Bittersweet August is your last chance to revel in the simple pleasures of summer, from lazy beach days and fresh seafood feasts to care-free festivals. Below, check out some of the best events to catch across the U.S. before the sun sets on the season.
Chow down on fresh lobster in Maine
Experience five days of fun and feasting, beautiful coastlines and lighthouses. The Maine Lobster Festival is an internationally recognized celebration of local seafood starring fresh, delicious red lobsters.
Delight in live music while admiring regional arts and crafts and a selection of contests, games, and rides for children, or cheer on the Coronation of the Sea Goddess, a traditional pageant with seaside flair. The more ambitious may participate in a 10K race or 5K walk/run through the streets of Rockland.
More info: mainelobsterfestival.com
Party like the Irish in Dublin, Ohio
Celebrate everything Irish at America's largest Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio. From the Celtic Canines to the "Midwest's Largest Gathering of Redheads," the festivities are as endless as the Irish music and dance.
Celebrate with beer and Irish whiskey tastings, a 5K run (must wear green), Celtic sporting competitions, and Irish-themed sand sculptures. For kids, the Wee Folk Area features magicians, storytellers, crafts, contests, inflatable rides, and Gaelic games.
More info: dublinirishfestival.org
Eat, drink, and dance in Golden Gate Park
Outside Lands is a San Francisco celebration of music, food, wine, beer, art, and comedy in magnificent Golden Gate Park. 2017's musical line-up includes Metallica, The Who, Lorde, and many others.
Food choices range from gourmet dishes representing the area's most renowned restaurants to delectable sweets and a hodgepodge of tasty food truck bites. Local and classic beers and wines from over 40 of the top regional wineries accompanied by fresh baked French bread and an assortment of cheeses complete this culinary and musical extravaganza.
More info: sfooutsidelands.com
Shop the world's longest yard sale
The Highway 127 Yard Sale extends 690 miles from Alabama to Michigan. It's a bargain hunter's dream and an excuse to check out the scenic backroads of middle America.
With thousands of vendors selling both new and used wares and hundreds of attractions such as parks, trails, cultural sites, rivers, and waterfalls, this could be the perfect opportunity for a good old American road trip.
More info: 127yardsale.com
Admire top cars and scenic views in Monterey
Monterey Car Week is heaven on earth, kid in a candy store, Christmas morning-type hype for automobile enthusiasts. Classic collector cars, new and old, domestic and foreign, large and small are on display at a variety of extraordinarily scenic venues. Through-the-years models from BMW, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and Audi have their own event, as do Ferraris, Supercars, and sports and racing motorcycles.
Concorso Italiano celebrates all things Italian: food, fashion, and fantastic cars. The Barnyard Ferrari event showcases great local wines, food, and music alongside fabulous Ferraris. The final event in this week-long celebration is the prestigious Concours D'Elegance, where the top 200 automobiles compete on the legendary 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Course.
More info: seemonterey.com
Time travel in Minnesota
Journey back to 16th-century Europe in Shakopee, Minnesota at the largest renaissance festival in the United States. The English fantasy kingdom affords visitors over 100 European food booths.The festival also features a variety of themed weekends, an incomparable shopping experience showcasing handmade wares by uniquely skilled artisans, live shows, jousting, and so much more.
More info: renaissancefest.com
Get a taste of Hong Kong in Queens
A colorful weekend-long rendition of one of Hong Kong's favorite festivals takes place in New York's Flushing Meadows-Corona Park every August. At Queens' Hong Kong Dragon Festival, nearly 180 dragon boat teams from around the world race across the lake, making this one of the largest dragon boat festivals in the United States.
Spectators enjoy traditional foods, live entertainment, martial arts demonstrations, lion dance performances, and Chinese crafts. Dance and dining will also feature some Mexican and Peruvian influences.
More info: hkdbny.org
Bet on your favorite horses in Saratoga Springs
Nicknamed "The Mid-summer Derby," the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course is a one-mile horse race for 3-year-olds traditionally held on the last Saturday in August. The quaint city of Saratoga Springs, New York celebrates the days leading up to Travers Day with restaurant week specials, various races, live music, and more.
Additionally, the city offers natural spring spas, renowned performing arts, golf courses, museums, boutiques, and antiques. Elegant hotels, historic bed and breakfasts, and comfortable inns are plentiful, but make your reservations early, because Saratoga is the place to be in August.
More info: saratoga.com
Partake in old-school fair fun in New Jersey
Partake in an old-time state fair with roots as far back as 1821 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey. New Jersey State Fair patrons enjoy livestock exhibitions, horse shows representing breeds from workhorses to thoroughbreds, pig and turtle races, and even a llama show.
Musical entertainment and competitions, a demolition derby, and a motocross show are timeless favorites, and carnival rides and educational exhibits delight the younger crowd.
More info: njstatefair.org
Hang with bikers in South Dakota
To the over half-million annual attendees, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is biker paradise. Motorcycle enthusiasts gather for racing events, rides through the stunning black hills, tattoo and beard competitions, and all the bike eye-candy one could ask for.
Sponsored by Harley Davidson, Jack Daniels, and Budweiser, fans of the 10-day rally indulge in pub crawls and a "Street Food Throwdown" at one of the most massive gatherings of motorcycles nationwide.
More info: sturgismotorcyclerally.com