Below you’ll find a sampling of California current events for Spring 2016, and you can learn more about a specific event by visiting the site noted in parenthesis after the listing. If you’re looking for California current events in a different season, please see:
The Anderson Valley, renowned as one of the world’s finest pinot-growing regions, hosts the 19th Annual Pinot Noir Festival on May 20-22, 2016. Many area wineries will also host an open house event on Sunday, May 22; check with individual venues for details. (avwines.com)
While there’s never a bad time to travel to Mendocino County (from our perspective), the Taste of Redwood Valley event that’s happening on Father’s Day weekend — June 17-19, 2016 — is an especially good time for a visit. It’s a beautiful area… with some lovely, small wineries… and a cool grape brandy distillery, to boot! (atasteofredwoodvalley.com)
Shasta & Cascades
The very creative “Peanuts… Naturally” exhibit — courtesy of Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schultz Museum — runs through May 1, 2016, at Redding’s Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Tag along as your favorite Peanuts characters explore the natural world! (turtlebay.org)
And your sweet tooth with thank me for mentioning the Chocolate Fest in Paradise on May 7. 2016! (chocolatefest.us)
There are lots of fun events scheduled in Napa County this spring, including Flavor! Napa Valley which runs March 16-20, 2016. (flavornapavalley.com) I could plan a whole Napa getaway around an event like that, working in stops at some of my favorite Napa Valley tourist attractions, wineries and restaurants at the same time.
And, speaking of Wine Country restaurants, Sonoma County celebrates Restaurant Week March 7-13, 2016. You could even plan your visit to coincide with the Hitchcock Film Festival in Bodega Bay on March 12, 2016 (visitbodegabayca.com/#!events/c1szk). And, if your schedule allows you to linger for a while in Wine Country, you might also want to include the Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, running March 18-20, 2016, on your itinerary. (artisancheesefestival.com)
San Francisco Bay Area
Chocolate lovers will want to mark their calendars for the 10th Annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon at fabulous Fort Mason on Sunday, March 5, 2016. (Follow the preceding link for more details or visit sfchocolatesalon.com)
Also, if you’re planning a San Francisco visit around June 12, 2016, you may want to cheer on this year’s Escape From Alcatraz triathlon contestants. (escapefromalcatraztriathlon.com)
Spring is an excellent time to visit and enjoy one of the many Central Coast festivals (follow the link for a HUGE list) — all of which offer fabulous food and wine that you’ll enjoy sharing with some of the friendliest people in the whole state.
And, if you love artichokes as much as I do, you may want to plan your getaway around Castroville’s annual Artichoke Festival on June 4 & 5, 2016. There will be field tours, cooking demonstrations, a parade, live entertainment and, of course, LOTS of artichokes! (artichokefestival.org)
Head to Stockton on April 15-17, 2016, for the San Joaquin Valley Asparagus Festival. Can you think of a better way to celebrate Spring’s arrival? (sanjoaquinasparagusfestival.net)
Or, for something totally different, plan a trip to Sacramento (actually the Yolo County Fairgrounds in Woodland) on April 23 & 24, 2016, and you can be part of the annual Sacramento Valley Scottish Games & Festival. This is the third oldest event of this genre in the U.S., as well as one of the largest. There are games, of course, and music, food and fun for all ages! (sacramentoscotgames.org)
Sierras & Gold Country
Another thing that always makes us think of Spring is daffodils, and they are also the perfect excuse to visit Gold Country — and maybe stop at some of the wonderful Amador County wineries while you’re there. Typically, McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill doesn’t open until mid-March, but they’re blooming early this year and will be on view beginning March 2, 2016. If you’ve never seen this, you really should! Do check the facebook page before you go, though, because this year’s rain has forced some closures. (facebook.com/DaffodilHill)
The California Wine Festival splashes down in Dana Point on April 15 & 16, 2016, and Saturday’s event occurs beachside in Lantern Bay Park! (californiawinefestival.com)
And then you’ll probably want to be in Garden Grove over the Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-30, 2016) for the annual Strawberry Festival. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! (strawberryfestival.org)
Food Fare 2016 is happening in Santa Monica on March 3, 2016, and will feature 150+ of Los Angeles’s best food and wine vendors — restaurants, wineries, breweries and caterers. Julia Child, who gave a food demonstration at the first Food Fare in 1979, would be so proud! (pplafoodfare.com/)
If you’ve never been to Ojai, you should definitely check it out (it’s one of our favorite California cities, actually), and on Saturday, June 25, 2016, you could enjoy the Ojai Valley Lavender Festival during your visit. (ojaivalleylavenderfestival.org)
Inland Empire & Deserts
The Horse Town BrewN’Que Festival rides into Norco on June 3-5, 2016. What’s not to love about craft beer and beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken and pork? (brewnquefestival.com)
Big Bear Village’s annual Summer Wine Walk gets the season off to a good start on June 4, 2016, and is a perfect event around which to plan a Big Bear weekend getaway or even a week-long vacation! (http://www.bigbear.com/event/?id=5034)
And, over Father’s Day Weekend — June 10-12, 2016 — you’ll find music and more family fun at the annual Huck Finn Jubilee in Victorville. (huckfinn.com)
If you like Zydeco, Blues and Crawfish, you’ll want to check out Gator by the Bay, May 5-8, 2016 (Mother’s Day weekend), at San Diego’s Spanish Landing Park at Harbor Island, which is directly across from the airport, about three miles from downtown. How can you go wrong with rocking music and a Louisiana Food Court? (gatorbythebay.com)
Or, if you’re feeling sort of adventurous, head to Pechanga Resort & Casino on March 11, 2016, for the Rotary Club of Temecula’s Taste of the World event. As if we an excuse to visit Temecula for a little getaway! (rotarytasteoftheworld.com)
You may want to send an email to the visitor’s bureau where you plan to spend your California vacation, holiday or weekend getaway. Here is a list of various California convention and visitor’s bureaus. This is a great way to learn what local California current events might be occurring during your visit.
Note: Information in this article was accurate
when it was published, but hours, prices, etc.
change constantly. Please confirm details
with local contacts before traveling.