. In addition to live music, this festival also features comedic storytelling, 4 pubs, a royal petting zoo, King Henry VIII and his Court, and the Jousting Tournament of Kings. Looking for more to do? Check out the games and rides like the Corkscrew Slide, Junior Joust, Sea Dragon, Drench-a-Wench, Catapulting Frogs, Ax Throw and King of the Log. 960 1280

Georgia Renaissance Festival  

Portland Rose festival

Portland Rose festival

Portland Rose Festival
What started 104 years ago as an effort to make Portland, OR, a popular summer destination is now the official festival of the city. With 4 parades among the dozens of events, the Portland Rose Festival was named the 2011 "Best Festival in the World" by the International Festivals & Events Association.
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Portland Rose Festival Foundation  

Apple Blossom Festival, Wenatchee, WA

Apple Blossom Festival, Wenatchee, WA

Washington State Apple Blossom Festival
Known for its apples, it's no surprise that Washington State would celebrate its apple blossoms. With a waterfront carnival, golf tournament and multiple parades, this 11-day festival in Wenatchee, WA, is entering its 93rd year.
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Thinkstock  

Poppy Festival, Lancaster, CA

Poppy Festival, Lancaster, CA

Poppy Festival
With the largest crop of California's state flower in the area, Lancaster, CA, is home to the Poppy Festival. The festival stays true to its motto, "Always Something New," with its variety of entertainment including acrobats, pirates and sand sculptors.
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City of Lancaster Parks, Recreation & Arts  

Philadelphia International Flower Show

Philadelphia International Flower Show

Philadelphia International Flower Show
What started as a gathering of professional horticulturists in 1829 is now the largest indoor flower show in the country. With displays from the best florists and landscape designers, the Philadelphia International Flower Show also offers horticulture classes and a marketplace full of unique flowers and gardening supplies for sale.
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Getty Images  

Tulip Festival, Skagit, WA

Tulip Festival, Skagit, WA

Annual Tulip Festival
Designed as a driving tour, the festival takes place throughout the Skagit Valley in Washington where farmers grow hundreds of acres of tulips. Among the tulips, enjoy festival events such as a salmon barbecue and 20-, 40- and 60-mile bike rides through the fields.
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Peter Cherry  

Cherry Blossom Festival, Essex County, NJ

Cherry Blossom Festival, Essex County, NJ

Cherry Blossom Festival
Embracing the Japanese tradition of "hanami" or flower viewing, the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival in New Jersey boasts over 4,000 cherry trees in the state's "pinkest park." The festival celebrates the blooms with Japanese cultural demonstrations, live music and activities for kids.
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Thinkstock  

Azalea Festival, Wilmington, NC

Azalea Festival, Wilmington, NC

North Carolina Azalea Festival
The largest festival of its kind in the state, the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington showcases more than 50 events. The events include the crowning of an azalea queen, a circus and a garden tour where Southern belles promenade in their Sunday best.
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John Davis  

Bluebonnet Festival, Chappell Hill, TX

Bluebonnet Festival, Chappell Hill, TX

Bluebonnet Festival
While the bluebonnet may be the state flower of Texas, there is only one "official" bluebonnet festival -- and it's in the small town of Chappell Hill. Each April, the town becomes crowded with visitors looking for Texan arts and crafts, and Southern home cooking.
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Thinkstock  

Tulip Time, Holland, MI

Tulip Time, Holland, MI

Tulip Time Festival
The Tulip Time Festival started in 1927 when a high school biology teacher proposed the idea of a tulip festival to celebrate the Dutch heritage of Holland, MI. The town’s Women's Literary Club accepted the proposal and 100,000 tulips were planted across town, drawing visitors from all over. Today the festival is a weeklong affair with Dutch dances and costumes.
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Thinkstock  

Daffodil Festival, Meridan, CT

Daffodil Festival, Meridan, CT

Daffodil Festival
At the Daffodil Festival in Meriden, CT, a Little Miss Daffodil is crowned to kick off the festivities. Events such as live music by more than 50 local bands, plus amateur boxing and Connecticut’s largest tag sale all occur among over 600,000 blooming daffodils.
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Daffodil Festival of Meridan  

Lilac Festival, Rochester, NY

Lilac Festival, Rochester, NY

Lilac Festival
The Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, features special events such as a 5K family fun run and a wine & farmers' market. All events take place among the fragrant 500 varieties of lilac bushes -- more than 1,200 in all -- first planted in 1892 by horticulturist John Dunbar in Highland Park.
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Lilac Festival/Beau Productions  

National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC

National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC

National Cherry Blossom Festival
To commemorate the 1912 gift of Japanese cherry trees from the Mayor of Tokyo, Washington, DC, holds the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. With events like kimono fashion shows, sushi and sake celebrations, and bike tours around the Tidal Basin, the festival is attended by more than 700,000 people each year.
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Thinkstock  

Daffodil Festival

Daffodil Festival

Daffodil Festival
The city of Puyallup, WA, takes its Daffodil Festival seriously, crowning 24 daffodil princesses. Its Grand Floral Street Parade travels through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting with 40 floats decorated with freshly cut daffodils.
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Thinkstock  

Historic Garden Week, VA

Historic Garden Week, VA

Historic Garden Week
With tours of the most beautiful gardens and homes throughout the state of Virginia, Historic Garden Week has been called "America's Largest Open House." Ever since it started in 1927 as a flower show to raise money to save the original mulberry trees at Monticello, the festival has celebrated the peak of Virginia's spring beauty.
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Garden Club of Virginia  

Tour de France’s 100th

Tour de France’s 100th

Cycling’s premier annual event marks its 100th anniversary in 2013. The very first Tour de France comprised a 5-stage race, beginning in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes before returning to Paris. Today, the race typically spans 21 days and a total of 2,000 miles; 2013’s Tour de France will start in Corsica, in the city of Porto-Vecchio, and finish at dusk in Paris. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Grand Central’s 100th

Grand Central’s 100th

This megadaddy of rail travel turns 100 in 2013. Spanning 48 acres, the grand Beaux-Arts-designed terminal has risen and fallen (it went into bankruptcy in 1970 and even faced potential demolition), and risen again. Today, the hub is the world’s sixth most visited tourist attraction, according to a Travel + Leisure survey. 960 1280

Katie Hards   

Groundhog Day at 20

Groundhog Day at 20

Thank the 1993 Bill Murray flick for catapulting this furry little guy onto the national scene. 2013 marks the American comedy-turned-classic’s 20th anniversary. Celebrate with a trip to the central Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, where thousands have gathered each year since 1886 to await Punxsutawney Phil’s end-of-winter predictions. According to records dating back to 1887, Phil’s been accurate 39% of the time. 960 1280

Getty Images  

125 Years of Nat Geo

125 Years of Nat Geo

Many leaders have had the National Geographic Society to thank for kindling their imagination in exploring the world around them. Among them was America’s 36th president LBJ -- he once said, “My mother brought me up by putting the Bible in my right hand and the National Geographic magazine in my left.” 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam sees an epic year of milestones ahead: In 2013, Amsterdam marks the 175th birthday of the Artis Royal Zoo, the nation's most famous zoo, which houses 900 species of animals. The Dutch capital is also celebrating the 400th anniversary of its famed Canal Ring, which has given Amsterdam the moniker, "Venice of the North." 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

One day, without warning, this idyllic coastal town in Sonoma County, CA, was attacked by … the birds! Who can ever look at birds the same way after watching Hitchcock’s suspense-horror classic, which turns 50 in 2013. Mark the occasion with a visit to Bodega Bay, and keep a watchful eye on the sky -- you just never know. 960 1280

iStock  

Harley-Davidson at 110

Harley-Davidson at 110

The freedom of the open road, the need for speed -- this journey began 110 years ago in Milwaukee. In 1903, the granddaddy of American motorcycle manufacturers got its start in a small machine shop, where a 23-year-old engineering genius William Sylvester Harley toiled away. Harley worked on a “motor-cycle” with childhood friend Arthur Davidson; the rest is bad-ass history. 960 1280

iStock  

The Drive-In Turns 70

The Drive-In Turns 70

This icon of American pop culture became official 70 years ago, when a chemical company magnate was granted a patent for his invention: an outdoor theater. From humble beginnings (the first drive-in opened in Pennsauken Township, NJ), the drive-in movie theater peaked in popularity from the late 1950s to early 1960s. You can relive the glory days at retro drive-ins like Sandell Theater in Clarendon, TX. 960 1280

Orange County Archives, flickr  

Lamborghini at 50

Lamborghini at 50

You are what you drive. Who’d want to admit that -- unless, of course, you’re driving this motor-sportin’ beaut. Fifty years ago, the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer got its start in the northern Italian town of Sant'Agata Bolognese. In May 2013, the automaker celebrates by hosting a 700-mile road trip through northern and central Italy. Andiamo! 960 1280

Ben_in_london, flickr  

David Livingstone's 200th

David Livingstone's 200th

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Why, indeed it is: 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the famed Scottish explorer’s birth. At the age of 27, the young missionary headed for Africa. Fascinated by the continent’s beauty, he went on to spend 30 years in places such as modern-day Botswana and Zambia. In the end, his one regret was that he hadn’t spent enough time with his children. Honor the great doctor’s legacy; take the kids on safari. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out … and why would you want to? Not when the setting is the beautiful Aloha State. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the King’s live concert from the capital city of Honolulu. Celebrate Elvis’ love of all things Hawaiian with your own journey to his favorite spots, like Hanauma Bay, featured in his films Blue Hawaii and Paradise, Hawaiian Style. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

With a stroke of the pen, Abraham Lincoln opened the door to the eradication of America’s greatest evil. The end of slavery would not come with the simple signing of this executive order on Jan. 1, 1863, but it did make abolition an official goal of the Civil War. Revisit that chapter in the exhibit “Changing America,” at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History through Sept. 15, 2013. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Gettysburg at 150

Gettysburg at 150

“Four score and 7 years ago …” The passion of Abraham Lincoln’s words, all 272 of them, gave meaning to what history would record as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Relive this pivotal moment in US history with a trip to this stretch of southern Pennsylvania, during the 150th anniversary year of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

I Have a Dream Turns 50

I Have a Dream Turns 50

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; stand in the exact spot where MLK delivered his speech at the Lincoln Memorial. 2013 sees other big civil rights anniversaries, including the 100th birthday of the “first lady of civil rights” Rosa Parks and the 50th anniversary of protests in Birmingham, AL, that triggered a national dialogue about the need for civil rights for African-American citizens. 960 1280

Getty Images  

West Virginia's 150th

West Virginia's 150th

The Mountain State marks its 150th anniversary in 2013. In June 1863, at the height of the Civil War, an expanse of land in the Appalachian Mountain range broke away from the state of Virginia, becoming the only state to form by seceding from the Confederacy. Among West Virginia’s must-see sites is the New River Gorge, a 3,030-foot-long steel arch bridge near Fayetteville, WV. 960 1280

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