Each month, there are 300,000 events happening across the United States, adding up to a total of 3.6 million events happening each year. With so many exciting events to attend, it can be hard to decide which ones you absolutely cannot miss! To help narrow down your options, we’ve looked through our database and found 30 events that stand out as the top events for 2016. Take a look at the top 30 events you are sure the have the most fun at in 2016! Make sure to check out our top events in the United States for 2017!
Ranked as one of the best food and wine festivals in America, who wouldn’t want to spend a week tasting a diverse range of wines and inventive cuisines on the warm beaches of Key West? Escape the winter and discover some new favorite drinks and food throughout the week as you participate in over 40 different dine and drink events in one of the most beautiful places in the country.
Do you love cheese? I mean really love cheese? If yes, there is no better event for you to attend all year than the Cheesemonger Invitational in San Francisco this year. The invitational takes the best cheesemongers in the country and pits them against each other in a grueling cheese battle extravaganza. Enjoy all the delicious flavors as you walk through cheese paradise for the evening, treating yourself to fondue, raclette, and grilled cheese sandwiches along the way!
Every year, the nation's biggest film festival takes place in a small ski town in Utah. Take a trip up to Park City, watch premieres of masterfully done films, and spot celebrities along the way. The Sundance Film Festival is the perfect event for the film lover, the ski junky, and the pop culture enthusiast. In your downtime in between films, participate in seminars, attend parties, and see some big name concerts for ten days of the perfect cinema experience.
For the running socialite, there is no better event to participate in than Ragnar, a 200 mile relay that spans two days and one night. Ragnar encourages you to get your team of 12 together, dress up in crazy costumes, and make unforgettable experiences! The relay race makes its way across the country, so there is sure to be one near you.
The Super Bowl isn’t just another football game. It is the football game that brings an entire nation together for a few hours of friendly entertainment, trash talk, and some pretty creative commercials. This year celebrates the 50th time the Super Bowl will be played, making it a game to remember. If you have never attended the game in person, this would be the year of years to attend, especially in the new Levi’s Stadium, which was built to incorporate your phones and social media during the game. Don’t just watch the Super Bowl this year, be a part of it.
Mardi Gras surely takes the cake for what has to be one of the most unique events in the United States. Yes, Carnival is celebrated in many countries and cities throughout the world, but Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the only festival of it’s kind in the US. Celebrate Fat Tuesday by throwing on some beads, dressing up in costume, and watching the Parade roll on through the famous French Quarter of New Orleans. This is one event that everyone should have on their bucket list.
Tired of the cold winter weather? Be the first to know if this leap year will give us an early Spring! Each year Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his home to forecast the weather over the next six weeks. The town of Punxsutawney provides a show and activities for everybody who attends from Gobbler’s Knob Got Talent to a top hat decorating contest! The events at Gobbler’s Knob is perfect for any family.
SXSW (South by Southwest) is the ultimate convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. This year's SXSW headlines Crystal Castles, Alex G, Caveman, and HÆLOS, and keynote speakers Casey Gerald and Andy Puddicombe will be in the spotlight. SXSW is the premiere launching pad for new creative content, and sparks new ideas to carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.
Every year, Miami plays host to one of the most exhilarating electronic dance festivals in the country - with over 100,000 people attending. This year shouldn’t be any different as headliners include Armin Van Buuren, Avicii, David Guetta, Kaskade, Nero, Tiesto, and ZEDD among many others. The Ultra Music Festival takes place in downtown Miami, and you are just a stone's throw away from the warm South Beach waters.
If there is one event you need to attend this year, the Lantern Fest is definitely it. There is nothing quite like being surrounded by thousands of glowing lanterns as they begin to take off into the air right in front of your eyes. The moment when everybody lights their lantern and the first ones start to take off is nothing short of magic! The only way to experience such a beautiful and fun event is through the Lantern Festival!
If you want to listen to some true jazz music, there is no better place to do it than in the heart of jazz country itself - New Orleans. This ten day festival will give you all the jazz music you crave, and leave you with a list of new artists to follow. Get your fill of southern cooking, New Orleans culture, all the jazz rhythm in one place at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
The Cooper River Bridge Run is one of the most unique runs in the country due to its beautiful setting in Charleston and the fact that over 40,000 people participate in this 10k. While everybody knows about the Boston Marathon, this lesser known 10k is perfect for both beginning and advanced runners. Celebrate your health and participate in a 10k that gives back to over 15 different charities. Your run will make a real difference.
If you have never seen the cherry blossoms in DC, this is a must attend event for everybody in their lifetime. The blooming cherry trees line up and down the National Mall, making one of America’s most beautiful cities even prettier. The event celebration kicks off on March 18th with the Pink Tie Party fundraiser, followed by the Opening Ceremony on the 26th, the Blossom Kite Festival on April 2nd, and concludes with the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on the 16th. The entire month of celebrating is the event of springtime.
In 2015, American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978. The last time a horse won the Triple Crown before that? 1977. If history repeats itself, 2016 may be the year of back to back Triple Crown champions, and the Kentucky Derby is where all the drama kicks off. The Kentucky Derby is much more than just a horse race. It is a time for dressing up, for socializing, for making a couple bets, and having a good time. Take part in one of the greatest subcultures of 2016.
Savor is an American craft beer and food experience held at the National Building Museum in downtown Washington. This festival features craft beers and artisan cheese from across the country. If you love beer, this formal experience is one you need to attend this year.
Art lovers unite at the Old Town Art Fair in Chicago’s historic Old Town Triangle District for your pick of art mediums including 2D and 3D mixed media, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, and works in metal, stone, and wood. In short, any art you can imagine will be here. Known as one of the top art fairs in the country, the Old Town Art Fair celebrates its 67th year, and you are sure to walk away with a new piece of art for your living room.
Summer is the season for music, festivals, and concerts and the Firefly Music Festival in Dover offers one of the most unforgettable experiences of the summer. Featuring big name artists like Mumford & Sons, Florence + The Machine, Ellie Goulding, and Of Monsters and Men, the Firefly Music Festival is the perfect event for camping out, hanging out with friends, and creating lifelong memories.
The Electric Daisy Carnival has found a home in Las Vegas for the last 20 years, each year drawing in a bigger and better crowd for the three day carnival! This year, more than 300,000 people are expected to show up in EDC attire to look at the giant metal art, 3D superstructures, and glow in the dark environments. There are rides, food, and of course the best EDM DJ’s from around the world. Experience the heat of the 20th EDC Las Vegas in the full force this year!
The beautiful scenery of Southern Utah makes the perfect backdrop for the best Shakespeare Festival in the country. Each year, more than 100,000 people flock to Cedar City to watch the plays put on by the at the Shakespeare Festival, a festival that has received both a Tony Award and an Emmy! The festival runs for a large part of the summer and into the fall, so you have plenty of opportunities to make your way to Cedar City - and then see some of the country’s most beautiful National Parks with Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park a quick car ride away.
The most anticipated concert ticket for the summer of 2016 easily goes to Adele, and her record smashing album ‘25’. The singing sensation from London starts her long anticipated U.S. tour in Minnesota and ends in New York City. She doesn’t travel to every major city, so if you want to get a ticket to her show, you may have to travel a little bit to see her, but you know it will be worth it to hear her sing ‘Hello’ in person.
Calling all foodies! Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and fun filled activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park on the city’s magnificent lakefront has been home to the world’s largest food festival. The Taste of Chicago features more than just deep dish Pizza, though you’re sure to run into some while you’re there.
The largest and original Comic-Con is gearing up for it’s best year yet, featuring your favorite characters from all your favorite movies, comic books, and shows! You never know who you will meet at the upcoming Comic-Con, and you know the biggest names from this years hit shows will be there. Of all the Comic-Con’s around the country, the one in San Diego by far the best known, and most highly anticipated event of them all. From it’s humble origins, this Comic-Con has grown into the largest gathering of comic, movie, and science fiction fans in the nation!
The Newport Folk Festival features plenty of high-energy performances from both old times and young indie acts. The festival was made popular by musicians such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf, and in recent years has headlined big names like the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, the Avett Brothers, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. This folk festival focuses on being green and suggests getting to the festival by bike, water shuttle, or ride sharing. If folk music is your scene, the Newport Folk Festival is one event you need to attend this year.
No, the Olympics are not happening in the United States, but how could we leave off one of, if not the biggest event of the entire year! Each year, the world comes together for two weeks to watch the most gifted athletes from around the world compete against each other. Who could forget Michael Phelps’ gold medal chase, Usain Bolt’s world record setting 100 meter sprint, or the Paul McCartney singing “Hey Jude” at the opening ceremonies? You can bet the world will be watching the Olympic Games this August, every one of us a patriot, cheering for our country. There is no bigger or better event than the Olympics.
Shortly after Rio, the attention of the tennis world will shift to New York City, as the world’s best tennis players face off as they try to win the U.S. Open. This tennis tournament is the fourth and final tennis major comprising the Grand Slam each year, and the only one on U.S. Soil. Familiar names will take the court and battle to be crowned the Grand Slam champion, such as Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic.
August 28 - September 5, 2016 - Black Rock City, Nevada
Burning Man is one event that is not for everybody. Every year, thousands of people gather together in the Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. That’s right, for one week, a temporary city hosts Burning Man, and when it is over, there is no trace that people were ever there. At Burning Man, you are guaranteed not to be the weirdest kid in the classroom, as a wide range of creative/unique individuals gather together in self-expressionism. Burning Man is not for everybody, but if it is calling your name, it is one experience you are sure to remember for the rest of your life.
The rain isn’t always pouring down in Portland, but the tasty food is always being served up. One of the culinary world’s most inspiring places, Portland is home to Feast Portland, a movement that showcases the energy, creativity, and enthusiasm that is driving America’s food revolution. From spirited one-of-a-kind large-scale events featuring trendsetting chefs from all over the country and world, to intimate hand-on classes, collaborative dinners and panels, Feast Portland offers some of the most compelling experiences and original programming in the modern food festival conversation.
Eat, drink, and end hunger. The New York City Wine and Food Festival is a national, star-studded, four-day event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs, culinary personalities, and America’s most beloved television chefs while fighting to end hunger. With more than 100 events in the span of four days, the New York Wine and Food Festival is widely recognized for it’s intimate dinners with world-renowned chefs, late night parties, hands-on classes, educational seminars, coveted wine tasting, and more. Money from the festival is raised to help end hunger, and last year alone $9.5 million was raised to beat hunger.
Run the light-filled Las Vegas Strip at night as you race to the sound your favorite beats. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was created to make running fun. Have you ever tried running without a beat? Exactly. While Las Vegas maya be the marquee run in this event, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon travels the country and makes stops in cities like D.C., Phoenix, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle, Chicago, and more. If you love running and music, this event is for you, as you can choose to run a 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon!
Starting from humble beginnings in the 1970’s, the Texas Renaissance festival has grown to become the largest, most acclaimed Renaissance Festival in the nation with over 500,000 guest passing through the Festival’s gates each year. Upon entering the gates, you take a trip back through time to the 16th century, as you explore the 55 acre, authentically recreated park. You wou see musicians, magicians, acrobats, jugglers, and dancers, with over 200 daily performance on over 20 stages throughout the village.
The truth is, there are too many fun events in 2016 to limit this list to the top 30, so here are some notable events for 2016 that are interchangable with any of the top 30 events: