Roadtrip! Festivals 50, 100 and 200 miles from Sonoma County

Buddha once said, “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” Whatever that means, here’s the two-word translation: Road trip!

Getting out of Sonoma County should be everyone’s goal at least for a few weekends this summer. (You can always DVR “True Detective” and watch it later).

Even if you’re sitting on less than a full tank of gas, here’s your best excuse to get lost for a few days.


SF Street Food Festival – Aug. 14-15

After outgrowing the Mission, this sumptuous annual fundraiser for La Cocina Community Kitchen makes the big move to Pier 70 for a street food feast from banh mi to crème brulee. “Passports” from $30-$250. 8 22nd St., San Francisco.

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival – June 19-21

From Jimmy Cliff to the Thievery Corporation, the focus is on reggae and world beats and the motto is “Peace, Love, Music.”

$60-$75 single day tickets/$175 three-day pass. Mendocino County Fair, 14480 Highway 128, Boonville.

Van’s Warped Tour – June 20

More pop than punk these days, this nation-touring beast of a festival drops in with the Wonder Years, Matchbook Romance and at least 30 other bands. Bonus: Kids under 18 can bring one parent for free. $39.50. Shoreline Ampthitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View.

Marin Shakespeare – June 26-Sept. 27

Beyond “Cymbeline” and “Richard III,” this 26th annual celebration of under the stars stages the national premiere of a new adaptation of “Don Quixote.”

$35 general/$10 youth. Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Dominican University of California, San Rafael.

Stern Grove Festival – June 14-Aug. 16

The best free music series in the Bay Area boasts tUnE-yArDs, Randy Newman, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Talib Kweli and many more. Best tip: Get there early.

Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco.


California State Fair – July 10-26

If you can wrap it in bacon or dye its wool, it’s here – along with horse racing and tributes to Led Zeppelin and Queen. $10 day. 1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento.

Northern Nights Music Festival – July 17-19

Four stages of trippy electronic music, free riverside camping and yoga throughout the day – what more do you need to know?

$195 three-day pass. Cooks Valley Campground on the South Fork of the Eel River, Piercy.

Gilroy Garlic Festival – July 24-26

From garlic chicken popcorn to garlic lumpia to garlic ice cream, the stinking rose is the reason for the season at this 37th annual institution that also crowns Miss Gilroy Garlic.

$20/$10 kids. 7050 Miller Ave., Gilroy.

Reggae on the River – July 30-Aug. 1

The 31st annual paean to the dreadlock brings in a Marley brother (Stephen), a guy named after Humboldt’s biggest cash crop (Collie Buddz) and the best marriage of bossa nova and reggae by way of Brazil (Flavia Coelho). $200 three-day pass. French’s Camp, 657 N. Highway 101, Garberville.


High Sierra Music Festival – July 2-5

The String Cheese Incident, Galactic and the Jon Butler Trio top this annual high-elevation jam festival. Don’t miss daily parades and tons of art projects for the kids.

$85.50-$95.50 single day/$245 three-day pass. 204 Fairground Rd., Quincy.

Wanderlust Squaw Valley – July 16-19

Where the motto is “Yoga First, Music Always,” this annual spirit quest mixes it up with yoga positions galore, sing alongs by Michael Franti, stand-up paddling and meditation.

$495-$170 daily. 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley.

Carmel Bach Festival – July 18-Aug. 1

From the opera “Mozart’s Magic Flute” to Bach’s rarely performed “Saint John Passion,” Johann would be proud of the 78th season of this stately string fest by the beach.

$20-$500. Based in Carmel-By-The-Sea, with concerts in Monterey, Pebble Beach, Seaside and Salinas.

Lake Tahoe Summerfest – July 31 – Aug. 16

Classical music is king in the intimate 500-seat acoustic tent, featuring maestro Joel Revzen as artistic director and guest orchestral soloists from around the world.

$100 tickets. Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, Nevada.

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