Summer is when the West blossoms with fun for everyone. We’ve gathered some of the best events for live music and food, along with a few great art exhibitions for those days when the sun is scorching hot and a day inside at the museum is the perfect activity.
Portland International Beerfest, Portland
Portland’s three-day beer festival specializes in rare and hard-to-find beers from around the world. This year, attendees can find more than 200 beers from 16 different countries. Portland’s famous food trucks will be on hand to feed hungry beer drinkers between pints.
Outlaw Field Summer Concert Series, Boise, Idaho
Outdoor concerts are always better than those at indoor venues, but when you mix in the foliage and beauty of a botanical garden, nothing else compares. The Idaho Botanical Garden’s summer concert series features artists such as Carlos Santana, John Mellencamp, and Diana Krall who will be serenading the crowd among the beautiful Boise foothills.
Baconland, San Jose, California
For some bacon lovers, the idea of Baconland sounds like a dream in which everything is made of crispy strips of porky goodness. While the Baconland event at History Park in San Jose may not be a full-fledged dreamworld, it comes pretty close. The day-long event hosts more than 25 food trucks offering bacony dishes from waffles to cheesesteaks to tacos, and craft beers that pair perfectly with everyone’s favorite breakfast side. Between bacon bites, attendees can dance to live music, play games, and watch lucha libre wrestlers.
L.A. Food Fest, Los Angeles, California
The organizers of L.A.’s annual Food Fest encourage attendees to “dust off their stretchy pants,” because it’s going to be a day of gluttony. More than 100 vendors from restaurants and food trucks across the country will be cooking up some of their signature bites for hungry Angelenos. Break up the feasting with a stop at the craft beer garden or iced coffee lounge, and then end the evening with a scoop or two at the ice cream social.
Symphony in the Park, Billings, Montana
Bring a blanket or lawn chair, and grab a seat under the Montana sky for a free evening of live music in Pioneer Park. The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale invite area residents and visitors alike to enjoy local guest artists such as the Billings Community Band and soloist Amy Logan. Grab a bite from one of the many food stalls available and have a picnic under the stars while music plays all evening.
This article was first published in summer 2017 and last updated in April 2019.