Best Food & Wine Festivals

Calling all foodies and wine lovers: For savory eats and gourmet wines, these festivals deliver with eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demos and breathtaking venues.

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Kentucky State Fair
Kentucky State Fair

Kentucky State Fair

The Bluegrass State's big-name concerts -- including Rascal Flatts, Journey and Hank Williams Jr. -- and serious horse shows draw over 600,000 visitors to the state fair in Louisville each year. 960 1280

Kentucky State Fair  

California State Fair

California State Fair

California's State Fair in Sacramento earns the nickname "Big Fun" with a petting zoo and water park for kids, as well as live thoroughbred racing and a brewfest for adults. 960 1280

California State Fair  

Oregon State Fair

Oregon State Fair

The Oregon State Fair's biggest attractions in Salem include the Hart of the Garden made up of over 8,000 flowers and the Fairlift which gives visitors a bird's-eye-view as it travels from one end of the fairgrounds to the other. 960 1280

Oregon State Fair  

State Fair of Texas

State Fair of Texas

It's true that everything's bigger in Texas, including its state fair in Dallas which draws over 3 million people annually to see the 52-foot-tall mascot Big Tex and eat an astonishing array of fried foods. 960 1280

Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas  

Arizona State Fair

Arizona State Fair

With over 75 rides, 100 food booths, a stellar concert lineup and warm weather, it's easy to see why the Arizona State Fair draws over 1 million visitors to Phoenix in October and November. 960 1280

Jillian Danielson  

Ohio State Fair

Ohio State Fair

In addition to agriculture, the Ohio State Fair in Columbus is heavy on entertainment where you can hear the likes of Gavin DeGraw, Jason Aldean or see a new star born during Ohio Idol. 960 1280

Ohio State Fair  

Puyallup Fair

Puyallup Fair

Don't let the name fool you, this is Washington's largest fair which draws 1.3 million visitors to Puyallup each year for rides, rodeo and the new Rainforest Adventure, where kids get the chance to experience an authentic tropical rainforest atmosphere in a lush exhibit complete with toucans, anacondas, snapping turtles, and more. 960 1280

anaxila, flickr  

Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair

Like most fairs, one of the biggest draws to the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights is the live music at the Grandstand. The second-biggest state fair in the country (second only to Texas which runs twice as long) offers entertainment that ranges from country music legend Alan Jackson to stock car races to the ever-popular live broadcast of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. 960 1280

Minnesota State Fair  

Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair's slogan is "nothing compares," and it's true nothing compares to the life-size, 600-pound butter cow on display for the more than a million fairgoers in Des Moines each year. It also one-ups a fair staple: Food on-a-stick, offering over 50 types including the deep-fried cupcake and hot bologna on a stick. 960 1280

Iowa State Fair  

Wisconsin State Fair

Wisconsin State Fair

Held just outside Milwaukee in West Allis, otherwise known as America's Dairyland, it's no surprise the biggest attraction at the Wisconsin State Fair is the cream puffs -- betcha can't eat just one. 960 1280

Wisconsin State Fair Park  

The Big E Fair

The Big E Fair

Even though it’s located in Springfield, Massachusetts, The Big E Fair is actually New England's regional fair. Despite not technically qualifying as a state fair, any fair where you can try Maine lobster and baked potatoes as well as Vermont's maple syrup and Ben and Jerry's ice cream easily makes this list. 960 1280

TheBigE_ESE, flickr  

grilled chicken salad
10. Grilled Caesar Salad, California State Fair

10. Grilled Caesar Salad, California State Fair

Who said fairs only do food that’s crummy for you? Leave it to the Californians to give us some healthy fair foods like grilled Caesar salads and peaches with cottage cheese. That being said news of the Big Beef Rib (24-ounce steak on a 17-inch cow’s rib) has traveled all the way to me in Minnesota … gotta try that next time!California State Fair1600 Exposition Blvd Sacramento CA 95815 960 1280

  

9. Cream Puffs, Wisconsin State Fair

9. Cream Puffs, Wisconsin State Fair

It's said that the Original Cream Puffs are the essential food at 'Sconnie's state celebration. How can you argue with a mountain of sweet cream and sandwich it between a puff shell? You can’t. I implore you to also eat a brat or 2 along with some cheese curds. ’Cause hey you're in Wisconsin!Wisconsin State Fair640 S 84th St West Allis WI 53214 960 1280

  

8. Fried EVERYTHING, State Fair of Texas

8. Fried EVERYTHING, State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is the largest state fair in the US when measured by annual attendance. When it comes to foods it’s all about the deep fryer. There’s deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches fried cookie dough fried peach cobbler on a stick zesty fried guacamole bites deep-fried lattes fried chili Frito burrito fried hot dogs chicken fried bacon fried banana split fried grilled cheese sandwiches ... I could list about 100 more but I am getting queasy just writing this down. State Fair of Texas, 3921 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas TX 75210 960 1280

  

7. Sweet Martha's Cookies: MN State Fair

7. Sweet Martha's Cookies: MN State Fair

I think I remember Martha telling me they make a million cookies every day of the fair. This is a fair must and one of those food experiences that cannot be accurately replicated at home even if their dough is available for purchase in your grocer?s freezer. Few things can beat piping hot messy chocolate chip cookies served with an enormous glass of milk. Martha (yes Sweet Martha is a real person) I adore you!Minnesota State Fair1265 Snelling Ave N St. Paul MN 55108 960 1280

  

6. BBQ Chicken, Arizona State Fair

6. BBQ Chicken, Arizona State Fair

I am a self-proclaimed BBQ snob and was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of 'cue at the Arizona State Fair. From drummies and ribs to sliders and pizza (that only kind of counts) I'm a fan.Arizona State Fair1826 W McDowell Rd Phoenix AZ 85007 960 1280

Shaiith  

5. Kiwanis Strawberry Malt, MN State Fair

5. Kiwanis Strawberry Malt, MN State Fair

There are a lot of great dairy items at the great Minnesota Get-Together (hello, we carve our fair princesses out of butter). My favorite is the little stand run by the Kiwanis ladies adjacent to the Fine Arts building. I have a hard time picking among chocolate, strawberry or vanilla … so I like to go with friends and order all 3. I’m not sure if this is actually the very best malt at the fair, but it’s been around since 1969 and I think they still employ some of the original folks. It's just a warm, fuzzy kind of place. 960 1280

  

4. The Original Deep-Fried Cheese Curds, MN State Fair

4. The Original Deep-Fried Cheese Curds, MN State Fair

All curds are not created equal. Trust me, I have tried them all. My go-to MN State Fair cheese curd purveyor has gotta be The Original. Look for the bright yellow sign with the long, fast moving line. 960 1280

  

3. Navajo Tacos, Arizona State Fair

3. Navajo Tacos, Arizona State Fair

Think of this as a culinary lesson in cultural hybrids -- traditional Navajo fry bread smothered in taco stuff, like ground beef, lettuce, cheese, beans and tomatoes. It's fantastic, and you can't really find it anywhere else. 960 1280

  

2. Gizmo, Iowa State Fair

2. Gizmo, Iowa State Fair

If I could pick only one state fair food this would be it: ground beef and Italian sausage smothered in their secret sauce and seasonings covered with melted mozzarella cheese and served on a delicious toasted Italian roll. It?s like an Italian sandwich torpedo. I?m lucky enough that these guys hit both the Iowa and Minnesota state fairs so sometimes I get to eat them twice a year.Iowa State Fair3000 E Grand Ave Des Moines IA 50317 960 1280

Jaimie Duplass  

1. About a Foot-long Hot Dog, MN State Fair

1. About a Foot-long Hot Dog, MN State Fair

I love the classics, and it just doesn't get better than this one. I think this stand has literally been at the fair since the Stone Age and simply put, they do a hot dog better than anyone else. 960 1280

Henrik Freek  

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