The Shasta Cascade region is a year-round playground for outdoor enthusiasts, and local events celebrate its natural bounty, from crawdads to wild rice to beer. Spring ushers in fungi foraging season and the town of McCloud rejoices with an annual Mushroom Festival every Memorial Day weekend. Vendors offer a wide variety of tasty treats prepared with locally foraged wild mushrooms and you can learn how to find and identify them yourself at a mushroom foraging workshop. The annual Montague Balloon Fair sees the sky filled with colourful hot-air balloons just north of Mount Shasta in late September (spread out a picnic blanket and uncork a bottle). There’s even a Bigfoot Jamboree in Happy Camp over Labor Day weekend which has been offering equal parts silliness and serious info for dedicated Sasquatch-seekers for over half a century. Dogwood Days, a Cruise Night and a Paul Bunyan Festival also draw visitors every year.
This quiet corner of California may be best known as an outdoor-lover’s paradise, but you can’t spend all of your time hiking, camping and fishing. Over the last few decades, it has become renowned for its beer as well. Multiple events celebrate this popular bounty: In late September and early October, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company throws its annual Oktoberfest, complete with German-inspired music, food, toasts (Prost!) and attire (Lederhosen-clad and Dirndl-sporting friends will not be in short supply). September is also the month for Chico Beer Week, a celebration of craft beer in the city that was instrumental in giving birth to the phenomenon.