Growing up in a small town in Washington, we had the annual strawberry festival to celebrate the harvest. Across the state, many other towns had similar events, whether it was the apples in Wenatchee or blackberries in Bremerton. While these make sense for the local community, people from outside the towns weren’t really missing much if they skipped them each year. But for a long time, that’s what food festivals were: simple, harvest-related, and sometimes featuring a Tilt-a-Whirl. In the last few decades, food festivals have moved far beyond celebrating strawberries and turned into full-blown bacchanals where some of the world’s best chefs, winemakers, and bartenders assemble to put on an extended weekend of delicious partying.
If you’re planning a vacation this summer, you have plenty of options, from the amazing food adventures we recently featured to these seven outstanding food festivals.