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  

Portland Rose 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  


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