Looking for some late-summer RV road trip destinations? Why not plan them around these well-known annual summer festivals across the U.S.?
Here’s everything you need to know about these popular events, including where to park your RV.
California Wine Festival—Santa Barbara, CA
What could be better than wine, food, and music at the beach? Voted Top Food & Wine Festival by TripAdvisor, this three-day event is one of the largest and most popular outdoor wine festivals in California. You’ll have access to hundreds of premium California wines along with the area’s best regional microbreweries, paired with local top chefs and food vendors. The festival’s beachside location offers ocean views to top it all off!
Dates: July 19-21, 2018
Where to camp: There are several highly rated RV parks and campgrounds in Santa Barbara, including Santa Barbara Sunrise RV Park, Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort, and Ocean Mesa RV and Campground.
Visit the California Wine Festival’s website for more information.
Cheyenne Frontier Days—Cheyenne, WY
Cheyenne Frontier Days started as a one-day cowboy roundup, and has become one of the largest and most authentic rodeo events in the world. The event now draws in top professionals for a 10-day festival packed with not just rodeo events, but also dancing, cookoffs, an art show, carnival, parades, concerts, and more! This event draws in top name stars—champion bull riders and country music favorites, like Eric Church, Toby Keith, and Florida Georgia Line!
Dates: July 20 – 29, 2018
Where to camp: There are 14 nearby RV parks and campgrounds in the area to choose from so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot! The closest campsites to the arena are A.B. Camping and the Cheyenne KOA.
Visit Cheyenne Frontier Days’ website for more information.
Maine Lobster Festival—Rockland, ME
The Maine Lobster Festival is one of Maine’s premier summer events and was even featured on the Food Network. The Maine Lobster Festival is actually a nonprofit organization that gives proceeds to various groups, charities, and organizations throughout the Rockland area. In fact, in recent years, they’ve given $500,000 to the local community! So while you’re helping to eat some of the 20,000 pounds of delicious lobster, you’ll also be supporting the cause. You can also enjoy a sea goddess coronation, a parade, entertainment, fine art, vendors, cooking contests, and more. Consider volunteering to make it an even more memorable event!
Dates: August 1 – 5, 2018
Where to camp: Camp Maine is a great resource for finding campsites near the festival. Megunticook Campground By The Sea and Lobster Buoy Campsites are both within 5 miles of the festival.
Visit the Maine Lobster Festival’s website for more information.
Kentucky Bourbon Festival—Bardstown, KY
Bardstown, Kentucky is the Bourbon Capital of the World—so there’s no greater place on earth for this festival. The event promotes and educates the public on the history and production of Bourbon while also supporting local non-profit organizations. What began in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting dinner has grown tremendously and now has something for everyone, with arts and crafts, music, and more. Pair the deep love and art of distilling America’s native spirit with Kentucky hospitality and you’re sure to have a great time.
Dates: September 12 – 16, 2018
Where to camp: A quick search for campgrounds in the area will give you plenty of options, but you may not want to look much further than My Old Kentucky Home Campground, which is a colonial mansion & state park featuring costumed tour guides, a museum, and an outdoor theater.
Visit the Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s website for more information.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally—Sturgis, SD
Each year 500,000 people descend upon the normally quiet town of Sturgis, SD to attend one of the world’s largest motorcycle rallies. Held annually during the second full week of August, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally offers something for everyone, not just for those with motorcycles. Of course, there are activities specifically for riders, but there are plenty of other activities including concerts, burger cookoffs, a beard and mustache contest, a 5k run and much, much more. In addition to being a fun event, Sturgis offers some other benefits to those bringing their RV. Sturgis is located in the Black Hills and is only minutes away from Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, and an abundance of beautiful scenery.
Dates: August 3 – 12, 2018
Where to camp: Pappy Hoel Campground has been named the official campground for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Pappy Hoel is a 600-acre venue located within minutes of downtown Sturgis. Guests can choose from a great selection of lodging amenities including cabins and spacious RV and tent sites as well as take a dip in the olympic-size swimming pool.
Visit the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally’s website for more information.
We hope you enjoy this list of recommended late-summer festivals—maybe they’ll even become a yearly tradition for you! Let us know in the comments if we left out your favorite summer event that’s perfect for an RV road trip.
Lindsay McKenzie travels full-time in her Winnebago Navion with her husband Dan and their 2 dogs. Originally from Colorado, they have been seeking adventure together for 10 years now and have done a lot of international traveling, including living in Costa Rica. They took the leap into full time RVing after experiencing life-altering news. They viewed the news as a life “detour” and started a travel and inspirational blog called Follow Your Detour. Lindsay has grown more passionate about pursuing her dreams and a leading a fulfilling life, while inspiring others to do the same. She loves that RVing allows her to be in nature and do more of what she loves. You can usually find her on the river fly fishing, hiking to sunset spots, or at a local brewery.
(All photos by Lindsay McKenzie, except where noted.)