When talking about fall festivals, events such as Pennsylvania's National Apple Festival or Wisconsin's Warren Cranberry Festival are thrown around. Some even consider the Mississippi hot air balloon event to behold the gorgeous fall foliage that comes with autumn, the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta in New Mexico for the oenophiles, or the Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Idaho to celebrate the state's local sheepherding industry. But have you ever explored the best fall festivals in the West Coast?
Yes, you may have options in other places such as Vermont, Colorado, North Carolina, or Texas to explore everything the season has to offer. However, visiting the West Coast during its fall festivals will allow you to dive into the unique, cultural assets that are inherent to its cities. With all kinds of live entertainment, carnival rides, food festivals, craft shows, and more, you'll have plenty of options for a good time with the whole family.
The Best Fall Festivals in the West Coast
1. Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival
In Moorpark, California, this family-friendly event is a great one to attend because there's something to enjoy for everyone! The festival features plenty of kids' activities including wagon rides, a corn maze, a chicken show, a gigantic pumpkin patch, plenty of artful displays, live music, an animal farm, and more. You can visit the farm between Saturday, September 25 to Sunday, October 31, 2021, and admission is only $10.
2. Knott's Spooky Farm
If you're looking for a fest to spook the kiddos, but are not willing to take them to a haunted house, then check out Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. From Saturday, September 25 to Sunday, October 31, 2021, kids ages 3-11 will be trick-or-treating through Ghost Town while dressed up in their Halloween costumes. The event features its favorited Timber Mountain Log Ride, which is full of surprises for the whole family.
3. Angel City Jazz Festival
You can attend music festivals anywhere around the U.S. at almost any time of the year, but you should strongly consider checking out the Angel City Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, California, during the fall. From October 1-15, 2021, the Angel City Arts pays tribute to some of the world's best jazz and bluegrass musicians by curating live music in multiple venues. They not only highlight new, emerging acts, but also recognize the most iconic jazz artists of the past.
4. Cambria Scarecrow Festival
Come to Cambria, California, to salute the scarecrows at the Cambria Pines Nursery from 6:00-8:00pm on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Dress up as a scarecrow or in your own costume and enjoy food and wine pairings and tastings, craft beer from local breweries, and live music. You can also win raffle prizes and participate in the costume judging! Tickets are $40 and all the raffle ticket proceeds fund the festival.
5. Pismo Beach Clam Festival
Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Pismo Beach Clam Festival in Pismo Beach, California on October 16-17, 2021 at the Pismo Beach Pier Parking Lot. This two-day festival highlights local restaurants and their clambakes, clam chowders, clam steamers, and more. There's also a parade and "Kids Zone," so go ahead and bring your kids along. Or, of course, don't if you're not a big clam fan.
6. Springville Fall Festival
The Springville Fall Festival actually used to be an annual apple harvest festival held in Springville, California. On October 16, 2021, from 9:00am-4:00pm, come enjoy this street fest full of food booths, arts & crafts, game booths, pumpkin decorating, a costume contest for both people and their pets, and more. There will also be plenty of apple-infused goodies in commemorating the original apple harvest festival.
7. Leavenworth Oktoberfest
If you want that German experience that fundamentally comes with celebrating the season, then check out Leavenworth Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington. The event's last date is October 15-16, 2021, but the festival is held the first three weekends of October. The Bavarian-style small town offers local vendors, food, and live music in tents around the city, but they have different conditions of this year's festival because of COVID-19. There will be no scheduled entertainment, shuttles, or beer this year.
8. Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Unfortunately, with how prevalent COVID-19 still is, these last two festivals initially were scheduled to happen in 2021, but were cancelled. However, they are worth mentioning as their events are highly anticipated for 2022. Originally supposed to be on October 8-9, 2021, this wine and food festival in Santa Rosa, California, is known for its winery competitions, cow-milking contests, and the World Championship Grace Stomp. So get ready to plan this trip for next year, if you plan on seeing what this wine competition is all about.
9. West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Another postponed festival that's worth highlighting is the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Portland, Oregon. Although it was also supposed to be held in October 16, 2021, it's definitely a festival you should consider attending next year. Back in 2004, the Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers wanted to paddle gigantic gourds on Lake at Tualatin Commons. Since then, the event has resulted in a surplus amount of costumed people racing in thousand-pound pumpkins during crazy water events and competitions!
Have you ever been to one of the best fall festivals in the west coast? Share your experience with us at our Wide Open Roads Facebook!