‘Tis the season for buying 2018 calendars, and San Jose’s Mercury News has offered up a nice starter kit for filling yours out: The newspaper’s 10 California Festivals Worth a Road Trip highlights a nice mix of California festivals celebrating wine, culture, and classic Golden State cuisine.
“In California, where there are nine festivals devoted to lavender alone,” writes features editor Lisa Wrenn, “you’re never far from something that needs celebrating.” Her 2018 list starts off with January’s Mendocino Crab, Wine and Beer festival (Jan. 19–28). Experts say this could be the best season for Dungeness crabs in a few years, which is all the more reason to go to the crab feeds, beer tastings, and crab-and-wine pairings in Mendocino. We’ve also long been fans of February’s Palm Springs Modernism Week, the 10-day celebration of the local mid-century architecture and design; start signing up now for some of the most popular tours, like the quirky, double-decker bus tours by performer Charles Phoenix.
The Mercury News also highlights two notable wine lovers’ festivals for spring and summer: the Paso Robles Wine Festival (May 17–20), which offers four days of barrel tastings, winemaker dinners, and live music; and Festival Napa Valley (July 20–29), which combines a fundraiser for youth music programs with A-list performers (violinist Joshua Bell, opera singer Danielle de Niese, and even Bill Murray), along with plenty of excuses to enjoy the local crop at winemaker dinners.